Cargo bikes are now delivering food parcels across Oxford. This is part of a new scheme called “Bike Aid” to reduce carbon emissions and speed up deliveries.
Oxford Mutual Aid delivers nearly 500 food and other essential supplies parcels per week. Roughly 25 percent of these are emergency food parcels, requests for which have been growing steadily. Even with two electric vans, Oxford Mutual Aid were struggling to keep pace with demand.
Oxford Mutual Aid is committed to reducing carbon emissions wherever possible, alongside the 5 tonnes of would-be food waste that is saved every week from going to waste.
For 5 days per week, a dedicated Pedal and Post rider on an electric cargo bike now delivers Oxford Mutual Aid food parcels.
The new service was made possible partly by funding from Oxfordshire County Council Alliance members, using their councillor community grant fund, matched by Pedal & Post.
Using the Pedal and Post bike delivery service already saves Oxford Mutual Aid roughly 5 car journeys per day, often delivering over 15 emergency parcels as well as 2-3 food surplus collections/re-distributions. The number of saved journeys will increase as the scheme expands.
Chris Benton, founder of Pedal and Post said “We are delighted to have been able to assist Oxford Mutual Aid in collecting food surplus at various places around Oxford and then distributing parcels by bike. We look forward to expanding on this with further charities in the future as well and being able to match fund this project is a great way for us to be able to start to give back and support our community in Oxford"
As part of our partnership with Pedal and Post, Oxford Mutual Aid has also helped many other food aid organizations and also some of the community food larders in Oxford.
Oxford Mutual Aid do fantastic work to support vulnerable people, if you can, please do donate to them here either as a one off or monthly subscription to support those in need in Oxford: DONATE TODAY
Muireann Meehan Speed, Director of Oxford Mutual Aid said. “We believe sharing resources is important; collaboration is at the heart of what we do and food isn’t then wasted. This is food we have been offered in the past that we really need, but often could not respond to because of the quick turnaround required by the supplier. However with the amazing Pedal & Post team on board, we have yet to miss one surplus offer!"
Cllr Sally Povolotsky said by teaming up with Pedal and Post alongside some councillor priority funding, “ elected members are pleased to have helped fund this scheme to ensure food isn’t wasted and is delivered by bike to families that need emergency food aid”.
Cllr Dan Levy said "this is a fantastic service that I am pleased to support - and on top of that it shows how well goods can be distributed in a town or city by cargo bike rather than by motor vehicle"
Phil the dedicated rider from Pedal and Post said "I have had the privilege of working with Oxford Mutual Aid, it has been such an enriching experience helping provide this vitally important service for all in the community. Phil and the big eTrike of Pedal & Posts he rides has already delivered parcels to 402 adults (aged 13 and above) 138 children (aged between 5 and 12) and 40 babies (aged between 0 and 4) since the service started earlier in January 2022. That is essential crisis support for 211 households.