The Auckland City Mission is expecting this Christmas to be its most demanding ever as it launches its’ 2018 Christmas campaign.

But Missioner Chris Farrelly says that with a little sharing, there is more than enough Christmas go around and is hoping Aucklanders will once again open their hearts to help the city’s most vulnerable at what can be an incredibly tough time.

“Our statistics tell us 2018 has been a particularly challenging year with the highest ever demand for our food parcels. There’s been a 27 percent jump in demand and that means many Auckland families are doing it tough this festive season.”

“We know the reality that many people are experiencing and for many families and individuals Christmas is simply unaffordable – not a Christmas of luxury but a Christmas with some of the simple joys. For people who are struggling 364 days of the year it is only fair that for one day there is something to celebrate. People who cannot afford food on a week by week basis cannot afford something special at Christmas, that’s where we, and the people of Auckland step in. “

“We are not asking for extravagance at this time of year. The $ 1.5 million we are hoping to raise in our Christmas appeal which begins today will not only provide Christmas assistance but also essential services as we go into the new year.”

Mr Farrelly says he is always amazed and grateful at this time of year when Aucklanders show their generosity. “We remain a very caring community and there is more than enough Christmas to go around.“

“Throughout the year we provide support to families and individuals in the greatest of need and through the assistance of Aucklanders we can ensure the Christmas spirit impacts on their lives well into the new year.”

“There are added pressures in areas such as high rental costs which are contributing to the food insecurity thousands of Aucklanders are facing. It’s incredibly sad that food is a discretionary item for some families and that’s where we step in.”

“This year the theme of our appeal is about sharing the abundance many of us have – there is more than enough Christmas to go around.”

Mr Farrelly says for thousands of children, the only gift they will get this Christmas will come from Auckland donors via the Mission.

This Christmas the Mission will:

• Provide up to 8000 emergency Christmas food parcels enabling families to celebrate at home (up from 4800 in 2017)

• Distribute 15,000 presents to Auckland children who would otherwise not receive a gift.

• Host 2000 guests at our Christmas lunch – to be held this year at Spark Arena.

• Continue to be there every day for Aucklanders in desperate need.

The Mission’s annual appeal began on December 3

• 80 per cent of the Mission’s operating costs are funding by donations.

• The Mission needs help to provide presents for Auckland children.

• In the year ended October 2018 the Mission had distributed 17,094 emergency food parcels, a 27 per cent increase on the previous year.

Donations can be made at