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Bellyful's Santa

Every year, Bellyful organises a “Photo with Santa” day at Grace O’Malleys. Families arrive between 12.30pm and 4.00pm and join Santa at the fireplace. Bellyful has their photographer provide a Polaroid photo and an emailed photo for each child, creating a happy memory. This Annie event took place last Saturday, 26 November and despite the rain squalls, there was a long line-up to see Santa.

Earlier in the day, the baking of 2,000 mince pies, Bellyful’s Christmas fund raising project, was taking place. These will be sold around the community in Mercury Bay. If you are looking for freshly baked fruit mince pies and choose to support Bellyful, go to Harcourts Real Estate, in Albert Street as they are selling them for Bellyful.

Another opportunity for photo with Santa

If you missed Santa at Grace O’Malleys, come to the lighting of the Christmas tree this Saturday, December 3 at the Whitianga’s town plaza at 7pm as Santa is returning with his big armchair and Santa Sack. Look for the red carpet on Saturday and you will find Santa right near the big Christmas tree. The cost is $5 and a photo(s) will be emailed to you.

Supporting Bellyful’s Mahi

On Saturday, 26 November, a small group of Bellyful Whitianga volunteers came together to cook meals for whānau in our community. “We need to stock up our Bellyful freezers in Whitianga, Cooks Beach and Tairua, as we are preparing for a busy summer with lots of new babies!” Fran Jack, Branch Coordinator says. This was the last cookathon for 2022, but the volunteers will continue to deliver the nutritious and yummy meals to whānau in our community.

Earlier this year, Harcourts agent from branches in our community generously donated $1250 which pays for 6 months of mince to make Bellyful’s delicious lasagne and Bolognaise. “It is businesses like Harcourts that make our work possible and we are so very grateful to have their support!” Fran says. Bellyful New Zealand is a nationwide charity with 25 branches around Aotearoa. They are all run entirely by volunteers, including Fran. All branches must fundraise to cover the costs of their service which sees the volunteers cook and deliver free meals to local whanau with babies or young children, who need support.

Harcourts is also selling the delicious Christmas Mince Pies and Cookie Jar Kits that were lovingly made by 14 Bellyful volunteers as part of their signature annual fundraiser. Pop into the Harcourts office at 71 Albert St, Whitianga. But be quick, they won’t last long! The pies freeze perfectly if you can wait until Christmas Day, and the Cookie Jar Kits make the perfect stocking filler or teacher gift.

The Bellyful Whitianga team would like to thank everyone who has supported their cause this year. This support came in so many ways; financial contributions, donations of meal ingredients, and ongoing sponsorships.

Caption : Riika Poikela, Sandra Brown, Emily Pavey, Fran Jack (Bellyful Whitianga volunteers) with Santa


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