Over the past decade volunteers for Bellyful East Auckland have cooked and delivered over 12,000 meals providing food, support, and aroha to hundreds of local whānau with babies and young children.
Established in 2009, Bellyful now supports whānau in 25 communities across Aotearoa thanks to their sponsors, volunteers, and supporters – one of which is the Howick Local Board.
Local board chair Damian Light says community charities like Bellyful East Auckland, are one of the most essential ingredients for their area and without them, many families with one of the most vulnerable groups - babies and young children, would be in need and lonely.
“One of the major themes that have emerged from our recent Community Forums, which is intended to engage with communities that wouldn’t normally interact with us, is the reality that there are East Auckland families who are struggling financially.
“And so, it’s vital a charity like Bellyful East Auckland provides such a much loved and needed service, regardless of wealth, job status, and where you live. If you are a new parent or long-term parent and are experiencing hardship, they are there as a wraparound service for you and your whānau, no questions asked, and they do it with such genuine aroha.”
The board attended the charity’s recent ten-year anniversary celebration and heard firsthand the many heartwarming tales of how it has assisted those in difficult and desperate circumstances.
“It was wonderful to celebrate this significant milestone with the incredible people who’ve made it happen, as well as those who’ve received their support. While people came from a wide range of backgrounds, it was clear that they were brought together by a desire to help people in their community,” said Chair Light.
“We recently recognised some of these amazing volunteers in our recognition event. It’s a good reminder for us all to consider giving some of our time or financial support to one of the amazing charities in our area.”
Bellyful East Auckland Branch Coordinator Andrea Martin says that there is no financial assessment involved because the service is based on more of an emotional need for support.
“To have delivered so many meals are testament to the incredible work of our volunteers.
“They have chopped countless onions, stirred litre upon litre of cheese sauce, held fundraising night after fundraising night and so many meal drop-offs. They do this simply because they want to help local families who need a break, and they are amazing.”
- To learn more about Bellyful or to donate, visit https://bellyful.org.nz/ or follow them on Facebook
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