Christmas Lunch in the Park: Mission Australia to spread some cheer for the less fortunate

Community Newspaper Group editor in chief Matt Zis gets into the spirit of things while helping wrap presents for the Mission Australia Christmas Lunch in the Park.
Community Newspaper Group editor in chief Matt Zis gets into the spirit of things while helping wrap presents for the Mission Australia Christmas Lunch in the Park.

LAST year more than 2000 people turned out for Mission Australia’s Christmas Lunch in the Park, and this year is expected to draw even more.

The event, now in its 41st year, brings people who are doing it tough together to enjoy a meal, entertainment and companionship on Christmas.

A new report has revealed that 240,000 Western Australians are living below the poverty line.

Mission Australia State Director Amanda Hunt said the focus of this year’s event was to ensure everyone who could benefit had an opportunity to attend.

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“Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time, particularly for those who are without food, finances and family,” Ms Hunt said.

“Times are tough and no-one feels it more keenly than those most vulnerable in our community.

“We know that low-income households are just one health-related emergency or financial crisis away from facing homelessness, so coming together to support our neighbours is one way we can start to break the cycle of poverty.

“Everyone should have the means to afford the essentials such as food and shelter, just as they should have a reason to smile on Christmas Day.

“If people are doing it tough, there is somewhere they can go to enjoy a meal, entertainment and companionship – to be a part of the community.”

You can show your support by visiting ChristmasLunchInThePark.com.au.

“For as little as $10 people can make a difference by buying a virtual gift that we’ll turn into a real present to hand out on the day, or buy lunch for one of the guests,” Ms Hunt said.

“This is a chance to really bring the spirit of giving to life.”

Every guest at the lunch will go home with a gift from Santa.

Knowing how busy the great man is at this time of year, Community Newspaper Group staff lent a hand by doing some wrapping on Thursday morning.

Christmas Lunch in the Park:

Where: Wellington Square Park, East Perth

When: 25 December 2016, 11.00am – 2.00pm

Transport: Free buses will be running to and from Perth Train Station and Claisebrook Train Station from 9:30am onwards.