Tackling food poverty

Over £40,000 allocated to local community groups to help households tackle food poverty

West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) has distributed £41,450 of funding to 12 community groups supporting residents facing financial barriers in accessing food and other essentials due to the rising cost of living.  

Giles Hughes, Chief Executive Officer for West Oxfordshire District Council, said, “With many members of our communities facing food barriers in these challenging times, the work undertaken by our local community support groups is more important than ever.  

“These organisations depend heavily on volunteers who work tirelessly to support their communities, in addition to donations from the public, local supermarkets, and suppliers. However, the cost of living crisis has meant a substantial decrease in donations, and demand for their services to increase. 

“In light of these challenges and our commitment to tackling food poverty and associated health issues, the funding we have allocated aims to help organisations within the West Oxfordshire Community Food Network, such as food banks, community fridges, and larders, to continue their vital work.” 

The funding originates from the Council’s Household Support fund allocation, intended to help households struggling to afford food and meet essential living costs. It will serve various purposes for organisations, including covering operational costs, providing essential equipment to ensure services can continue to run efficiently, and offering food support such as emergency food parcels and affordable cooking options like slow cookers.  

Mick Morris, Chair of Witney and West Oxfordshire Foodbank, said, “At a time when demand for our services is approximately 30% greater than this time last year, this grant funding is very welcome.  

“We need longer term solutions that address the continued issues of poverty, hunger and hardship, not only in West Oxfordshire, but throughout the country. The funding from WODC helps a lot in the short term. Thank you, from the trustees and all our volunteers!” 

Emma Kennedy, CEO of The Branch in Chipping Norton, also said, “During covid we discovered the power of food, both engaging with those where there is food deprivation, and also the young, equipping them with budgeting and cookery skills that they can then take back into their homes and inspire their whole family.  

“We have partnered with the local Secondary School, focusing on young people struggling to re-enter full time schooling post covid. With this additional funding from WODC, we will be able to extend this programme and offer healthy-meals-on-a-budget sessions to whole families, and also offer community meals.”  

Residents can access information on their nearest Community Food Support from Good Food Oxfordshire’s Food Access Map and our website

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]