To­por chef feed­ing par­ents


A Porirua busi­ness owner is pro­vid­ing meals to par­ents of sick ba­bies and she says it’s the eas­i­est thing in the world to do.

To­por Bar and Bistro owner Valerie Askew said when she heard par­ents of sick ba­bies at Wellington Hos­pi­tal weren’t catered for she knew she could help and has been pro­vid­ing meals for over a year.

‘‘It’s easy and I don’t know why other peo­ple don’t do it. We only have a lit­tle restau­rant so we don’t have money to just hand out but we can al­ways give food. It’s the eas­i­est thing in the world.

‘‘When you have a sick baby the last thing on your mind is feed­ing your­self, par­ents are tired and up­set so it’s just one lit­tle thing they don’t have to think about.’’

She said moth­ers have of­ten been dis­charged months ear­lier than their ba­bies and aren’t catered for be­cause they’re not con­sid­ered pa­tients.

‘‘It’s such a stress­ful time for fam­i­lies, there’s of­ten other lit­tle chil­dren and par­ents have to pay for park­ing, meals and all the other ex­penses. If we can pro­vide them a good meal it’s just one thing off their minds.’’

The meals are trans­ported into Wellington by an­other Plim­mer­ton res­i­dent whose own baby had spent time in the neo- natal ward.

‘‘Lots of peo­ple help and we’re just do­ing our part.’’

Askew said their restau­rant on the Plim­mer­ton beach­front had been serv­ing up ‘‘ de­li­cious, nour­ish­ing and some­times a bit ugly Pol­ish food ‘‘ for three years.

‘‘We do have to dress it up a bit to make it look as good as it tastes.’’

She said the best part of own­ing the busi­ness was be­ing part of the, some­times spon­ta­neous, cel­e­bra­tions that hap­pen in the bistro.

One of the most mem­o­rable book­ings came from a man who in­tended to pro­pose to his part­ner on the beach be­fore tak­ing her for din­ner at To­por.

‘‘He said if he didn’t turn up for his reser­va­tion we would know she had said no so when they walked in the door to­gether we all clapped.’’

Valerie Askew said she and her hus­band Steve are happy to help other par­ents

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