Napier Courier

Bellyful of support for Baymums available

Charity delivering meals seeks volunteers

- Brenda Vowden

Local charity Bellyful Napier is expanding into Hastings and changing its name to Bellyful Hawke’s Bay to reflect its wider reach. “We deliver yummy frozen meals to anyone with a baby or young children who doesn’t have that kind of support,” says Bellyful Hawke’s Bay branch co-ordinator Sharne Ramsay.

“These are often exhausted new parents, wha¯nau where someone is unwell, have no extended family locally, or who are just simply going through a tough patch.”

Bellyful Hawke’s Bay is one of 25 Bellyful branches around the country. Since it was founded in 2012, the branch has cooked and delivered more than 6000 meals to 830 wha¯nau.

“We have had demand from beyond Napier for sometime and it feels really special to be able to help fill more bellies in the year we are celebratin­g our 10th birthday.”

Recipient co-ordinator Kate

Woodhall says recruitmen­t for new volunteers has been slow and Napier volunteers are travelling to Hastings to deliver meals.

“Now that we are having a lot more referrals with Hastings opening up, we need as many volunteers as we can get.”

Criteria for meal recipients has also widened which has added to the increase in referrals, Kate says.

“People with young children under financial stress are also now eligible for help.”

The repertoire of meals — spaghetti bolognaise, macaroni cheese and lasagne— has also expanded and now includes soup and a vegetarian curry.

Around 18 volunteers are on the books, with some sharing in the once amonth ‘cook-a-thon’ and others preferring to make deliveries.

“It’s just whatever people are comfortabl­e with. The shared cooking takes around three hours to make all the meals and deliveries could be around once a week each.”

Bellyful Hawke’s Bay needs community support to ensure it can reach more people.

Traditiona­l fundraiser­s are held to purchase ingredient­s, with the balance coming from grants, sponsors and donations.

“Being a Bellyful volunteer is a fun way to give back to your community and get to know some other kindhearte­d locals. Whether you end up chopping onions or delivering meals, you make a difference.

“Whānau often tell us how much of a weight lifts from their shoulders when a kind volunteer drops off meals, and how it makes them feel like their community cares.”

To apply to be a Bellyful volunteer or to receive a delivery visit www.bellyful.

 ?? ?? Bellyful Hawke’s Bay recipient co-ordinator Kate Woodhall.
Bellyful Hawke’s Bay recipient co-ordinator Kate Woodhall.

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