The Whanganui Koha Shed had to close this week after a big pile of household rubbish was dumped on its doorstep.
Manager Sherron Sunnex and volunteer workers arrived at the Duncan St premises yesterday morning to find the heap of unusable items blocking the doorway.
"This amount of rubbish costs us around $250 to take to the transfer station."
Sunnex said the money would have to come from funds raised to help families.
"Effectively that's five families we would not be able to help with food."
She said the Koha Shed would have to close for a day while the rubbish was cleared and dumped because it was already short staffed this week.
The charity is in the process of installing security lights and cameras that will capture images of intruders and send them to staff members' phones.
"Be aware that anyone seen dumping can expect to be tracked down and their rubbish returned.
"They will also receive a trespass notice."
The Koha Shed hopes to reopen tomorrow, October 31, and Sunnex said she wished to apologise to people who could not visit earlier.
"It's the few who spoil it for the rest," she said.
The Koha Shed is usually open at 88 Duncan St, Whanganui East from 10am to 3pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.