Community lunch on the table

LUNCH TIME: Kevin Douglas prepares for the annual Christmas community lunch.

Charlotte Varcoe

CHRISTMAS will return at the Mount Gambier City Hall this year as many gather for the annual community lunch.

Continuing the volunteer-based tradition throughout the pandemic, more than 40 residents from Mount Gambier have secured their spot for a home cooked meal.

Volunteer Kevin Douglas said bookings continued to stream through each and every day with people of all walks of life welcome.

“This is the seventh year I have been involved with the lunch and in the past we haven’t had to get people to book,” Mr Douglas said.

“However due to Covid-19 restrictions we have had to now and it really depends on the weather of the day as to how many people will come to the event.”

He said the capacity limit for the city hall was expected to reach approximately 100 people for the event, with plenty of spaces still available.

“The food this year will be a full Christmas lunch cooked by our chef who has been working in the kitchen for decades,” Mr Douglas said.

“It is really just like a lovely home-cooked meal but there will also be dessert, cold drinks and nibbles available as well as entertainment and games.

“We find that we get people from all walks of life coming along on the day and we don’t make judgement of people who come in because everyone is more than welcome.”

He said the lunch gave those who would typically be at home alone on Christmas an opportunity to get out and about on the festive day.

“Some people are home alone on Christmas due to no fault of their own but the community lunch allows them to come and have a homemade hot meal and mingle with other people,” Mr Douglas said.

“There will also be gift bags which will have items such as vouchers, books and many more donations that have been given to us throughout the year.

“Volunteers will also be available during the event to communicate and just listen to our visitors because we have found that over the years, many people who come along really just want a friendly chat.”

Booking for the event is available through calling Mr Douglas on 0418 840 947.