The BNZ Crusaders are teaming up with the Christchurch City Mission to bring some Christmas joy to those in need this year.  On Wednesday morning the BNZ Crusaders team will erect the marquee that will house over 600 people for Christmas dinner thanks to the Christchurch City Mission.

The BNZ Crusaders have made an annual event of helping to erect the marquee for the Christchurch City Mission Christmas lunch.  It is the City Mission’s biggest event and allows hundreds of Cantabrians who may otherwise have a lonely Christmas to instead share the festivities with others and enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner.

While the Crusaders are able to help out with some manpower, the City Mission is still in need of food donations from the community.  So this Wednesday members of the public are encouraged to come along to Christchurch East School between 7:30 and 8:30am, bring a donation of a can of food, and get a chance to meet the Crusaders plus a sausage sizzle from More FM in return.

City Missioner Michael Gorman said any can donations would be gratefully received, and other big ticket items such as hams, lamb, vegetables, Christmas cakes, pavlovas, treats and presents,to contribute to the Christmas lunch would also be also be very helpful and can be dropped off at 274 Hereford Street during office hours any day.

In the lead up to Christmas the City Mission has seen a significant increase in the number of emergency food parcels given to families and the demand on the food bank is sadly as high as ever.  

“Unfortunately at the Mission, we see that Christmas time exacerbates the problems of the already marginalized.  We are handing out over 100 food parcels a day at the moment, when the average throughout the year is about 25 parcels a day, so we know that a lot of people are really struggling at the moment.

"While most of us look forward to Christmas as a time of celebration with friends and family, many others either have very little to celebrate with or no family to spend the day with.  It can be an incredibly difficult time for some members of our community, so we try to ease the burden a little by providing a safe and happy place for people to come to on Christmas Day, no matter who they are.  It is only through the donations from the community that this is possible, so thank you in advance to the people of Christchurch for once again showing how generous and caring they are," Mr Gorman said.


Photo opportunity:  The BNZ Crusaders team will be putting the marquee up between 7:30am and 8:30am on Wednesday 23 December.  Media are welcome to attend (and help!)