'No one should go hungry or be alone at Christmas'
Wayside Chapel’s Christmas Day street party makes a triumphant return
Wayside Chapel’s annual Christmas Day Street Party – which has hosted a mix of celebrities, prime ministers, people sleeping rough, and locals for more than 40 years – is back in 2022 with a free seated Christmas lunch, complete with all the trimmings.
For one day only on 25 December, Hughes Street Kings Cross will be transformed with long tables, live music, pop-up events and a special visit from Santa for the kids.
This year, Wayside is also asking Australians to ‘Donate a Plate’ to feed and support a person experiencing homelessness and social isolation this festive season and beyond.
Pastor and CEO of Wayside Chapel Jon Owen says Christmas is a particularly lonely and difficult time for many people, but especially for those living on our streets: “There are 37,715 people experiencing homelessness in NSW, and alleviating loneliness and disadvantage is more important at this time of year than ever.
“We need the public’s help – we need to raise $1,100,000 by 25 December to feed and support people living on our streets.” – Jon Owen
“We are going to show people that they are loved and not forgotten, because no one should go hungry or be alone at Christmas. But we need the public’s help – we need to raise $1,100,000 by 25 December to feed and support people living on our streets.”
In 2022, party hosts will serve up to 20 hams, 80kg of prawns and 800 puddings for an anticipated 1,000 visitors, especially those with nowhere to go this Christmas.
Wayside staff member and official ‘Mrs Claus’, Chantal Denis, who has been part of 37 Christmas Day Street Parties, says this is the first year since the COVID outbreak that Wayside has been able to offer the full-scale Christmas celebration for the whole community.
“I’ve been incredibly lucky to have participated in this much-loved community event for nearly four decades, and our team cannot wait to bring back Wayside’s favourite singing, dancing community Christmas celebration for a full crowd this year,” Chantal said.
According to the Foodbank Hunger Report 2022, more than two million households in Australia experienced severe food insecurity in the past 12 months, with 21 per cent of households reporting they sometimes skip meals or go the whole day without eating because there’s no money for food.
Supported by an army of volunteers, Wayside Chapel provides essential support for people who are homeless. In the 2021-2022 financial year, Wayside provided 5034 hot showers and toiletries, 40,607 low-cost meals and 19,735 items of clothing for vulnerable people in our community.
To register for the event, click here.
To Donate A Plate instead, and sponsor a Christmas lunch with all the trimmings for someone sleeping rough on our streets, click here.