Porirua Bellyful hits another milestone
‘‘It's about someone caring enough to turn up’’
It’s not often the Bellyful Porirua volunteers deliver to one of their own, but that’s just what happened to Nicole Barlow.
Bellyful is an organisation that delivers precooked meals to families with newborns or ill family members and Barlow, a long-term volunteer, recently received a meal delivery from the very women she works alongside.
‘‘It was special for them to come over after I had my daughter,’’ Barlow said.
Just a few days later Barlow was out delivering meals to another mother, Kathleen Leathem, whose birth did not go as planned. After an emergency C-section, Leathem wasn’t prepared for not being able to drive for six weeks.
‘‘It was really nice that someone out there was thinking of us,’’ Leathem said. ‘‘We were going through a bit of a tough time.’’
Sometimes seeing a friendly face can make all the difference at a stressful time, Leathem and Barlow agreed. They are just a few of the people who have benefitted from Bellyful’s services.
‘‘We kick in when people don’t have good family support or whanau around them,’’ Bellyful Porirua’s branch co-ordinator, Rebecca Morahan, said.
The branch is celebrating reaching 7,000 meals delivered since it began in 2011.
‘‘To me, it shows the amount of support we have in the community to be able to achieve that,’’ Morahan said.
Barlow, who is also Bellyful Porirua’s fundraising manager, said using the service made her realise how important it was to ‘‘give back.’’
‘‘It made me realise how much you actually do need a hand when [babies] are little.’’
Bellyful Porirua delivered an average of 131 meals a month and recent statistics show it’s only increasing. But Barlow notes, ‘‘it’s about the support, not income or where you live.’’
‘‘It’s just as rewarding to deliver to a family with lots of children who are struggling as it is to deliver to someone in Whitby who might be financially okay.’’
Morahan said to give back to one of their own volunteers is a nice feeling.
‘‘Nicole has single-handedly fundraised thousands of dollars, so it was really lovely to be able to help her out when she needed it.’’
Morahan said the service can be summed up in one simple phrase - ‘‘It’s about someone caring enough to turn up’’.
Kathleen Leathem with daughter Chelsea, the recipients of a Bellyful meal. Rebecca Morahan