Owners of bulk-food store The Source Taupō, Fiona and Ken Harris are no strangers to moving home. The Taupō-based couple, who met while working in Turangi, have relocated three times over their 11-year relationship – to Vancouver, Auckland, and most recently to Taupō. Each time they moved, Fiona was either pregnant or had recently given birth to one of their three children.
“It was pretty tough arriving in a new place without an established network of friends and family to help out. We would hear of other new parents receiving meals from friends, or babysitting from a family member. We would feel so envious!” says Fiona.
Fiona says she was able to keep on top of things when her first child Paige arrived, but it was much harder with number two. “Before our second child Rowan arrived, I thought I would be able to cook a heap of meals for the freezer. But life was just too busy. Rowan was born in Auckland, and Mum was able to come and stay for a couple of weeks. Once she’d left we really needed some help” says Fiona.
Fiona’s midwife told her about Bellyful. “At first I found it hard to ask for help. I thought there must be others who needed the support more, and that I should be able to do everything myself. I couldn’t really believe that Bellyful was available to any new parent, and that it was free.
“However after looking in to it a bit more, I realised that Bellyful isn’t about being more or less deserving. If you are reaching out and asking for support, then it’s no questions asked – there’s no judgement. You can just get in touch with them, ask for help, and the meals arrive. That’s a really good thing” she says.
After Fiona and Ken moved to Taupō they decided to take the leap and start their own business – The Source Bulk Foods Taupō. Once the business was open, they began to allocate a portion of each month’s sales to a local charity. “We wanted to give directly to local organisations, to show our commitment to this community. It was a no-brainer to choose Bellyful as one of our charities. We wanted to try and repay the support we had received” says Ken.
The couple are keen advocates for Bellyful and are grateful to be in a position to give back. “It’s really nice to feel that our business can be part of a bigger purpose. Organisations like Bellyful help strengthen our bonds as a community, giving us a lifeline on those really tough days. They are doing such an awesome job” says Fiona.
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Words by Katy Glenie