It's a reality for some, but unimaginable for many.

The shocking situation of people needing free food every week is not a myth or engineered photo opportunity but a very real problem happening in communities across Dorset.

I've been very blessed in my life and thankfully not had to worry about money or where my next meal is coming from.

But volunteering at Winton Christadelphian Church at a food surplus giveaway, it was only then my eyes were opened to the plight faced by so many people across the country every day.

Rising food costs and energy bills so high people struggle to keep their homes warm mean many have become reliant on foodbanks and charity. 

Bournemouth Echo: Most of the fresh food put out goes by the end of the eventMost of the fresh food put out goes by the end of the event

The church in Wimborne Road hosts a twice-weekly event every Tuesday and Friday for those in need of food. Donations of food surplus are made by supermarkets and shops. 

An assortment of food, including fresh fruit and vegetables and cupboard essentials, is laid out on tables free for those in need.  

It’s an image you wouldn’t expect to see in modern Britain. 

But this is the reality the cost of living crisis is having on so many people in Bournemouth.  

Bournemouth Echo: All the food is donated by local supermarkets and shopsAll the food is donated by local supermarkets and shops

More than 65 people attended Friday’s event, and by the end most of the food, including homemade soup and pizza, had gone.  

Volunteers at the church make sure any food left over doesn’t go to waste – most of today's will go to feed horses. 

For many, a visit to the church isn’t only to fill their cupboards; it’s a chance to get out of the house and meet new friends.

One attendee told me: “I’ve made lots of friends here. We all see each other every week, often whilst waiting in the queue for hours.”

Bournemouth Echo: More than 65 people were there to get foodMore than 65 people were there to get food

The event has become a bit of a social event for those living below the breadline. As volunteer Mary Woodgate said, “People are whiling away two hours of their day, and it’s often the highlight of their week.” 

Read more: Long queues outside Bournemouth church for food giveaway

People get to know the volunteers well and they become friends. Volunteer Norman Stock said, “It could not be what it is without the volunteers. They are the heart of the whole thing.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Some of the volunteers at the church in WintonSome of the volunteers at the church in Winton

I left the church with my eyes opened up to a problem in Britain that is a lot worse than we think.