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You Can Have Your Plate and Eat It Too

23 December 2004

You Can Have Your Plate and Eat It Too

Christmas is rapidly approaching and the Auckland City Mission is gearing-up to deliver the ‘mother of all Christmas Dinners’. On Saturday from 11am, the Auckland Town Hall will become the venue for the largest Christmas Dinner anywhere in New Zealand. “With over 1,200 guests expected to attend, this is a huge logistical feat and the culmination of our Christmas Appeal,” explains Ms Diane Robertson, Auckland City Missioner.

It will be ‘greener’ Christmas this year, with the Mission using environmentally friendly edible plates. The plates, a great example of Kiwi ingenuity are based not on traditional plastics but the humble potato. Friendlypak distributes an entire range of durable table-wear products made from potato starch.

They are 100% bio-degradable, tough enough for all but the hottest food and come in a variety of funky colours. They even taste good – ‘similar to compressed mashed potato’ according to one taster. “This year, people attending the Christmas Dinner will actually be able to have their plate and eat it,” jokes Ms Robertson.

The Town Hall may be the venue for the Dinner but the operation encompasses many sites across Auckland and a small army of volunteers. The Auckland City Hospital, the Edge and others are providing kitchen facilities; 400 volunteers will be involved in setting up the tables and decorations, cooking and serving the Dinner and together with Mission staff will spend the day making sure that everyone has a great time.

There will be clowns and magicians, Mr and Mrs Claus, great food and top entertainment. Entertainers include Jason Kerrison, the lead singer of Kiwi band ‘Op Shop’ and Graham Brazier founding member of iconic Kiwi band ‘Hello Sailor’; who have generously given up their holiday to support the Missions Christmas Appeal.

“The Christmas Dinner really typifies the Kiwi spirit with everyone pitching in to help. It is great to see and reminds us that Christmas is about giving and sharing. For me there are few images that better capture the spirit of Christmas than a child’s face as they open their presents. We expect over 600 children at the Dinner, and each will get a present from Santa, be entertained by clowns, magicians, and musicians, and even be able to eat their plates. It is important to remember that these are children living in poverty; for whom Christmas would not have happened but for the work of the Mission and the support of Aucklanders,” concludes Ms Robertson.

ENDS


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