Any new parent will agree that the first week at home with a newborn can be exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.
Keeping yourself fuelled with healthy, wholesome meals can be difficult in the midst of nappy changes and lack of sleep.
That’s one of the drivers behind a new initiative behind launched by the Helensville District Health Trust.
The project, named Te Kete Whāngai ō Kaipara, is about providing nourishment to families in those early days.
The intention is for every local family leaving the Helensville Birthing Centre to be given three free frozen meals - enough for two adults per serving.
That could mean around 410 meals for 140 South Kaipara families with newborns each year.
Helensville Birthing Centre Manager Michelle Nasey says “this is a relatively small act of goodwill that we hope will help ease the pressure on new parents and allow them to enjoy those precious first days with their baby just a little bit more.”
Health Trust Manager Nicola Keen-Biggelaar is excited by the project’s potential: “While we’re starting with new families, once we’re up and running we’ll expand the service to include the elderly, the unwell and families in crisis.”
The meals, including lasagne, macaroni and cheese and a vegetarian soup, will be created during day-long cook-a-thons by volunteers led by the kitchen team at Te Whare Oranga ōParakai, the community facility owned by the Health Trust.
The Health Trust is asking the community for help to get the idea off the ground with a call for donations and a crowdfunding appeal being launched through GiveALittle.
“Each meal costs just over $7 and I know there are so many people in our community with big hearts who would like to make a difference,” says Nicola Keen-Biggelaar. “This is a really easy way to give a young family a better start on their parenting journey.”
The Trust is hoping to raise $2000 to get the first Cook-a-thon in early December off the ground.
Donations can be made online by visiting GiveALittle.co.nz.