Magna Housing is supporting a volunteer-led community group in Dorchester that’s helping feed families in need during the summer holidays.

The housing association has donated £500 from its Community Improvement Fund to Dorchester Family Support, a charity that provides nutritious weekly food parcels to families with children who usually receive free school meals in term-time.

The group holds drop-in sessions at Thomas Hardye School during the school summer holidays. Families that have applied for the scheme through their children’s school can make an appointment to pick up a parcel to see them through the week.

Families can choose their own items, including fresh produce and packaged goods. The charity also provides special hampers at Christmas.

John Weir, treasurer of Dorchester Family Support, said:

“We started in 2012 helping just 12 families. We now help around 230 local families who come through the doors.

“Our aim is to end holiday hunger in the DT1 and DT2 postcode areas. We rely entirely on donations from local people, community groups and trusts.

“Our small team are all volunteers who give their time to raise funds and distribute the hampers. We have to buy all the food ourselves and arrange a delivery on the day from Tesco.

“We’re grateful to Magna for its donation, which will help feed families that usually rely on free school meals but are at risk of going hungry during the summer.”

Neil Bliss, customer and community support officer for Magna, said:

“The volunteers at Dorchester Family Support do a fantastic job helping make sure no families go without the essentials when the schools break up for the summer. Sadly, more families than ever in the local community need this support and we’re keen to help.”

To find out more about Dorchester Family Support, visit