This week, our numbers continued to rise as expected as more and more people are reaching out for support across the city, including many families who have never sought support of this nature before. We delivered 70 emergency parcels reaching 132 adults, 21 children and 11 under 5s as well as supporting families through surplus deliveries to Syrian Sisters and other local organisations.
Across all school holidays we notice a rise in the number of families struggling to provide for children, particularly those who would usually be in receipt of Free School Meals. There are calls across the country continuously to change the threshold for FSM provision, and increase provision across holidays to ensure that no child goes hungry. Many councils have axed vouchers which supported parents during this time. You can read more about this here: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/oct/29/school-meals-holiday-vouchers-axed-teachers-marcus-rashford-councils
Christmas Donation Stations – Can you help?
We have an amazing collection of schools, businesses, streets, villages and more offering to help us gather donations for Christmas. All you need to do is either
a) Put up a poster in your area, or school, etc. (can include sharing in Whatsapp group, or online!) and people can send donations directly to us
b) Put up a poster asking people to drop donations to a certain point and we can arrange collection from there – you can either use the poster below, make your own or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can personalise it for you
For anyone in the Summertown area the fantastic team at Daunt Books will be collecting National Book Token Vouchers – you can pop down there, buy a book, check out the store and donate a voucher for our Christmas hampers! We’ll be highlighting a different business supporting us each week – so do keep an eye out for how and where you can donate this year.
Creative Cooking Classes for 11-15 year olds
Our fantastic partners at Waste2Taste, who are also part of the OX4 Free Food Crew, are beginning a new free 6 week course for 11-15 year olds to encourage the cooking of affordable, healthy meals whilst learning about vegetarian and vegan cooking. The course will take place on Wednesdays from 3.30-5.30pm starting on the 9th November at the wonderful Ark-T Centre in Cowley. To book a space, or for more info, contact email@example.com
Raid your cupboards
As Winter approaches and our stocks deplete, we’re ever more dependent on donations of tinned goods to ensure that our parcels contain and good and healthy variety of essential products. This week, we’re particularly in need of:
Dog food – https://tinyurl.com/2p8jh8mj
Nappies size 6 and 7- https://tinyurl.com/3mpejd5z
Tinned fruit – https://tinyurl.com/2n3m4but
Tinned tomatoes – https://tinyurl.com/2p86xyex
Tinned vegetables – https://tinyurl.com/5y27arhs
Keep Campsfield Closed
We want to continually express our solidarity with those threatened with immigration detention, and stand in support of the Coalian to Keep Campsfield Closed. For those who may not be aware, the Home Office announced plans earlier this year to reopen the immigration removal centre six miles north of Oxford, which house around 400 men who are seeking asylum in the UK. The coalition host zoom meetings on the first Tuesday of the month – which is upcoming this week. To find our more head to their website: https://keepcampsfieldclosed.uk/
Co-op community fund
Do you have a membership card with Co-op? If so, you can help us fund the rental of a community kitchen along with subsidised food ingredients, biodegradable food containers and to hire a chef and coordinator – which will mean hundreds more reheatable meals per week going to the most at-risk households across the City. If you think you’re able to help raise money for OMA whilst shopping with Co-op – head to https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/71665.
Every week we’re so touched to received kind-hearted and generous feedback which reminds us of what an amazing community we have built. The need is ever-present and growing, but so is the support and we know that together we will get through this.
Thank you to everyone who has donated everything from a few tins to a crateful – it all makes a difference and we couldn’t do it without you.