Small shop, Big heart
The BV Magazine Podcast, Small shop, big heart - the stories behind the scene at The Vale Pantry in Sturminster Newton...
Published on: 18th May 2023
The Vale Pantry, a social supermarket providing affordable and nutritious food to individuals and families living in North Dorset.
A Registered Charity 1196306
Our Mission is to provide food, resources and services to any individual or family facing food insecurity. We value the dignity of all individuals and work to strive to promote their independence.
The Vale Pantry was set up in 2020 following a need identified through the local GP surgery, The Blackmore Vale Partnership. Run entirely with volunteers the Pantry offers memberships to any family who struggle financially and who have had to cut back on food in order to try and make ends meet. Members of the Pantry may visit once a week and pay £6 on each visit before choosing the food they would like for the week ahead. The variety of foods available include fresh fruit & veg, chilled and frozen produce including meats, fish, cheese etc., and store cupboard essentials. A typical weekly shop taken home is worth in the region of £25 - £50.
We are a social supermarket or a community food store which complements other services such as food banks in the wider area, meeting needs at a different point. While food banks support the crisis, The Vale Pantry looks to support the long journey to help families and households get back on their feet. Some people stay with us for just a short while, others, due to their circumstances need us for the longer term. Our aim is to help people back on their feet through a variety of interventions, - we call this a hand up, not a hand out!
To become a member click on this link, please ensure you open the drop-down box and choose Dorset the Vale. Alternatively e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 07968 348481
“I am writing to thank you all for your support and kindness and especially the happy welcome we all receive every shop day! This service is truly a huge help to my family.”
TS, Member of the Pantry
“You know what, I think I can fly solo now. I'll never be able to thank "you" your wonderful volunteers and the generosity of local businesses who support your cause, enough. Thank you so very much each and every one of you.
You were there when I needed a bit of help, at a time when I was struggling to keep my business afloat and fridge full. Bright blessings to you all.”
JR Ex Member of the Pantry
“Hi Carole, just wanted to drop you a message to say a massive thank you to you and all your helpers!!! Harry loved his game and loves coming to see you in particular, he was sad he didn't see you the last 2 visit's!!! He was made up today and told Daddy and Nanny F that he also got a lollipop and blueberries!! ðŸ’™”
SE Member of the Pantry
"It is hard to find the words to thank you and all at the Pantry for the continuing to get me through a very hard and stressful time. I don’t think everyone realises the Pantry is not a “foodbank” it is so much more it IS a community of caring people helping others who are down on their luck financially and mentally No matter what faith belief or religion.
It a place to get advice and help with so many social issues its where you know at least once a week you will see people who are pleased to see you and not just full of platitudes and fake smiles They go the extra mile to help the less fortunate. I just wish every town or village in the UK had one like it we would then have a much happier healthier country. I hope everyone who has visited THE PANTRY will offer up a prayer of thanks to Carol and all the superb helpers at the Pantry"
TH Member of the Pantry
You all do a great job and are very kind and caring. You have made a huge difference in our lives since we met you all, not only for food but for the friendship you have shown us. And support you have shown us. I can honestly say I look forward to coming to the pantry once a week to see you and feel surrounded by caring people.
T&SH Members of the Pantry
Thank you to the Vale Pantry and those who volunteer and donate to this amazing charity. Without you I would struggle to feed myself and my amazing children due to an ongoing personal situation. What I can tell you is that things are looking up after the help from citizens advice, who may I add that the vale pantry helped me with and I’m almost there to hopefully help out at the pantry once my children go to school full time.
LY Member of the Pantry