Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Christmas lunch for those in need

Aaron D'Souza with his son Dylan D'Souza (6) peeling potatoes for his initiative to provide free Christmas dinners for the needy. Photo Jason Oxenham /Getty
Aaron D'Souza with his son Dylan D'Souza (6) peeling potatoes for his initiative to provide free Christmas dinners for the needy. Photo Jason Oxenham /Getty

A former chef has cooked up a big-hearted scheme to provide free Christmas lunches for the needy.

Solo dad Aaron D'Souza has been overwhelmed by generous offers of donations to his Facebook campaign called Koha Kirihimete Kai - Gift Christmas Food.

D'Souza, from Mangere Bridge, Auckland, said his experiences on the breadline while bringing up his two sons inspired an idea to cook and deliver lunches to less fortunate families.

"My six year old boy Dylan was asking me about the City Mission's charity Christmas dinner and suggested that we cook a lunch for another family who can't afford one of their own," D'Souza, who soon starts work as a food technology teacher, said.

"I intended to do this for one family but we have been offered so much free food, we plan to do a lot more.

"The boys understand we are fortunate compared to some others, and will help me peel the potatoes and prepare the food."

The Facebook drive has attracted offers of help from dozens of people across Auckland. But D'Souza wants more to come forward and nominate a family that could benefit from a free cooked lunch and modest presents.

"I am also looking for people who would be willing to cook or deliver the lunches," he said.

For more information, visit his Facebook Page - Koha-Kirihimete-Kai-Gift-Christmas-Food.

- Herald on Sunday

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