Christmas was made a whole lot easier for families at Auckland City Mission's annual Christmas lunch. Commissioner Chris Farrelly says it's about embracing people with the spirit of the season.
The food is hot, the smiles wide and cheer is in the air at New Zealand's biggest Christmas lunch. Six hundred volunteers survived 2000 people. The mission says it's worth the work knowing that families will have a real Christmas experience.
Farrelly told Te Kāea, “We are just a group of people who want to share abundance with poverty. Who wants to say what Christmas is? It's about sharing.”
This year the Mission fed twice as many as the last and has been running campaigns across Auckland for the last few weeks
“There are people here who have suffered trauma in the last year, violence, grief. They're here, there are people who have lost a loved one and are having Christmas for the first time alone. There are people just out of prison alone. People who have been expelled out of Australia, we welcome them home.”
“New refugees and immigrants, people here without a home who go back under a bridge tonight. People who wouldn't be able to afford a Christmas dinner and they've bought their kids who can now be normal kids today.”
Young, old, naughty and nice all came together for a meal fit for a king.
“Cooking team worked all day prepping then this morning they were here at 6. The volunteers were here at six. Over the last few weeks, we have had thousands. Literally thousands of volunteers.”
The mission promises to do it all again next year.