Feeding needy new families
Anew charity has begun helping put meals on the table for new mums in need in Porirua.
Bellyful Porirua brings together teams of volunteers to cook family meals that are delivered to mums with newborns who need a helping hand.
The team plans to run a Friday and a Saturday group cookathon each month, and successfully tackled their first on Friday at St Andrew’s church in Plimmerton.
Meal time can be one of the hardest times for mums with newborns, says one of the Porirua Bellyful area co-ordinators Rebecca Morahan, particularly if there are other children to care for, and even more so when things just aren’t going well.
‘‘ Frankly, everything’s overwhelming. You are sleep deprived, overwhelmed and feeling everything’s too much and you’ve still got to get food on the table.
‘‘Sometimes you’ve got no time and money and everything can grind to a halt.
‘‘So, this is a bit of food, but it’s also saying someone out there cares enough to do this.’’
The charity describes itself as providing ‘‘ comfort food from mum to mum’’.
It is intended for mums who don’t have support networks available to help them cope when life becomes complicated, and will take referrals from midwives and Plunket nurses.
The charity was started in Auckland in 2009 by a mum who saw a need for it, and has been expanding through New Zealand since.
The Porirua branch has a lot of work to do to establish itself, says fellow co-ordinator Tracie Lane, and right now they need all the help they can get – especially volunteer helpers and donations of ingredients ingredients.
The team sticks to a set menu tried and tested in Auckland of macaroni cheese, spaghetti bolognaise and lasagne, all tasty cheap meals volunteers can easily cook in bulk and kids will like.
To get started the team has been fundraising by selling chocolate, holding a movie night at the Light
to buy House Cinema in Pauatahanui and a cake stall at the Porirua Market.
New World Paremata has also helped by discounting ingredients for meals for the charity, Ms Lane says.
‘‘We really appreciate the support of volunteers and sponsors, and we can’t do the job without them, so we’d love to have them on board in any capacity.’’
Bellyful has also been included in a $5000 donation from the Mana branch of rebranded petrol station chain Z Energy.
The donation will be divided between four local charities, according to customer votes.
So from July 29, Bellyful needs your tick, Ms Morahan says, with voting carried out at the petrol stations.
Soul Food: Bellyful Porirua organisers Rebecca Morahan, left, and Tracie Lane, with piles of meals prepared for new mums in need.