Oxfordshire's ninth Pumpkin Festival is in full flow, urging residents to squash food waste. There's a warm welcome to the new GFO Directors, an invitation to join GFO's new #FoodSupportOxfordshire campaign in response to the rising cost of living, and, of course the regular network news and events.
The ninth Oxfordshire Pumpkin Festival begins
Do you want to know a scary fact? Every year enough pumpkins are wasted to make a bowl of pumpkin soup for everyone in Britain. To put another way, of the 35 million pumpkins that will be bought this year a whopping 14.5 million are expected to go to waste.
Good Food Oxfordshire want to help put a stop to this waste, and invite everyone to participate in the ninth Oxfordshire Pumpkin Festival, running from 21st October to 6th November. The festival kicked off last week with festivities running at Oxford City Farm, Earth Trust, Cherwell Collective and Mill Lane Community Gardens.
See the fullfestival programme, and if you're interested in running your own pumpkin event before 6th November it's not too late! You can also sign up your event.
If you are a community group or charity you can apply for amini grant of up to £50 for your event or activity.
Read why we think the festival is importanton our blogand don't forget to share your activities on social media with @goodfoodoxford and:
#EatYourPumpkin #PumpkinRescue #VegPlacesOxon
Join our #FoodSupportOxfordshire campaign
The latest figures from consumer watchdog Which? show that increasing numbers of households are struggling with the financial impact of the rising cost of living. The research shows an estimated 12.4 million households have had to cut back on essentials to make ends meet – for example by buying fewer groceries, medicines and school supplies and reducing their energy, water and telephone usage.
In response to this crisis, Good Food Oxfordshire launched a #FoodSupportOxfordshire campaign at the start of October, to help increase awareness of the crisis, to share tips and resources for eating on a budget, to promote and signpost where to find affordable and nutritious food and to share wider campaigns which call for change.
You can read our blog on the campaign and find out what resources are available, or follow our social media channels and look out for the #FoodSupportOxfordshire hashtag.
Welcoming the new GFO Directors
We are pleased to welcome in three new non-executive Directors to GFO. Susan Thomas is head of sustainability at Asda; Veronica Barry has just completed a PhD exploring links between urban food systems, public health and planning; and Madeleine Bastawrous is a doctor, specialising in Paediatrics with a passion for child and family Public Health.
Read their full personal profiles and what they will bring to GFO on our latest blog and join us in welcoming them to Good Food Oxfordshire.
Good Food Grapevine: Food News
Cherwell Collective have been busy gleaning surplus apples around Oxfordshire, in preparation for an exciting collaboration with Wonky Food Company and GFO. Watch this space for a limited edition 'Community Chutney' made from surplus apples. Hitting the shelves soon!
There were tonnes of great activities as part of the Oxfordshire Great Big Green Week; apple pressing with Abundance Oxford in Bonn Square and a litter pick with Marston Community Gardening. Save the date for next year's GBGW in June 2023!
Do you want to be a food grower but don't know where to start? Edge Landscaping are offering a 20 week training, all abilities welcome.
Replenish Oxford have some handy pumpkin storing and eating tips and resources for this time of year when pumpkins are readily available.
Welcome to the most recent new GFO network member: Oxfordshire Community Foundation is pledging to publicise the work of Oxfordshire's charitable sector and the support available to reduce food insecurity and poverty.
In the face of the soaring cost of living, the Feed the Future campaign calls on Government to immediately raise the eligibility threshold for Free School Meals so that all children living in poverty can benefit.
It is just England’s school meal eligibility threshold - Scotland and Wales are introducing free school meals for ALL children at primary level and Northern Ireland’s eligibility threshold is twice that of England’s (£14,000 pre-benefits).
The cost-of-living crisis is impacting families in many ways including food shopping with 49% of families on lower household incomes buying fewer fresh vegetables recently. To support families during these challenging times, Veg Power has launched a new campaign ‘Simply Veg’ which aims to make it as easy as possible to navigate the cost-of-living crisis by serving affordable as well as sustainable and healthy veg-packed meals that families will love. More information at www.simplyveg.org.uk.
With food inflation reaching 13.1% and 7.3 million adults already experiencing food insecurity. many food partnerships are planning for an anxious winter ahead. The webinar will look at practical and innovative examples from across the network and how they are bridging local and national action.