Virus caps numbers for charitable Christmas Day lunch

CHRISTMAS CHEER: The Mount Gambier Community Christmas Day Lunch event organiser Kevin Douglas invites the public to book for this year's event, with numbers capped due to the coronavirus. Picture: MOLLY TAYLOR

By Molly Taylor

PLANNING continues for the Mount Gambier Community Christmas Day Lunch with bookings essential this year as organisers aim to provide the charitable service in a COVID-safe manner.

The volunteer-driven event has become a staple on the city’s festive calendar, providing food and comfort on Christmas Day in a family-friendly atmosphere for isolated or in-need city residents.

Supported by the Stand Like Stone Foundation and Mount Gambier City Council, 2020 event organiser Kevin Douglas anyone was welcome to attend the luncheon but numbers at this year’s event would likely be strictly capped to 80.

“We want to provide them with the meal, a smile and somebody to talk to,” Mr Douglas said.

“It is all about delivering an enjoyable day for the people who do not have much to look forward to.”

Provided COVID-19 restrictions allow, a band of volunteers will work from 10am until 3pm to provide a free three-course meal to guests.

The meal will include nibbles upon arrival, a roast meat and vegetable lunch and Christmas pudding dessert.

“If many of our guests try and afford some of the food which we provide, it most likely means they are missing out on something else.

“Their budget might not go that far even if it is spent wisely.”

A group of James Morrison Academy of Music students will entertain guests as they arrive and throughout the event.

Veteran snake catcher David Miles will also attend to perform a reptile demonstration.

St Paul’s Catholic Church’s Father Dean Marin will be in attendance to bless guests.

The event will be held on Christmas Day at Mount Gambier City Hall from 11.45am until 2.30pm.

Bookings can be made by contacting Vicki Clark on 0488 100 062 or Kevin Douglas on 0418 84 0947.

If people attend without booking, takeaway food options may be available depending on resources.

Gift produce bags will also be supplied to guests when they leave.