An Introduction to Community Food Memberships (CFMs)

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An essential aspect of the food distribution conducted by SOFEA centres around our Community Food Memberships. CFMs help us to support over 200 local community groups across the Thames Valley and South Midlands, which in turn, assist in supporting vulnerable individuals and families who are experiencing food insecurity.

If you’re an organisation that helps give food to others, the information below should help you to understand what a SOFEA CFM entails and if it would be of use to your beneficiaries.


How do CFMs work?

To start receiving food from SOFEA, you first need to contact us so we can begin setting up your monthly subscription. Once we have your contact information, you can begin selecting what food you want from our online stock list.


Where does the food come from?

Most of the surplus food we receive arrives from major supermarkets and suppliers, but it can also come directly from producers. A build-up of surplus food can be caused by several factors, including incorrect forecasting, deleted product lines and the clearing of seasonal stock.


What types of food can we receive?

SOFEA maintains a varied stock of ambient foods, fruit and vegetables, as well as chilled and frozen items. To receive chilled and frozen food from us, you must first:

– Be registered with Environmental Health

– At least one staff member must hold a Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate

– Submit to a food safety check on behalf of FareShare UK


How much does a CFM cost?

The minimum subscription fee is £90/month for 50kg of food, although there is no upper limit on how much food you can select. Our fee covers the costs of sourcing, distribution and administration, which essentially makes the food free.

Above: A randomised 50kg selection of ambient food.

While ordering more food from us will increase the fee, our subscription model ensures that you’ll always save money. On average, our beneficiaries save £152 through their CFMs. The tables below gives a complete breakdown of our Membership Tiers, Food Volume and Service Charge.

Is the membership flexible?

While most of the organisations we distribute food to pay in monthly instalments, there’s no minimum time commitment. If your circumstances change, or if you no longer wish to be a CFM, we ask for a week’s notice so that we can make the necessary arrangements to cancel or suspend your account. If the Membership Tiers don’t fit your needs, please contact our Community Food Manager so they can be adjusted to fit your requirements.


Regulatory Compliance

The food we handle and distribute fully complies with HACCP Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point regulations and is fully traceable through the Gladys programme. We adhere to the highest standards of food safety and hygiene, as well as abiding by all relevant Covid-19 guidelines.


Key benefits of a CFM

– Regular food deliveries

– Online access to the Gladys programme to request food

– Significant financial savings on food costs

– Environmental benefits of reducing food waste


Find out more and apply

You can visit our website to learn more about Community Food Memberships, or you can contact our sites:

Didcot Depot: 03300 888688

Andy Millin, Warehouse Manager: (07949534885)

Grant Gilland, Stock Manager:


Milton Keynes Depot: 01908 366122

Sam Hayden, Warehouse Manager:

Jesse Gray, Head of Operations and Employability:


Helen Calkin, Compliance Manager:


Finance Team:

Ei-lin Khaing, Finance Manager:

Maria Turner, Bookkeeper/HR Assistant:

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