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Auckland City Mission to Host 2500 Aucklanders

Auckland City Mission to Host 2500 Aucklanders at Annual Community Christmas Lunch

The Auckland City Mission’s annual community Christmas lunch takes place on Wednesday, 25 December 2013, at the Viaduct Events Centre on the Waterfront Doors open at 11.30am and the Mission expects about 2500 guests On the menu 300kg of ham, 240kg of chicken, and 240kg of potatoes

With Christmas Day only two days away, the City Mission is gearing up to host 2500 Aucklanders at the annual lunch on Christmas Day at the Viaduct Events Centre. This community celebration is the culmination of several months of intense planning by the City Mission, and hundreds of hours of work contributed by dedicated volunteers.

“At the Mission, we believe no one should have to eat alone on Christmas Day. It is not about poverty; it is about the spirit of Christmas, and about celebrating with each other,” said Diane Robertson, Auckland City Missioner.

This year, the Christmas lunch menu includes the preparation of 240kg chicken and 300kg of ham, as well as the cooking of an assortment of vegetables (700kg). For desert, there will be bucket-loads of jelly to be made to go with the mountains of ice-cream and other festive fare.

Stephen Coffey, volunteer head chef, one assistant chef and about 20 volunteer helpers will start preparations for the meal on Christmas Eve, adding the final touches Christmas Day.

At the Christmas Day lunch, an estimated 670 volunteers will contribute about four hours each to decorate the venue, prepare and cooking the lunch, serve meals, and clean up afterwards – 2680 hours of volunteer time in total.

Since the beginning of December, the City Mission has been distributing food parcels to hundreds of families in desperate need. At least 7000 gifts will be shared with children and families who, otherwise, would go without. The Mission also allocates gifts to other Auckland community groups to distribute to the families with whom they work. In the two weeks before Christmas, approximately 200 volunteers in total will have spent about 600 hours wrapping gifts for Christmas Day, with each volunteer putting in at least three hours.

“Christmas is the Mission’s busiest time of year and an enormous amount of work goes into the preparations and the lunch. It will be impossible for us to make a success of this special lunch,and all the other activities, without the generous support of the volunteers. The Mission has been overwhelmed by volunteers offering their time and expertise, and I want to thank each and everyone for their help. We are not taking on any more volunteers at this stage, as all the spaces are now filled,” said Ms Robertson.

The doors to the Christmas lunch open at 11.30am on Christmas Day. Entertainment will be provided until lunch is served at about 12.30pm. Everyone present will also receive a gift before heading home.


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