If you’re in southwest England and are looking for food banks, this post will help. Below we’ve featured 10 top food banks in Dorset.
The Bournemouth Food Bank was started by local churches and residents in 2008 with one mission: to tackle food poverty in Bournemouth. With support from The Trussell Trust, they have made great strides in doing just that. Recipients are required to secure a referral from a professional agency, but once established with the bank, they are eligible for six separate distributions of 3-day food supplies during a 6-month period.
Volunteers in Bournemouth established Hope for Food to tackle homelessness and food poverty in the area. In addition to a food pantry where they provide emergency food allotments to those with a referral, they operate a soup kitchen. Community members can visit the pantry once per month and the soup kitchen twice weekly to share a community meal and retrieve other amenities for their household.
Jimmy’s Place is also known as the Poole Food Bank. It was created by members of the St. James Church as a community outreach determined to help the homeless and hungry in Poole. In addition to providing non-perishable food parcels to those referred by an agency, they offer cooking classes to teach recipients how to prepare healthy, low-cost meals. Those who lack shelter can retrieve to-go bags of ready-to-eat meals.
4. Poole Pantry
Poole Pantry was established by members of the congregation at the Parkstone United Reformed Church as an outreach program meant to combat hunger in the larger Poole community. They provide bags of non-perishable food items to all who express a need for supplemental food items. The pantry is open three days each week and offers recipients a chance to join church members for a cuppa and a short prayer session before opening.
Founded by members of The Old Chapel in Christchurch, this food bank offers a lot when it comes to fighting food poverty. The food bank provides emergency food parcels, including non-perishable and perishable food items. It also operates a school backpack program for kids in need, hot meals for the homeless, regular community meals open to all and acts as a drop-in for those who need a place to go where they can have a hot cuppa and relax.
The People’s Pantry in Christchurch was founded in 2006 as a drop-in centre for underprivileged youth. Since then, it has expanded to offer help to families rather than just the children. The pantry offers weekly community meals and a low-cost grocery hub. There is no cost to join. Once a membership form is completed, shoppers can purchase a limited number of groceries for a small flat fee on a weekly basis.
7. The Centre
The Dorset Council operates the Centre in Ferndown as a non-profit organisation. The various charities at The Centre include a food bank that distributes non-perishable food items to community members suffering from food insecurity. There is also a reception area that offers free coffee where recipients can wait for their food distribution or drop in for a while to relax and converse with others.
If you are hungry in Wimborne Minster, find your way to the Wimborne Food Bank. The volunteers at this charity are well prepared to help in various ways. They offer a school holiday food program, food kits that include recipes and the items needed to prepare a meal from them, and more significant food distributions meant to last a family for a few days. The staff at the food bank also works with recipients to find longer-term solutions to improve their financial standing.
The Blandford Food Bank in Blandford Forum was formed by local volunteers seeking to end hunger in their community. The food bank is open several days per week to provide food parcels that include non-perishable items, fruit, vegetables and bread when available. There is also a soup kitchen that offers hot or cold drinks, hot meals and snacks to those unable to prepare meals for themselves due to homelessness or other hardships.
The Gillingham Street Angels were formed in 2018 by a group of friends who recognized the growing issue of homelessness and food poverty in Gillingham. The food bank is open six days per week to distribute supplemental food items to all in need. They also operate a low-cost café that is open seven days a week to provide affordable meals to the public. The income from meal purchases helps support the charity. Water refills are offered at no cost at either location.