Two hundred of Wellington's homeless got together at lunchtime yesterday for some carved turkey, cranberry sauce and pecan pie to celebrate Thanksgiving.
The event, organised by Downtown Community Ministry and the United States Embassy, was held at the inner-city Wesley church. The annual event has been run since 2007.
Diner Colin Korovim, who has attended the lunch twice before, said it was a total success and he wouldn't have missed it for anything.
"The food is delicious, especially the turkey - it's the American way of doing things and it's great.
"I have respect for America and I want peace in the world. The people here are nice and it's good to sit down and talk."
The guests were served the traditional meal by Americans and Kiwis who work at the American Embassy.
Server and ambassador office PA John Robertson, an American who has been in New Zealand for 10 years, said Thanksgiving was a time to give to the community.
"I just want to give back. A lot of these people don't know what Thanksgiving is. We want to give them a real American Thanksgiving."
Downtown Community Ministry director and event organiser Stephanie McIntyre said the day was a wonderful opportunity to treat Wellington's homeless. It was about serving them and giving them a lovely meal, she said.
US Ambassador David Huebner said the day was a time to celebrate family, friends, community and faith, and show support for those who were a little less fortunate.
Joined by 10 members of his family who had come from the United States for the occasion, Mr Huebner said the day wasn't much different from one back home.
"It's a family and community service holiday. The only difference is it's harder to get turkey here," he said.
- The Dominion Post
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