CHRISTCHURCH The Catholic youth ministry team in Christchurch has cooked and given out thousands of sausages free in hard hit areas of the city. Catholic Youth Team director Chris Lysaght and team member Jason McTague went out with a barbecue and 200 sausages to Linwood North two days after the quake, after they heard people were doing it tough.
Setting up next to a tanker distributing water, the Catholic youth workers cooked and gave away their sausages in 90 minutes.
These people had not had hot food for days and meat was a luxury item. Their families were still in shock, had no power and needed something hot, Mr Lysaght said.
The CYT saw how well received their venture was and arranged for more sausages and bread, which were also rapidly distributed the next day.
After putting out the word through Facebook and emails, and appealing for help at northwestern Christchurch parishes, the initiative took off. Many sausages and substantial financial help were offered.
Thanks to the assistance of Nick Harris from Hellers in Kaiapoi, the team received thousands of sausages and a small refrigerated truck.
Mr Lysaght said the garage at his parents home in Harewood the house being the temporary base for CYT could not contain all the donated goods, including about 4000 sausages, so the truck was a godsend.
The team is also giving out lollipops to families. A rostered team of about 30 volunteers were working in Linwood and Aranui. Other young people were helping the Society of St Vincent de Paul distribute supplies to people in need.
Mr Lysaght told NZ Catholic that the barbecue and lollipop venture would go on for as long as there was a need.
When water pipes are working again in those areas it would be scaled back, although Mr Lysaght could see it running for the next six months.
The venture is performing a valuable social role, Mr Lysaght said, explaining the need for people to get out of their houses and talk to each other, thereby overcoming isolation and getting away from constant media bombardment about the earthquake.
It lifts peoples spirits. There’s nothing like a bit of a barbecue, Mr Lysaght said..