Storm Christoph may have been raging, but it takes more than some wind and rain to deter our hardy team. 32 GoodGymers wrapped up in waterproofs and turned up at Oxford Mutual Aid at staggered start times to help get food and other essentials to 53 people around Oxford. We packed 38 parcels for regular recipients and 4 Emergency Parcels to tide people over a hungry period. Delivering in pairs (pears?!) proved extremely efficient, or maybe the filthy weather was an incentive to walk fast; either way everything was delivered in record time.
Although many foodbanks stick to tins and dry food, Oxford Mutual Aid have teamed up with SOFEA and Oxford Foodbank and are sent regular deliveries of fresh, unprocessed food. This means that food parcel contents vary each week, we are more likely to be able to meet the recipients dietary requirements/preferences, and hopefully people don't get bored of eating the same foods every week. After the tofu mountain last week, this week's glut was of pears, root vegetables (perfect for winter soups and stews), and tenderstem broccoli. We were also pleased to have lots of bunches of daffodils to add to the essentials - a welcome reminder that spring is on it's way, and something cheery to brighten up this tricky lockdown winter.
Many of the regular food recipients do not have cooking facilities beyond a kettle and microwave (some only have access to a kettle), so the OMA Kitchen Collective reheatable meals are vital. This week we were able to supply several portions of Cottage Pie courtesy of Rogan Chef Services - chef Diarmuid Rogan cooked up cottage pie from meat and vegetables which would otherwise have gone to waste last week. Waste not want not!
This winter lockdown is proving difficult financially and emotionally for so many people. GoodGymers are in no way immune from the difficulties of this time, and continuing to volunteer has provided structure and positivity to our weeks.
Great work again team.
We're now into our 4th consecutive month of Wednesdays at Oxford Mutual Aid. It's proved to be a valuable partnership for us and provided crucial extra help for Oxford Mutual Aid through this COVID lockdown winter. It has kept us busy and connected with each other, and enabled Oxford Mutual Aid reach more people with deliveries of food and other essentials.
We will stagger your arrival times at the hall, and you will receive an email on Wednesday (around lunchtime) to let you whether to arrive at 6pm or 6:15pm.
This 6pm task will be delivering food parcels within walking distance of Richard Benson Hall. We will divide into small groups to deliver in different areas. No-one will be asked to deliver on their own.
Please wear a mask when you arrive at the hall to collect the food parcels and when you drop them off with the recipient.
Sarah has got Strava connected. Strava is a great way to track your progress.