BCP Food Support Fund

DCF would like to thank BCP Council for providing the funds for this programme

BCP Food Support Fund

This Fund is now CLOSED. 

Who can apply

This funding programme is available to groups who meet DCF eligibility requirements and are delivering work that meets the below Fund guidelines.

We encourage groups to consider becoming members of the BCP Access to Food Partnership. The Access to Food Partnership works together across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to ensure that everyone can feed themselves and their family nutritious food all of the time. To learn more about the Access to Food Partnership go to www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/accesstofoodpartnership.


Organisations that can apply:

  • Registered Charities
  • Constituted Community and Voluntary Organisations
  • Community Interest Companies (must be limited by guarantee – please also check additional guidance for CICs in appendix 1 of our full grant-making policy here)
  • Social Enterprises (companies limited by guarantee that have a clear not-for-profit clause in their governing document and clear charitable or social objectives)

To be eligible the organisation must have:

  • At least 3 unrelated people responsible for running the organisation (for registered charities these are your Trustees, for CICs/Social Enterprises these are your Directors)
  • A written constitution or set of rules that sets out the purpose and management of the organisation
  • A bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two unrelated cheque signatories
  • An appropriate Safeguarding Policy


  • Schools are not eligible but we can fund PTA groups if they meet our eligibility guidelines
  • We cannot fund the promotion of religion or political causes
  • We cannot fund public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations
  • We cannot fund animal welfare organisations
  • We cannot offer retrospective funding for items already purchased or work completed
  • Organisations with more than 12 months’ unrestricted reserves are usually not funded


Grants will be awarded to groups addressing food insecurity by providing free or low cost food, meals, food vouchers or food skills initiatives, to BCP households. The aim is to give vulnerable households peace of mind by easing the burden of worrying about the next food bill.

Please note:

  • Grants for the provision of cash bursaries to individuals or families are not eligible
  • We will prioritise applications that help to fulfil previously unmet need without duplicating existing provision
  • There is no requirement for means testing to identify financial hardship but groups should describe their own approach to ensuring that beneficiaries are in need of support
  • Grants cannot be used to replicate or replace Free School Meals but families in receipt of Free School Meals are eligible as beneficiaries of funded services, where additional support is needed
  • Groups should describe how the service will compliment any existing food provision and demonstrate they are connected with other organisations serving the community, to ensure services are joined up
  • Where possible, groups should make beneficiaries aware of support available from Citizens Advice which includes:
    • fuel poverty advice and access to grants
    • benefits checks and support with applications and appeals
    • access to funds for the purchase of essential household items providing access to food e.g. white goods and cookers
  • Households in need of the above support should contact Citizens Advice BCP

What can I apply for

Grants of up to £10,000 are available. The grant period will be 4 months only (July – October).

The grant can be used to support:

  • households with children (age 18 and under)
  • pensioners (age 65+)
  • other vulnerable households (including individuals)

There is a particular interest in applications supporting pensioners (age 65+). We don’t expect all applicants to be working with this age group but if you are able to include them this would be welcome. Groups will be asked to report on the number of households supported in each category in their End of Grant report.

You can use the grant to:

  • Provide free or low cost food items, food parcels or food vouchers
  • Provide skills and learning that support people to access food e.g. teaching food preparation and cooking (including cost of cooking equipment at training venue or for beneficiaries to use at home)
  • Provide free or low cost fresh or frozen meals for use at home
  • Provide free or low cost meals in a community setting (including transport costs to access community meals)

We can support all costs associated with providing the above including perishable and non-perishable goods, capital costs and equipment (e.g. additional food storage for your organisation), staff and volunteer costs, administrative costs, reasonable contribution to organisation overheads/core costs.

We welcome partnership bids from two or more groups co-delivering a project or to share a capital item.

Monitoring & reporting

  • Grants must be fully spent by 30th September 2022 – this can include expenditure allocated in advance for activities to take place during October half-term (ending October 30th)
  • Due to government reporting deadlines, you will be asked to submit an online End of Grant by 16th October 2022 to include estimated data for the final two weeks of the grant period
  • Extensions cannot be offered and unspent funds must be returned to DCF

Pre-application support

Pre-application support is particularly encouraged for groups who have not applied to our grant programmes before but is available for anyone in need of advice about the application process, or if you are unsure whether your project/activity is suitable. Please email our Grants Manager to arrange a 20 minute phone call.

Please also contact us if you need the application form in an alternative format.

How to apply

This Fund is now closed for applications

You will need to attach the following supporting documents to your online application (or send them via email) UNLESS you have already sent these documents in the last 12 months

  • A copy of your governing document, if not registered at Companies House /Charity Commission
  • A copy of a recent bank statement no more than 3 months old
  • A copy of your latest annual accounts, or in the case of new groups, please send a financial forecast or budget for your first year if you have one
  • Your Safeguarding policy and Equality & Diversity policy *our guidance notes may be helpful


* For support with policy development or reviews we recommend you contact one of the local support agencies for voluntary sector groups – Community Action Network offers free support to groups across the county of Dorset, and low cost training & events. Dorset Community Action  provides support to groups in the Dorset Council area.

Safeguarding policy – there are helpful online resources such as the Charity Commission’s guidance on Safeguarding and the NSPCC website. New groups or those without any current policy may find it helpful to watch this short video ‘Safeguarding adults in the voluntary sector’  introducing what Safeguarding is and why it is relevant for all voluntary sector groups, no matter how small or who you are working with.

We also recommend groups consider adding their details to the helpandkindness website, which provides a map of services in Dorset to help people find local support when they need it.

Equality & Diversity policy – we recommend this should include as a minimum: reference to the Equality Act 2010 and explicitly covering all protected characteristics, equal access to services & employment and ways you achieve this, preventing harassment or discrimination and how complaints are dealt with fairly.

In order for us to follow our decision-making process, the information given in your application will be shared with our independent panel members and/or donors as appropriate. Panel members are subject to a confidentiality agreement. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information on data sharing and storage.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone