Bellyful continues to make a difference for whānau who receive meals

Bellyful continues to make a difference for whānau who receive meals, according to the latest referrer and recipient survey, conducted for Bellyful by Research NZ.

The follow-up survey was run from January to March 2020, covering October to December 2019 referrals.

Read about our earlier research here

Of those surveyed, over 90% agreed that Bellyful gave them a break when they needed it most and made them feel cared for. Nearly 100% continued to state that Bellyful didn’t judge them or their situation.

The main benefits Bellyful provided included allowing them to focus on caring for their baby, spend more time with other children and have good ready to eat meals, rather than a takeaway or something put together quickly.

The recipients were then asked which of these benefits were most important, see the results in the graph here:


















Here is some of their feedback and a word cloud based on their comments:

“Not having a family support structure here can make you feel a bit overwhelmed but awesome organisations like Bellyful really make the time feel less daunting and stressful, so thank you very very much!”

“You feel silly accepting meals. For me I felt like there was someone more deserving. But when you have a baby screaming nine hours a day, you haven’t stopped to eat, you barely sleep – you ‘think’ you are coping – but you are in a haze. This service massively helped me/us. When we ate the meals – we did so happily – feeling supported. I actually felt proud I had ‘made a meal’ for us to enjoy. They were really yummy. We can’t thank Bellyful and Plunket enough. Reality is – you got us through a really tough time.”

“Thank you. Honestly having your support and the meals brought me to tears to know there is support out there that I didn’t know of. Thank you.”

Nearly 80 percent of recipients this quarter received Bellyful meals for the first time, while 83 percent had a new baby.

Referrers were asked about the situation of families they referred to Bellyful:
















They were also asked which families, in their eyes, benefit the most:
















Trust and confidence in Bellyful from our referrers remains high, with almost all saying they are likely to recommend our service, and that we fill an important gap.

What our referrers say:

“I find it is one less stress for families under Specialist Maternal Mental Health team when they have a new baby and an unwell mother, the support of having meals provided that can be easily heated and used is huge for the families and women we work with. So a big thank you.”

“Thank you so much to Bellyful for helping ease the stress of sorting dinner for the family with a newborn in the house. Evenings are hard! The ladies who delivered the meals were so lovely and friendly as well.”

Bellyful Volunteer and Operations Manager Wendy Thompson, says it is wonderful to see that the last quarter survey results show continuing trust and confidence in Bellyful from both our referrers and the families we support.

“Most of the opinions we measure have either remained stable or increased slightly since the pilot study.  The survey is also highlighting some areas for us to concentrate on to enable us to reach more families needing support.”

Bellyful carried out this follow-up second survey because we want to understand how we have an impact, to see whether there are certain groups we deliver to that we have more impact on, and how we can keep referrers better informed.

The process this quarter involved an on-line survey conducted on our behalf by Research NZ.  Referrers, and families that self-referred, who had indicated they were happy to give feedback, were emailed directly while families that were referred by a health professional, friend or family were contacted first by email or text to gain consent to pass their contact details on, and then if consent was granted, were sent the online survey.  Results were collected, anonymised and collated by Research NZ.

We will use this data to help us target families that Bellyful can have the most impact on, to plan future growth both within our existing service, and to new areas and to help focus volunteer recruitment and training.  Information like this is also very useful for our supporters and funders as we can show them that their financial support is making a difference in the communities we serve.

If you’d like more information about the research project, email Wendy Thompson on

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