Ronell Abrahams, 9, and Gerome Fortune, 1, were ecstatic with presents they received at a Christmas party for the homeless, hosted by the Central Methodist Mission in conjunction with Ladles of Love, a volunteer-run soup kitchen, in Church Street , CBD yesterday. Picture: Jason Boud/ ANA
Homeless people around the city were treated to an early Christmas when the Ladles of Love organisation and the Central Methodist Mission church served a special lunch to more than 600 people yesterday.

The crowds were also entertained by the Rendezvous jazz band, while 150 volunteers served their meals.

Danny Diliberto from Ladles of Love said: “Homeless are human just like you and me, they are just on the street. It is a tough life but these gestures restore their dignity.

"They might remain homeless but if they have eaten they will be less aggressive, they are not criminals," he said.

"It is the season of giving, everyone wants to give love, it is Christmas time, why not share the love?"

The homeless were served a quarter chicken, roast potato, pasta salad, as well as cupcakes and received gift bags later.

The Central Methodist Mission church said the annual initiative was part of their outreach to the poor.

Ricardo Stevens, 53, said he had been homeless for seven years and this was his sixth year attending the party.

“I have enjoyed every minute of today and I respect the people that put this food on the table. I am thankful for what they have done.”

Volunteer Sha Singh from the Good Hope Metropolitan Community Church said the church had come together as a group to lend a helping hand.

“In our faith, Jesus said we should be givers rather than takers. We are here to give back in some way.

“This is normally a time where we mostly think about ourselves, we think about holidays and gifts but what about those who cannot afford?”

Singh said the experience was “humbling”.

“We get so busy we don’t look around us. It makes you realise how much poverty there is around. How can you complain when there are those who have much less?” she said.

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