Ten years ago my first granddaughter, my second grandchild, was born at Middlemore Hospital while her parents were living in Auckland. The pregnancy had not been easy and baby was born beautiful and healthy.
After a few weeks, it became obvious that she was not thriving like other babies at all and she needed to be tube fed. This put immense pressure on her parents and two-year-old brother because of the time and energy that was needed to care for her. It was very badly timed because health problems I was having at the time and the fact that I live in New Plymouth prevented me from being as much help as I would like to have been.
An extended family member had heard about Bellyful and contacted the local branch in Auckland. It was so very helpful when Bellyful delivered prepared food to the family who were struggling to cope with daily activities and caring for the baby. It was also a relief to me to know that, not only did they have some meals provided, but someone in their local area knew and cared.
When I retired I looked for some volunteer work that would enable me to be useful but also continue to support my children and grandchildren. I did not want a regular weekly commitment because I wanted to be available to my own family.
When I saw in the local paper that Bellyful New Plymouth could use some extra delivery people I was delighted. I knew firsthand how valuable those meals are to a family under stress. It was my chance to repay the favour that some generous people extended to my family a decade ago. The need is intermittent and I am part of a team, so I also have time to support my family.
My granddaughter is now a very caring young woman who is doing well at school. She enjoys roller skating and playing her brass instrument and she has a huge circle of friends.