Collaboration between Bellyful and Meat the Need is proving to be a charity partnership with bite.
A farmer-led initiative, Meat The Need, has donated more than 1,200 kilograms of mince to Bellyful in the past 12 months, helping feed around 1,600 whānau.
“This shows the incredible impact of two charities working together,” says Bellyful General Manager Wendy Thompson.
“We use about 5000 kilograms of mince a year in our Beef Lasagne and Beef Bolognese, so this partnership with Meat The Need has drastically helped cut our ingredient costs. This has been a super support as we are facing the double-whammy of food prices rising and difficulty carrying out traditional fundraising during the pandemic.”
Bellyful has more than 500 volunteers in 25 New Zealand communities, who whip up around 25,000 meals each year in monthly ‘Cookathons’ held in community kitchens.
The meals are then frozen and delivered to local whānau with babies and young children, who are referred by health professionals, family, friends, or themselves, because they need some support.
Meat The Need is now supplying mince to 14 of Bellyful’s 25 branches, including Bellyful Karori whose Branch Coordinator Jacqui Jago says it’s made a big difference.
“We are so grateful to Meat The Need for their amazing donation of mince for our lasagne and Bolognese sauce,” Jago says. “It’s a huge saving of over $300 a month for our branch and since fundraising in Covid times is challenging, the generosity of Meat The Need is hugely appreciated.”
Wayne Langford, Founder of Meat The Need, says their farmers love knowing that their donations will be going to an organisation that will take care of it as much as they took care of the raising of that animal themselves.
“Bellyful epitomises that on so many different levels and it’s a real privilege to be able to help with such a great cause.”
“If you know a farmer who may have a spare livestock or you even have a few animals yourself, you can visit www.meattheneed.org to donate,” Langford says. “A hundred percent of livestock and cash donations on our website go into mince. That way you know your donation is having the biggest impact it can have.”
Langford can vouch for the belly-filling deliciousness of Bellyful’s meals, being gifted a few to try after speaking at a Bellyful event.
“I kept them in my freezer until the middle of calving, when it had been a snowy bleak old day. Then I simply reheated the meal and enjoyed it in front of the fire. Food is a fantastic gift and Bellyful do a great job of providing this.”
Bellyful Taupō has also received 48 litres of milk through Meat The Need’s sister organisation Feed Out.