Foodbank feeding nearly 2,000 people

A hunger-free future is the ambition of the Trussell Trust, which provides emergency food and dignified support from its 1,200 food bank centres to people locked in food poverty.

Gillingham Foodbank supports people from Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton, Stalbridge, Wincanton, Mere and the surrounding villages. Already this year the foodbank has seen almost a 100 per cent increase in people needing food parcels compared to the same time in 2020.

In 2019, 1,038 adults and 603 children were fed with help from Gillingham Foodbank. Last year the charity distributed 31,565kg of food to 779 emergency referrals, helping feed 1,182 adults and 790 children for three days – an increase of 331 people and 6.4 tonnes of food.
One couple were forced to turn to Gillingham Foodbank after their work in the hospitality sector dried up with following the first lockdown.

“Our first step was to reassure them that they had come to the right place and that it was a privilege to help them,” said a Gillingham Foodbank spokesman. “Not only were we were able to give them a generous amount of non- perishable food to feed their family for the next few days, but recent funding enabled us to provide a voucher for them to spend at the local butcher. After further chatting they revealed that they had been unable to heat their home for the last week. This funding enabled us to put money on their meter. We gave them assurance that they could return for more help if they needed it and they felt could face the future. Armed also with a ‘bonus extra’ hamper of Christmas goodies, they left us with smiles on their faces.”

Feeding people in crisis would be impossible without the support from the communities, volunteers and generous donations.
The spokesman said: “So please do remember the foodbank as you do your weekly shop. Most of our supermarkets in the Blackmore Vale and surrounding areas have food donation points near to the checkouts.”

If you would like to find out more about the work of Gillingham Food Bank go to or email

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