We have summarized here the key government guidance as well as other useful resources for food businesses, charities, community groups as well as anyone keen to support them to get through this crisis. If you have any resources you think we should add, please let us know.
Always follow the latest guidance from the Government, NHS and Public Health England:
Support Local Farms and Food Businesses
Bitten Oxford are maintaining a list of food & drink deliveries and takeaways in Oxford on their blog.
Independent Oxford have come up with five great ideas for things we can all do to support local businesses, including buying vouchers instead of eating out and shopping online from local producers and local food delivery services.
Sustain have published an article on Five ways to support farmers in the time of COVID-19.
And the Oxford Mail calls businesses that want to be featured in #StillOpenInOxfordshire campaign to promote local businesses that are still open to get in touch.
Emergency Food Supply
We have updated the Oxfordshire Food Access Services database and map to cover all of Oxfordshire. What you can do to contribute:
- Add a new food access service
- Donate surplus food
- Access food from a foodbank, community fridge or other food distribution service
- Share the link to the map widely: goodfoodoxford.org/foodmap
Sustain have published a statement on emergency food access, asking whether food banks and other food aid providers serving the most vulnerable people in the UK may have to close due to the coronavirus lockdown. We are in constant conversation with the Oxfordshire Foodbank Forum and the local authorities about what is needed to ensure food access for all through this difficult period.
Use the hashtag #OxFoodShare on social media to highlight current needs and offers around food distribution across Oxfordshire.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many vulnerable people in Oxford needing support to get urgent supplies of food and medicine. In response, several community initiatives have been organised.
The new online portal Covid-19 Mutual Aid has a list of autonomous, self-organised local groups who have . Groups have their own local priorities and focus, and new groups are being added all the time. Oxford Mutual Aid has a group here and you can sign up through this form.
Update in May 2020: The Oxford Mutual Aid Kitchen Collective started distributing hot meals in collaboration with chefs and commercial kitchens. Read more
Oxford City Council has set up a city-wide series of Local Response Hubs to help those most in need with:
- Urgent supplies of medicine, food, or sanitisation for a baby or infant
- Picking up shopping
- Feeling lonely
- Connection to a support group
- Reminder call to take medicine
In order to get help for yourself or someone you are concerned about either call Oxford City Council on 01865 249 811 or complete this online form.
Oxfordshire’s Local Authorities have put together a practical infection control guidance for people in contact with vulnerable groups and/or people who are self-isolating. Download here and do contact your local Council’s Environmental Health Officers if you are in any doubt about your operations.
Support for Charities and Community Groups
- Advice, Information and Support across Oxfordshire for Voluntary/ Community Groups are available from OCVA.
- Good advice for volunteering from Volunteer Scotland
- A good example of a Covid-19 policy for a small charity can be found on the Oxford Gatehouse website here.
- CAG Oxfordshire have compiled a live document with advice for CAGs dealing with business implications of Covid-19
- Oxfordshire Community Foundation has launched a Coronavirus Resilience Fund for Oxfordshire. Read more
- The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership OxLEP have launched a new Covid-19 business resilience fund to support small businesses in Oxfordshire. The deadline for applications is 5th June 2020. Read more
- A number of Community Foundations and other organisations have launched funding programmes to assist local organisations in responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Read more
The Food Standards Agency published a guide on food safety for community cooking and foodbanks and Oxford City Council has guidance for foodbanks and community groups organising food distribution. Download the resource pack [zip file 1MB]
As part of the Resource Action Fund, DEFRA and WRAP have launched a £3.25m fund to support not-for-profit surplus food redistributor operating in England: COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant
Allotments and Community Gardens
Guidance for allotments on the Oxford and District Federation of Allotment Associations website
Farmers’ and Community Markets
While several farmers and community markets have had to shut temporarily, some are still operating. Please check your local market’s website or social media for updates. For market operators, Sustainable Food Cities have published a comprehensive digest of COVID-19 guidance for food markets. And Open Food Network have a useful checklist for moving your market online here.
Any markets who may be considering online orders/delivery services please contact the Farm Retail Association for a useful support pack.
FEA have launched a new LEAP: Small emergency loan programme, providing critical funds to the food sector during the Covid-19 crisis.
Resources for food retailers, restaurants, cafes and new delivery services
- Restaurants and pubs are now allowed to operate as hot food take-aways. Read more
- The Sustainable Restaurant Association have compiled a Guide to RE-Opening Restaurants Right after COVID-19.
- Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) COVID-19 guidance for food delivery and takeaway
- Based on the guidance provided by the main delivery platforms, the SRA has produced a six-step guide to safe and sustainable delivery.
- Made in Hackney have made a video with Things to Think About for COVID-19 Emergency Feeding Services
- NCASS have come up with a coronavirus business survival strategy for the catering trade.
- Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide by Serious Eats
If you are looking for new ways of organising online orders and deliveries for your food business efficiently, take a look at the open source sales software from Open Food Network UK.
Official guidance for all food businesses
- Government guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- Government guidance on which businesses can remain open
- Government collection on financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Government guidance on support for businesses
- Government guidance for food businesses. This includes links to the Food Standard Agency’s guidance on good hygiene practices in food preparation and their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) processes etc.
- Fire safety guidance from Oxfordshire County Council for businesses with special focus on Covid-19 response operations
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders.
The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has a dedicated page with guidance on COVID 19 including links to government support schemes for small and medium enterprises.