The Beginning

The Buckingham Emergency Food Appeal began at Christmas of 1985 when we took our children to the theatre in London and saw the homeless sleeping under Waterloo Bridge. We found out that  Crisis at Christmas was providing a Christmas dinner and shelter for homeless people and we as a family volunteered to help them over Christmas. About two weeks before Christmas I called Crisis and said “We’re farmers. Would you like us to bring any food ?”. That’s how it all started. That first Christmas we collected £750 worth of food, put it on a small lorry and took it with us to London for Christmas dinner. We’ve been doing it ever since”.

Mike Buckingham  (founder) on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme, 7 December 1997


In the last twelve months, BEFA has supplied more front line charities with food than ever before.

We anticipate that this trend will continue as our charities struggle with rising food prices and increasing numbers of clients and residents.

The BEFA team will continue to provide good quality, healthy food and, with the help of our donors, we will maintain our policy of providing food free of charge.

In the 38 years since Mike Buckingham and his family began our charity, we have seen continuous growth against a background of rapid change. However, we are determined that BEFA will always reflect the principles established by Mike.