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We're getting a Bellyful

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 19/07/2013
Maree Adam, Lucy and Julie Andrews
Sarah Argyle

DETERMINED DUO: Maree Adam, left, with her 2-year-old daughter Lucy, and Julie Andrews are in the process of launching an East Auckland branch of the not-for-profit charity Bellyful.

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Sometimes the thought of putting a meal on the table feels like running a marathon.

But two like-minded women are willing to bear the brunt of the burden.

Maree Adam and Julie Andrews are about to launch an east Auckland branch of Bellyful - a not-for-profit organisation that provides free, home-cooked meals for families lacking support, new to the area, or just mums who need a hand.

Maree Adam knows firsthand the stresses that come with bringing a child into the world.

After the birth of her daughter Lucy she suffered a bout of post-natal depression.

"My partner worked long hours and my family are all out of town - it was really hard."

Ms Adam says it was the support and simple gestures from her friends such as delivering dinners that lightened the load.

She has teamed up with Julie Andrews to bring Bellyful to east Auckland so she can return the favour and lend a helping hand to other struggling mothers.

The group of volunteers offers a free service delivering home-cooked meals to the community.

Currently there are 19 branches nationwide. Ms Adam and Mrs Andrews are on the brink of launching Bellyful number 20.

Bellyful was founded in 2009 by Auckland mother Jacqui Ritchie.

It was created particularly for families that don't have a great support network.

Mrs Ritchie has said that although Bellyful is a national organisation, it is something for each community it is operated out of.

"They fundraise locally and then the money is spent locally."

Ms Adam and Mrs Andrews are hopeful they will get the east Auckland branch off the ground by September.

But first, Ms Adam says they need to raise $2000.

"We also need to find a community kitchen, pots, pans and freezer," she says.

"Referrals can be made by midwives and doctors but we also encourage mums to call themselves."

Mrs Andrews says in the east Auckland area there are a lot of new immigrants who don't have their families around for support.

The two have already been overwhelmed by the support of the community.

If you are interested in getting on board and becoming a member of the East Auckland Bellyful Army then go down to the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club at Half Moon Bay on July 26 at 7.30pm.

To confirm your attendance contact branch co-ordinator Maree on maree.adam@bellyful.org.nz or phone 021 681 995.

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- Eastern Courier

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