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Christmas Dinner To Go Ahead Regardless


MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Auckland City Mission
Christmas Dinner To Go Ahead Regardless


In exactly one week, the Auckland City Mission’s Christmas Dinner that provides food for thousands of Aucklanders is to go ahead even though no sponsor has been found.

Usually, the sponsor provides around $25,000 to help provide the huge amounts of food (including 250 kg of turkey, 200 kg of ham, 220 kg of potatoes, 80 kg of green beans, 40 kg of carrots, 200 kg of kumara, 10 trifle sponges, and much more); equipment, and supplies that are needed to make this event happen.

Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson says the Christmas Dinner has been taking place each Christmas Day for the last nine years, and the Auckland City Mission is determined to provide for the thousands of people who come through the doors at Christmas.

“Thousands of people depend on the Mission during the Christmas period. Many elderly people have been anticipating this event for months and months,” she says.

“For a large number of families it’s one of the few joyful experiences in their lives. There’s no way on earth I will disappoint them.”

“This will be my first Christmas with company since my husband died 28 years ago in 1975 – and I am looking forward to it,” writes an elderly Auckland City Mission Christmas Dinner guest.

This year, with no sponsor, the cost of providing the Christmas Dinner will put enormous pressure on the Auckland City Mission’s other services.

Diane Robertson says contributions to the Appeal are welcomed in any way shape or form.

“To be honest, we desperately need cash, but would be grateful for food, clothing or presents.

“It’s definitely not too late to donate!” she says. “The reality for many New Zealanders is that Christmas is a stark time - a time of loneliness, deprivation and exclusion.”

Money raised will go towards food parcels and Christmas food hampers for families and individuals who have emergency needs throughout the Christmas period, presents and toys for children who will otherwise go without, and New Zealand’s largest Christmas dinner for over 1,000 people at the Auckland Town Hall.

To make a donation please call 0800 CITY MISSION (0800 248 964) or post to the Auckland City Mission Christmas Appeal, Freepost 1129, P.O. Box 5352, Wellesley Street, Auckland.

New unwrapped presents, such as soft toys and games, can be dropped off at participating NZ Post Shop branches around Auckland.

Donations of food can be brought to 140 Hobson Street, Auckland Central.

-ends-


Released on behalf of Auckland City Mission by Publicis Drum.

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