Auckland City Mission prepares to host Annual Community Christmas Lunch

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Preparations are underway for the Annual Christmas Lunch at Auckland's Event Centre in the Viaduct, hosted by The Auckland City Mission.

This year's Christmas lunch menu includes the preparation of 240kg chicken, 300kg of ham, as well as 700kg of vegetables.

According to CEO of Auckland City Mission, Diane Robertson, “When your feeding 2000 people it’s a bit like a military operation, all the table cloths are coming, all the kitchen utensils, all the things we need to cook with, all the presents so that everything is ready.”

Ken Samson has been volunteering with the Auckland City Mission for 20 years now, he says, the hundreds of volunteers that help each year have become like family.

“We've got about 600-700 hundred volunteers coming on Christmas Day, from 6:45 in the morning to clean up in mid-afternoon, and it’s become a bit of a family now, it’s fantastic", says Ken.

Diane Robertson say's this year has been particularly hard for families. “We are seeing a lot more people for food parcels at the mission, predominantly those are Māori and Samoan, and other pacific island groups and that's a really large increase in those groups,” says Ms Robertson.

In less than 48 hours, the doors will be open to the many people looking to celebrate their Christmas lunch with Auckland City Mission.