The Auckland City Mission says it had to work much harder this year to support a growing number of people, as the recession slashed the donations it received.
The Christmas lunch crowd set a new record, and the Mission says a bigger venue than the Town Hall may have to be found. About 1600 diners attended the free meal, seated across two levels with provision made to seat others outside and also provide takeaways.
Auckland City Mission chief executive officer Dianne Robertson says the organisation has been financially stretched this year because donations dried up significantly. She says it is likely more people will need its services next year.