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.

We now have results from four survey periods covering referrals received from June 2019 to July 2020.

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:

“Having a fairly traumatic birth, a longer than expected hospital stay, and adjusting to life with new-born twins in level 4 lockdown without family support (our families live in other parts of the country), having Bellyful deliver us meals made such a huge difference for my partner and I. We felt really isolated and yours was one of the only services we could access. It made us feel so much more supported and like a big hug in the middle of a whole lot of crazy. Thank you so much!”

“I became a first time mum during level 4 lockdown. I had a traumatic birth experience and had a baby who required time in Nicu and extra care at home in the immediate weeks after birth. There was none of the “usual” support that family and friends provide. . . By the time it was safe for Bellyful to start delivering again, I really needed to know people cared. I appreciated the meals that [name] delivered so much. I know how much effort is involved in running Bellyful because I have been a volunteer for years (doing cookathons, was recipient coordinator for almost a year, helped with fundraising). I never imagined needing the service I’d given so much to but I’m so grateful that I could reach out and receive the help and support when I needed it. Thanks so much xx.”

“I just want to thank you. I have a toddler and have just had twins. My husband works full time and I have limited support during the week. These meals have been a god send, there’s no way I would be able to get a nutritious meal on the table that my toddler enjoys by 6.30 with new twins. I have been really struggling and this has taken a bit of stress off. Its amazing what you ladies do. Keep up the good work!!!!”

Over 80 percent of recipients this quarter received Bellyful meals for the first time, while 81 percent had a new baby.

Referrers where asked which families, in their opinion, benefit the most from Bellyful meals:




















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:

“A life saver for the first referral I have done. Basics, such as food, shelter and essentials are important and vital. My referee came home from hospital after doing a procedure with her son, and Bellyful delivered! So rare to see timely, specific and effective care. Well done Bellyful. This mother has thanked me profusely numerous times for the referral, but all credit goes to Bellyful for the delivery! Well done!!!!!”

“Fantastic service that I have used for families many times – and the families have always been so appreciative and thankful for the service. You do a great job!”

“I think that Bellyful is a wonderful support for families. Bellyful is an example of people going above and beyond to support their community.”

“Many of my families have benefited greatly from this service and this has made a huge difference to their lives. I constantly receive fantastic feedback from the families I have referred to the service.”

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 has continued to carry out this 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 over the last three quarters 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.

Read about our earlier research here
Read some of our recipients’ stories here

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

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