COVID-19 Updates and our food bank operation

23rd March 2020

We wanted to post a longer update than social media generally allows to answer a lot of the common questions we are getting recently. There is a lot of information on this website as to how we operate, but the big points we would like to highlight for you during the coronavirus outbreak are below – please pass this along, and of course follow us on social media for more regular updates!

  1. Thank you for financial donations, but we are having just as much problem getting food stock as the general public. Donations of food items is most helpful for us just now – do check out our most needed items updated weekly.
  2. We take long-life tinned and non-perishable foods only. We do not take damaged or out-of-date items, fresh produce or baked goods, or home-made food.
  3. We do not deliver. If you cannot come to collect a food parcel, please contact local volunteer groups that are popping up to help run errands for locals. We can provide more information on these as we find out who they are and add web links here and on social media.
  4. Our food parcels are exchanged for our vouchers which are provided by a network of local referral agencies. We do not determine ‘need’ directly. Please do not show up to collect a parcel without a voucher. Our focus is providing food to those in crisis who could not otherwise afford food. We do not give out parcels because food is unavailable or in low supply in a local areas/shops.
  5. We have scaled back and streamlined our collection process and opening hours to follow government advice on social distancing to ensure as little close contact between individuals as possible.

It is also worth a reminder that we are a fully 100% volunteer charity, not a government organisation, and we also need to make sure our volunteers are not put at risk; we will continue to follow government guidelines as they are updated.

Again, thank you to the whole community for your support, and we will endeavour to stay operating as long as possible.

The Trustees, Witney & West Oxfordshire Food Bank

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