About The Vale Pantry

About The Vale Pantry

The Vale Pantry is a social supermarket that helps families or individuals who struggle financially and who face food insecurity, based in Sturminster Newton but open to anyone living in North Dorset. We run entirely with volunteers and rely on the goodwill of the local community and businesses to fund the food we purchase each week.

Unlike a Food Bank, those who use our Pantry pay a small membership on each visit and then choose the food they would like. Our range includes a whole range of fresh meats, poultry, dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables plus shelves full of family staples. The average shop carried out tends to be worth in the region of £40 or more so is a tremendous help and an absolute life saver to so many of our families. We operate a simple to follow structure in that everything in the Pantry is either Red, Green or Free. Red items tend to be the more expensive items such as meats and each member of the Pantry can choose 2 x Red items.  Green items are tins, packets etc, and members can choose any 12 items. Free items include: Fruit & Vegetables, Bread, Sanitary products, Nappies and Formula (when available).

In addition to providing food, we can help in a number of ways to help address the underlying issues of food poverty. We can signpost you to an advisor with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau within 48 hours an they will be able to help with benefits, debt, legal queries and much more. We are also able to help with a number of agencies and sign post to further help available.  We urge any member to allow us to ask the CAB to check eligibility and to challenge and appeal any unsuccesful applications when previous decisions may have not been correct.

Whether the Pantry is needed for the short term to get through a crisis, or for the longer term we are pleased to help.

We are pleased to launch the 'Pantry on Tour' a mobile service specifically aimed at theose who are not able to come to us.  We cover North Dorset, and a small part of Somerset, going into Henstridge.  Where possible we really do want our members to come into our shop where you can choose everything needed, and of course, enjoy some social interaction! However, we appreciate that at times of illness, or through disability - or perhaps lack of funds in terms of fuel it may well be that coming in is difficult - so when we can - we come to you!

Sometimes we do so much more than just food!

The food is great, lots of choice, plenty of fresh fruit, veg, meats and dairy, but when we understand a little more about what is going on in your life - we may be able to offer additional help.  We can offer our own dedicated Citizen's Advisor for a one to one appointment with you.  Whether you are concerned about benefits, debt, housing, forms that you need help with, legal matters or whatever - we can help.  We are sometimes able to access funding streams for crisis goods needed. Our own private Member's Facebook Site is a great place to share, swap and help each other - sometimes with ideas, sometimes with goods, - but always with plenty of banter!

Our children's cookery workshops take place each school holiday whereby your children will cook lunch and you'll all eat together afterwards, it's a great opportunity to sit back and have a natter.  Very often you'll find young one's eating a new food, trying something different - always with plenty of fun and laughter!










We are very proud of the impact we make at the Vale Pantry, and to see a copy of our most recent Social Impact Report, please just click through!