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

or money

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.

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