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Former Auckland boxer lends helping hand to community with flu vaccine, food packages

The former Auckland boxer known as Brown Buttabean is already championed for dealing a body blow to obesity amongst Pasifika.

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Dave Letele’s well-known in the Pasifika community for helping fight obesity. Source: 1 NEWS

Now Dave Letele’s weighing into the Covid-19 crisis too, helping his vulnerable community deal with flu vaccine and food shortages.

The founder of Buttabean Motivation is on a mission, free flu vaccinations for his at-risk community.

With frontline providers reporting a flu vaccine shortage, this group working in partnership with Alliance Health Plus put in their order some time ago.

They are hoping to vaccinate 500 people today.

While flu jabs are at the front of the house, behind the scenes sponsored food and fresh produce for the most needy is not far away.

“We have to keep going, there are a lot of our people who struggled before lockdown but now they are drowning,” says Mr Letele.

Former professional boxer, Brown Buttabean knows what it’s like to drown.

Using his 100kg weight loss journey, he’s gone on to inspire and help others battling obesity.

Since lockdown, he’s done 17 fitness sessions online for his people.

“Up to 2,000 people come to Butterbean Motivation bootcamps across Auckland every week and it was many of those people who came to this organisation for help but getting funding hasn’t been easy."

Buttabean Motivation is not Government funded.

“We've gone cap in hand to a lot of the commissioning agents and our Pacific Island ones especially and they have just said no,” says Mr Letele.

“A lot of what we are doing at the moment we are not able to get funding for them and i think that needs to be looked at,” says Ula Letele, General Manager.

Offering a wraparound fitness health and wellbeing service is the long term goal.