Community meal may be on menu

LOUISE BERWICK AND NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 27/12/2013
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Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt says he will explore having a big community Christmas dinner for the less fortunate residents of the city next year.

The Invercargill Salvation Army did not organise a Christmas dinner this year and haven't for several years.

But Mr Shadbolt said he hoped to talk to the army and the council about the possibility of a community-based Christmas dinner.

"I think it's something we could look at and the council could work with other organisations to get one up and running." Invercargill City Council community services committee chairman Lindsay Abbott said the initiative sounded like a good idea and he hoped the council could work with the Invercargill Licensing Trust to provide a Christmas lunch.

The trust already did a great job providing dinner for the elderly and maybe that could be extended to the less fortunate.

Salvation Army Invercargill community ministries co-ordinator Brenda King said they would "certainly consider" it.

The army would need a partnership with the city council and would need to find a venue, she said. An annual Christmas lunch used to be held at the Salvation Army Men's Hostel but it ended when the hostel closed.

The army organised the Adopt-a-Family programme for the second time this year. It gave businesses and individuals a chance to sponsor a struggling family during Christmas by providing them with a food hamper.

The organisation also gave out food parcels, which contained extra Christmas treats.

For people who had nowhere to go, the annual Christmas lunch was held behind St Mary's Basilica in Invercargill on Christmas Day.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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