How it all works

Welcome to Cupboard Love (download leaflet containing information below)

[Food item donations can be dropped off at the back of St Mary’s Church in South Street]

There are times when we all need some form of support and help. Our aim in Cupboard Love is to help you with a hand up in difficult times. Cupboard Love is organised by St Mary’s Church and is staffed by volunteers. It is supported by donations of money and food from the churches, shops, businesses and lots of individuals from Bridport and beyond.

We have various people come into Cupboard Love needing a hand up, some are homeless, some are couples and some are families and we try to provide 3 days worth of food per person depending on their circumstances. We can only run because of donations and rely on a lot of goodwill from the community. We are governed by what we have in stock. There are and will be times when we cannot provide all that we hope to and we ask for your understanding if this occurs. The need of a homeless single person with no cooking facilities will be different to 2 adults and 2 children or a single-parent family. We can only provide for the number of people registered on your referral. e.g. if you have guests visiting we cannot provide for them.

Anyone can come to Cupboard Love and get one food parcel in an emergency. This can only happen once. Any revisit will need a referral from one of the 20 referral agencies listed at the end of this booklet. We are fortunate due to the generosity of the people in Bridport that we can provide six weeks of food before we need a re-referral. If you are on full benefits, it is unlikely that the agency will refer you as full benefits are deemed to be enough income to buy the food you need.

We are here to help when those benefits fail. If you are having issues with budgeting, or debt while on  benefits, CAB & the Credit union can help you.

Getting a referral:

We ask that you go to one of the agencies listed. The agency will ask you about your circumstances and why you need to access the food bank e.g. benefit changes, benefit sanctions, a salary gap or sudden change of circumstance. Once the agency has determined whether you need Cupboard Love they will inform us by phone call, email or by giving you a referral form to bring with you to Cupboard Love. The agency will inform us of the general situation you face but not the specific details, and approximately how long you will need our support for.

Cupboard Love is open between 11h30 and 12h30 every Wednesday.

After 12h30 we are open if you are late for any reason, but have little stock left and are checking stock for the following week. If we are shut on any Wednesday e.g. if a Wednesday falls between Christmas and New Year. We will ensure that we will give plenty of notice and try to give double the amount on the previous Wednesday.

How the System Works

When you arrive:

  1. Please go to the refreshment area and get a drink a cake or biscuit and a numbered ticket.
  2. Please take a seat, have a chat and go to the bread and treat table. Take the bread you need and take up to 3 treats.
  3. When your numbered ticket is called please go to the table. There they will ask you for your surname (If it is your first time please give them the referral form or say you have been referred).

You will be asked if you require fresh fruit and veg and then asked what items you require. Due to supply and demand while we may offer you an item at the table, we may not have it by the time you go to collect your parcel. We have to purchase, sugar, milk and meat products to meet demand. As you can appreciate, a single person will use a lot less sugar than a family, and so we need to limit the amount of sugar we give out. Depending on our supply situation we can only offer what we have, which is often rice or spaghetti rather than pasta or only porridge. If you are allergic or cannot eat a certain product we will of course try to provide alternatives for you.

  1. After you have stated your requirements please go to the collection table and hand your list over.
  2. Once you have received your parcel you are more than welcome to get another drink.

Our Rules:

We ask that you respect the volunteers who run Cupboard Love & other clients who attend.

We ask that you do not bring alcohol or drugs into the church. If you are under the influence of drink or drugs then we ask you that you send a representative. You can only be represented twice.

If your children accompany you please take responsibility for them. There is a children’s corner which they can play in but this is not a supervised area. The door to the church is constantly open and visitors to the church do come in and go. Please supervise your children and ensure that they do not leave the church without your knowledge. Children are welcome to explore the church, but please note the church does have hard floors and benches with sharp corners so we don’t recommend running about.

We cannot deliver food parcels, but if you have an appointment, or urgent need, we can leave the parcel in the church for you to collect later.

If possible please bring bags or a trolley to take your food parcel away.

We cannot swap products on the list as we have to supply a lot of people.

Referring Agencies for Cupboard Love

  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau
  • Exeter Drug Project (EDP)
  • Magna Housing
  • Social Services
  • Community Mental Health Team
  • Bridport Children’s Centre
  • St Mary’s Primary School
  • Bridport Primary School
  • St Catherine’s Primary School
  • The Sir John Colfox School
  • First Point
  • Chancery House
  • Health Visitors
  • Home Start
  • Moving On Group
  • Rethink
  • Probation Service
  • West Dorset Early Intervention Service
  • Youth Centre
  • Fire Service
  • Ambulance Service
  • GP’s
  • CADAS
  • Dorset Reclaim
  • Job Centre
  • Pilsdon Community
  • Bournemouth Churches Housing Association