By Anna Patty
Sydney's homeless will have takeaway turkey and ham outdoors instead of a traditional sit-down meal on Christmas Day, as charity groups quickly adapt to the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
Wesley Mission chief executive officer Reverend Keith Garner said Christmas lunch would be provided outside in takeaway containers from 12pm to 2pm. Festive music would also be playing.
"On Christmas Day itself, we can't have the usual meals we wanted to inside. But outside the Wesley Centre on Pitt Street we will be serving takeaway Christmas meals for people," he said.
"We don't want the current situation that we are facing to take away from the message that we are concerned for other people and would encourage folks to look out for their neighbours and their friends and to make Christmas something that can be shared with others if possible."
The Reverend Bill Crews Foundation is also planning to provide more than 2000 Christmas meals for homeless and needy people at 180 Liverpool Road, Ashfield from 10am until 2.30pm.
Each takeaway Christmas meal will include cold ham, turkey, salad and Christmas pudding. Gifts will also be provided from "Santa's cave".
“We’re determined not to let COVID-19 be the Christmas grinch”, Reverend Crews said. “The homeless and needy have suffered more than most this year, so our takeaway lunch is designed to bring joy to their Christmas Day.
"It's all COVID-safe. People will be social distanced and everybody will get a mask. We have hand sanitisers at all locations. All volunteers will be masked and gloved. It has all been approved by the health department."
A food van will also provide takeaway meals from 7pm on Christmas night at Yurong Parkway at Woolloomooloo.
The Salvation Army provided a BBQ takeaway dinner outside its hall on Elizabeth Street in the city on Wednesday night.
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Anna Patty is a Senior Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald with a focus on higher education. She is a former Workplace Editor, Education Editor, State Political Reporter and Health Reporter.