Auckland City Mission gears up for NZ's biggest Christmas lunch
The Auckland City Mission is gearing up for its annual Christmas Day lunch, which will see 2000 Aucklanders gather at the Viaduct Events Centre to share 2000 chicken drumsticks, 300 kilograms of ham and over 500kg of vegetables.
The event is a massive logistical undertaking for the mission and is the culmination of months of intense planning and hundreds of hours of volunteer work.
* Two thousand Aucklanders are expected to attend the lunch. The estimated number of guests is down from last year, when the mission fed more than 2500.
* Doors open at 11.30am.
* On the day, 550 people will carry out approximately 2200 hours of volunteer work.
* At least 7000 gifts have already been distributed to families in need, so that every child has a present to open on Christmas day. Every guest will also receive a gift at the lunch.
The menu includes:
* 300kg ham
* 2000 chicken drumsticks
* 300kg potatoes
* 240kg other vegetables
* "Bucket-loads" of jelly and "mountains" of ice-cream.
MISSION RESOURCES STRETCHED:
Auckland City Missioner Dame Diane Robertson said mission resources have been "incredibly stretched", with fewer donations received than in previous years.
Since the beginning of December, the mission has been distributing emergency food parcels to families in need. Robertson extended her thanks to all of those who have already donated, or volunteered.
"We are always overwhelmed by the level of need we see at this time of the year and unfortunately this year has been one of our busiest yet."
"At the Mission, we believe no one should have to eat alone on Christmas Day. It is not only about poverty; it is about the spirit of Christmas, and about celebrating with each other," Robertson said.
Donate to the Auckland City Mission here.