Bellyful provides help for desperate new mums
Your new baby has arrived and you’re home staring at the empty fridge.
You’ve been up all night, you’re tired, emotional and really hungry. Family and friends don’t live nearby, and you suddenly feel overwhelmed.
This is a story that Hellene Ross has heard many times.
“It’s such a huge life change when you have a baby. The simple things become impossible mountains, and just getting out the front door can take hours,” she said. Hellene and her friend Morganne Twentyman had heard about Bellyful, which makes meals for parents of newborns and families with young children struggling with illness. Bellyful was started in Pukekohe by a mum Jacqui Ritchie, who struggled with crippling anxiety attacks after the birth of her first and second baby.
“The baking and meals that arrived on her doorstep from friends and family made such a difference. It wasn’t just the food, it was knowing that she had the support of her community” said Morganne. Many families do not have this support.
“Years ago most new parents would live close to home and rely on family members to help them through the early days of life with a newborn. Many families in Taupo¯ do not have wha¯nau living close by and are trying to manage on their own” said Hellene.
Bellyful volunteers cook meals in a monthly Cookathon, freeze them, and deliver to parents referred by nurses, midwives, family and friends. Parents can also refer themselves. The charity relies on local fundraising to cover ingredients, packaging, cooking and delivery.
“We held a Teddy Bear’s picnic in Tongariro South Domain as our first fundraising event. We’re so grateful to the local businesses — Hyundai for the community barbecue, Melissa Harris photography, Taupo¯ toy library, brass band, Taupo¯ Rocks and the amazing cast of volunteer bakers, sausage sizzlers and helpers. We were thrilled to raise nearly $800,” said Morganne.
“We’re aiming to start delivering meals early next year. We want to hear from businesses who can help us with ingredients, and volunteers who can help cook and deliver meals.” said Hellene.
To get involved contact Bellyful Taupo¯ on their Facebook page @bellyfultaupo, or email email@example.com
Morganne Twentyman of Bellyful Taupo¯ with her children Mila and Yossarian Chadwick.