Auckland Metropolis Mission celebrated its first Christmas at its new HomeGround premises by feeding 500 individuals 150kgs of ham.
HomeGround was opened in 2022 after 11 years of planning and constructing and is now the house of the Mission and its annual Christmas feast.
The nice and cozy crimson brick, inexperienced vegetation and open-plan sunlit rooms on Hobson Avenue welcomed the Mission’s purchasers to a festive Kiwi Christmas on Sunday with glazed ham, bacon and potato salad and coleslaw on the menu.
Visitors at 10 massive tables ate their meal in a festive environment with Christmas music enjoying, Christmas crackers beside their place settings and a present ready for them.
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Jason Burton-Miller, 48, has attended the lunch for 14 years and mentioned having it on the new HomeGround web site was fantastic.
“It feels very playful to be right here. I really feel honoured to be right here,” he mentioned.
Burton-Miller mentioned that the earlier websites the lunch had been held at may very well be cramped for the favored Christmas lunch.
“It looks like an actual massive household get-together,” he mentioned.
Missioner Helen Robinson mentioned that she was at HomeGround on Christmas Day 2021, however it was solely her and a safety guard.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling this morning to get up and know we are able to have Christmas at HomeGround.
“Within the 4 or 5 hours this morning there are 500 individuals via right here,” she mentioned.
Robinson mentioned the Christmas lunch was about giving a style of the magic of Christmas to their purchasers and likewise giving presents to the kids attending the lunch.
A chef instructed Robinson that they had been cooking 150kgs of ham, 60kgs of potato salad, 60kgs of coleslaw, 120 litres of jelly, 120l of ice cream, 26l of cream and “hundreds and a great deal of brownies”.
Robinson mentioned individuals she had talked to had described 2022 as being a protracted yr with deeply unsure points like inflation and Covid making it tough for households to afford meals.
“It’s been a difficult yr… I’m tremendous acutely aware for the individuals who want the help of a individuals of the place just like the Mission, however truly there are lots of people who’re in very actual want.”
The Mission and companion organisations had reached hundreds of households all through Auckland over the previous two weeks, sending out 10,000 meals parcels and 35,000 presents.
“That’s hundreds of whanau throughout Auckland who merely don’t have the funds for for meals.”
Yuin Khai Foong, 42, mentioned it was an absolute privilege to be volunteering at his nineteenth Christmas.
“It’s [HomeGround] simply an unbelievable facility, it provides a way of luxurious and specialness about it.”
Foong mentioned hopefully HomeGround can be a everlasting residence for the Mission’s Christmas lunch after utilizing completely different venues over earlier years.
He mentioned the purchasers and the volunteers on the lunch had been all feeling grateful and appreciative of the lunch.
“It’s one particular place the place all these individuals can come simply provides one other dynamic to it,” he mentioned.
HomeGround contains 80 everlasting residence properties for individuals on the social housing register, a shared rooftop backyard and residents’ lounge, a group eating room, group areas, a well being centre, a pharmacy and habit withdrawal companies.
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