Unequal access to nutritious food is proven to have a direct bearing on a person’s health and general well-being.
In a report called Feeding the Gaps, which sets out the findings of a project researching food poverty in Oxford, it has become evident that the demand for emergency food aid across the city has been rising. Oxford City Council believes that addressing these inequalities in an organised and sustainable way is of critical importance and is committed to working with and supporting partners to achieve this.
As part of the campaign to tackle food poverty, Oxford City Council, Feeding The Gaps and Good Food Oxford have collaborated to create a map and database of services providing free or subsidised food within Oxford.
Fortunately, there are many fantastic projects in Oxford working to tackle food poverty, and others working to redistribute food surplus throughout the city. However, previous research has indicated that people do not always know where to go for help. Although a range of support is currently available, the services have different opening times and some have specific criteria that people must meet to access them.
This new database project will provide people with the information that they need to get the right help. The database will also be a valuable resource for key workers in Oxford as it will enable them to give up-to-date food advice to people they are working with.
The map provides a visual way of looking at the services and lets users easily search for local services depending on the location, type of service required and whether they are open access or you need to be referred. Further details for each service can be found by clicking on the pointers on the map.
Those who would like more detailed information can access the full database and can also search for services using other criteria (e.g. to find what services also provide support groups, computer services, etc.)
Councillor Dee Sinclair, Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “The City Council is very pleased to have collaborated with Good Food Oxford and Feeding the Gaps to develop this Database and Map. Not only will it make it easier for people to access the food services they need but it will also help us to monitor the take up of services and identify any gaps that there might be in services.”
Jade Neville, Project Coordinator at Feeding the Gaps said “We’re so pleased this project has come to fruition. One of the key findings from the Feeding Gaps Report was that better signposting is needed for the food services in Oxford. From community cupboards, to food banks to low cost cafes, there are so many brilliant projects helping people eat healthily and affordably in Oxford. But with so much going on and different eligibility criteria for different projects, it’s easy for people to miss out. The funding and support we’ve received from Oxford City Council has enabled us to address this need and create and monitor these resources.”
Hannah Jacobs, Network Coordinator at Good Food Oxford, said “We are very happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Feeding the Gaps and Oxford City Council on this project. We recently ran a workshop on food poverty at Barton Neighbourhood Centre, which was attended by many frontline service providers, e.g. health visitors. One of the key messages the attendees highlighted was that they would benefit from a resource to help them signpost clients to different food services in Oxford. It’s fantastic that this resource now exits.”