No one will be eating a Christmas meal alone in a little flat with the curtains drawn if Wanganui City Mission manager Karrie Brown can help it.
She and a team of volunteers are putting on a meal for all and sundry on December 25 in the Whanganui War Memorial Centre, starting at noon.
"We want it to be a special day for people who would otherwise be eating alone. We want the guests to feel welcome and honoured," she said.
Tickets cost $3 for adults, $2 for children aged 5 to 12 and children under 5 are free. Entry will be by ticket only.
"We need to know how many to cater for," Mrs Brown said.
Tickets are available at the City Mission in 7 Park Place or the Zest for Mission Shop at 163 Victoria Ave. About 150 have been sold so far.
Like last year, the lunch will be a cold one with potato and other salads, rolls, ham and chicken, followed by pavlova and fruit salad, then tea, coffee and fruit cake.
"It's a lovely meal at a very low cost."
Most of the food is donated by supermarkets, and businesses such as Speirs Foods in Marton.
"We think we are buying it, and then they go 'Oh no - we are happy to donate it'. That seems to be the way it goes. People get so generous as Christmas approaches," Mrs Brown said.
She needs more volunteers to help before and during the day - especially people who have done it before and know the system. Volunteers can help set up on December 22 and 24, and are especially handy for the clean-up from 2.30pm to 3.30pm on the 25th.
They get to meet people from all walks of life and always enjoy their time, Mrs Brown said. To volunteer ring 345 2139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.