An organisation dedicated to giving whānau a helping hand - and a tasty home-cooked meal - is looking for volunteers to help it expand into the Stratford area.
Bellyful, a non-profit volunteer-based organisation, cooks and delivers meals to whānau with babies or young children who need support. There is no charge for the meals which are cooked around once a month by a team of volunteers in a cookathon, before the meals are packaged and frozen ready to be distributed when needed.
Bellyful's New Plymouth branch wants to expand meal deliveries to the Stratford area but needs a team of local drivers to make the deliveries.
"We'd love to bring Bellyful's practical support to whānau in Stratford," says New Plymouth beach co-ordinator Lynley Stringer.
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"We'd continue preparing and freezing the meals in New Plymouth, where we have a great team of volunteers, but we need people on the ground in Stratford to get the meals to locals who need them."
Bellyful is a national organisation which aims to have a Bellyful within reach of every family in New Zealand that needs them. It was founded in Franklin in 2009 by Jacqui Ritchie and has since grown to the current number of 25 national branches.
Since 2009 the team of volunteers has delivered over 166,000 meals to more than 30,000 families. Referrals can come from Plunket nurses, midwives, community social workers, family and friends or recipients themselves. Anyone can make a referral via the website: www.bellyful.org.nz but they must have the permission of the whānau first.
"It's a great organisation to be involved in," says Lynley, who is hoping Stratford locals will be keen to get involved in helping out.
An information session is being held on Tuesday next week in Stratford, open to anyone interested in finding out more about the organisation and possibly becoming a volunteer.
What: Stratford information meeting for Bellyful
When: Tuesday, July 12, 10am
Where: Pregnancy Help, 6 Romeo St, Stratford
More information: www.bellyful.org.nz