Auckland City Mission's big Christmas Day lunch downsizes as Covid precaution

By Te Ao - Māori News
Auckland City Mission will hold several smaller Christmas Day events this year.  Photo / File

The Auckland City Mission which traditionally organises a large Christmas Day lunch for hundreds of locals will instead hold several smaller festive gatherings this year as a Covid-19 precaution.

The Mission will hold five lunches across the city, including turning a central city venue and its own site into Christmas wonderlands for guests to enjoy.

These smaller events will give people who would otherwise not be able to celebrate Christmas the chance to have a fun-filled day, with a vastly reduced risk of Covid-19 transmission, the Mission's Chris Farrelly says.

“At the Mission, we want to provide a place for people to gather and celebrate this special day but we have to do it safely. This is the 100th year that the Mission doors will be open on Christmas Day and we are looking forward to sharing the day with people who would otherwise not be able to enjoy the day.”

The Mission says the reduction in numbers will mean there will not be room for everyone who usually comes to the Christmas Day lunch.

"So for those who previously received a food parcel, instead of coming to the Mission for Christmas the Mission is including an extra particularly festive meal in the food parcel for their whānau to enjoy on the day."

The Christmas lunches are sponsored by ASB, with two of the events supported by Nando’s at their restaurants. The two Nando’s restaurants in Auckland will offer guests special Christmas Day menus, complete with gifts and crackers.