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Te Whanganui-a-Tara – For a second year running, covid has forced the cancellation of the Compassion Soup Kitchen’s annual street appeal and exponentially escalated Wellington’s appetite for their service.

The Compassion Soup Kitchen relies on donations to continue with their mission of supporting people in need to live with dignity in the community so the cancellation of their street appeal is ill-timed.

Compassion chief executive Dr Chris Gallavin says their our mahi is only made possible through the generosity of New Zealanders and they need their support more than ever.

“The street appeal is our biggest fundraiser of the year. It ensures we can continue to provide food for Wellington, but we had to prioritise the health and safety of our volunteers and wider community.

“We learned last year that lockdown brings with it an increased demand for our service, but we did not imagine we’d be serving so many daily meals.”

In the last twelve months, the soup kitchen served 31,588 meals in the capital and set a record for number of meals served with 200 meals leaving the kitchen in one day.

This year’s lockdown saw that record surpassed immediately as they provided meals for individuals and other social service providers such as Wellington City Mission, Women’s Refuge and Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust.

Dr Gallavin says within the first few days of Level four, we were providing 230 meals a day and now we are serving around 220 meals a day, seven days a week. This is quite possibly the most sustained demand we have seen in our 120 year history.

With the unprecedented demand, he has urged New Zealanders to continue supporting the soup kitchen and is hopeful for their online alternative as an essential service.

The kitchen is committed to serving nourishing meals to those that need it most as we usually would so, we ask that the public show us the same generosity they usually would, albeit online.”

Kiwis can donate to the Compassion Soup Kitchen’s annual appeal here.

For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188