Rebecca Morahan and Tracie Lane, Co Coordinators, Bellyful Porirua.
In less than a year an organisation that helps new mums has produced 1000 meals for families in the Porirua basin.
Bellyful was set up in 2009 by Auckland mother Jacqui Ritchie who, after suffering stress because of a lack of support after giving birth to her first child, recognising that mothers and families needed help to adjust to the new reality created by the arrival of a child. So she set up Bellyful, a group committed to helping new mothers and their families.
Bellyful’s Porirua co-ordinator Tracie Lane says she saw a story about Ms Ritchie on TV One’s Good Sorts. “I rang her up and said we needed something similar here.”
Ms Lane says a team of 23 volunteers come together once a month to make up the meals at Pember House in central Porirua before freezing them.
Volunteers also deliver the meals whenever and wherever they are required. “We take referrals from anywhere- from doctors or friends.”
She says the meals are designed to be simple, yet nutritious. “We’ve got three meals – macaroni and cheese, bolognaise, and lasagne. We aim to feed fussy toddlers.”
Ms Lane says, as a voluntary group, Bellyful could not survive without help from a number of supporters. The Mana Community Trust provided a grant for a freezer, while The Mad Butcher provides premium mince.
“We spend $300 a month on food. To pay for that, we fundraise. We hold movie nights and sausage sizzles.”
Sometimes when there is high demand Bellyful runs out of food. “But the more we get the less likely that is to happen.”
Ms Lane says Bellyful has been successful in Porirua because it fills a gap.
For more information about Bellyful go to www.bellyful.org.nz