Christ­mas meal was first for days for some peo­ple

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

SOME of the 55 home­less peo­ple fed by vol­un­teers in Gar­butt yes­ter­day said they had not eaten for three days.

Agen­cies which usu­ally looked af­ter the home­less had been closed over the long week­end, He­len Clarke, an or­gan­iser of the lunch at Mel­rose Park yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, said.

Ms Clarke said a num­ber of the peo­ple who came by buses from Dean Park and other parts of Gar­butt had told helpers they had run out of food.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing was closed from Fri­day,’’ she said.

‘‘From what I un­der­stand the first or­gan­i­sa­tion to re­open will be the Drop-In Cen­tre to­mor­row.’’

Townsville Chris­tian City Life Cen­tre gave away baked din­ners and food parcels yes­ter­day with help from Army Re­serve vol­un­teers, the Mayor of Townsville’s an­nual Christ­mas ap­peal and Brumby’s at Vin­cent Vil­lage.

The church had enough food for 100 peo­ple, and 48 vol­un­teers to pre­pare and serve it.

The roast meat, veg­eta­bles and salad had been too much for those who had gone with­out food on the long week­end, Ms Clarke said.

They had taken left­overs and food parcels of canned food, bread and pud­ding.

A spokesman for Choice Aus­tralia Man­age­ment, which sup­plied two buses and driv­ers, said they had been un­able to find any­one at pre-ar­ranged pick-up points on The Strand.

Ms Clarke, co-or­di­na­tor of the Chris­tian Life Cen­tre’s Com­mu­nity Care Cen­tre, said they had pro­moted the lunch through the Drop-In Cen­tre at Dean Park.

The Army Re­serve’s 35th Field Squadron, 11th Brigade, had sup­plied field kitchen equip­ment and tents, and three vol­un­teers to cook the food.

The turn-out of vol­un­teers from her church and other or­gan­i­sa­tions had been ex­cel­lent, she said.

Church mem­bers had also run a pub­lic Christ­mas party on Fri­day night, in Cam­bridge Park, Vin­cent, at­tended by 500 peo­ple.

Photo:MEGANBRAYLEYQCG59830

TIME FOR GIV­ING . . . vol­un­teers from Townsville Chris­tian Life Cen­tre help feed the home­less on Christ­mas Day (from left) He­len Clarke, Emily Denny, He­len Jones and Janis Page

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