People experiencing homelessness, doing it tough or needing company will be able to enjoy a meal at more than 20 free events across Victoria in coming weeks.
With the housing and cost-of-living crises still biting hard across the community, demand for the festive meal events is expected to rise sharply.
The meal services will be spread across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including some events on Christmas Day.
Council to Homeless Persons CEO Deborah Di Natale said the annual free meal events, run by community organisations and homelessness groups, would be a relief to people doing it tough at this time of year.
"These events are for anyone living without a home, doing it tough, or just keen for a bit of company over the next few weeks,” she said.
"This can be a difficult time of year for a lot of people, so we hope catching up and enjoying a meal together can make it that little bit easier.
“We congratulate these community organisations for stepping up to help, and hope our Festive Meal Services Guide makes it easy for people to find events in their area.
"With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to hit low-income people incredibly hard, we hope this will provide just a small bit of relief.
"Given we're in a once-in-a-generation rental crisis, we expect our festive meal events will be well attended this year.
"That underscores the urgent need for the state government to invest in at least 6000 social housing dwellings a year for at least the next decade."
There will be festive meals available at Altona, Benalla, Bendigo, Brunswick, Eaglehawk, Foster, Frankston, Glen Huntly, Hampton Park, Hastings, Kangaroo Flat, Long Gully, Mildura, Prahran, Quarry Hill, Richmond, Shepparton, St Kilda over the next two weeks.
Check out the full list here.
Matt Coughlan 0400 561 480 / firstname.lastname@example.org