SOFEA's COVID-19 response
SOFEA's amazing team of staff, volunteers and trainees come from a broad range of backgrounds, many having faced barriers to employment themselves, to do the work which enables them to provide food to other organisations who, themselves, feed thousands of people each week.
Up until the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, SOFEA had been providing a weekly grocery supply through its Oxfordshire Community Larder to 700 individuals and families, feeding up to 2,000 people, as part of a low-fee membership which also provides additional support and discounts on things like utility bills.
In response to the current crisis, SOFEA took the decision to drop any membership fees and has increased the number of Larders from 7 to 23 in Oxfordshire, also increasing the total number of members to almost 3,000. Having planned to open its Larder network across the South Midlands over the next 6 months, the Covid-19 crisis has made the need for Community Larders in Milton Keynes immediately critical. As a result, these plans are being implemented throughout April, starting with the first South Midlands Larder at the MK Dons’ stadium and a further 15 rolling out in quick succession.
The loss of the £83,000 monthly membership income means that all of SOFEA's core staff and administrative costs are currently not being covered. These costs will rapidly deplete their cash reserves, which is why Ethex is asking people to make a donation to support the vitally important work that SOFEA is doing to support vulnerable people during the current crisis.