Christmas lunch at soup kitchen
FOOD, glorious food was doubly the theme of the day at Coffs Harbour’s Uniting Church Soup Kitchen on Monday.
While the ‘soupie’ served lunch to people who need a feed every weekday, yesterday volunteers also handed out Christmas food hampers, distributing more than 80 hampers in sturdy carry bags as well as catering for more than 70 people for lunch.
Uniting Church pastoral care worker Joan Howlett said the major support for this year’s hamper project had come from Bishop Druitt College, with further support from the members of the Order of the Eastern Star, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour Uniting Churches and Baringa Hospital.
Soup kitchen manager Narelle said people from the general community had also provided assistance.
As well as staple foods to tide people over the Christmas long weekend – when the soup kitchen will be closed for four days from Christmas Eve until December 29 – the hampers include special Christmas foods, like nuts, biscuits, plum puddings, shortbread and mince pies.
Mrs Howlett said Bishop Druitt College had delivered two truckloads of food collected by the students and staff and had provided food to Anglicare as well as the Uniting Church, while she had collected ‘a boot load’ of food from the Order of the Eastern Star as well as a huge home-cooked fruit cake which would be a centrepiece at this week’s Thank God It’s Friday lunch.
A catering company also donated a huge quantity of salad for yesterday’s lunch, which had been prepared for a cancelled function.
“The food comes in from everywhere,’ Mrs Howlett said. “People are so generous, it’s beautiful.”
The soup kitchen provides a daily meal and weekend food hampers for people who are homeless; in need extra support; lonely and enjoy eating a meal with others; and new migrants and new arrivals to the district who have few resources.
In past years, it had not been unusual to cater to 100 people, but the demand had reduced in recent years.