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It is one of Waikato’s largest Christmas lunches with 500 meals going out to patients at Waikato Hospital between noon and 1pm tomorrow.

The menu is designed to resemble a traditional Christmas lunch and is followed by some festive hand-made desserts.

With just 11 kitchen staff the hospital’s kitchen will carve 72 kilograms of lamb and more than 60 kilograms of turkey.

The turkey will be served with cranberry sauce and walnut and apricot stuffing to make sure patients don’t miss out on the extras that make Christmas lunch.

“Most of it is for patients but families have the same menu available to them in the cafeterias,” said production manager Murray Deed.

Shortbread biscuits wrapped by hand

Shortbread biscuits wrapped by hand

Over the past few days hospital chefs have busily hand-made more than 400 puddings and 1200 shortbread biscuits.

The shortbread biscuits have been paired and wrapped to give as gifts to patients.

“We also made 320 portions of our own brandy sauce with a dash of real brandy,” said Deed.

In addition to pudding and shortbread the cooks have made 150 pavlovas from scratch.

Deed also helped plate up 186 Meals On Wheels lunches that will be delivered to people in the community today.

He said patients that are nil-by-mouth tomorrow will be given a Christmas card to try and include them in the festivities as well. Edit

In addition to the lunch served at the hospital several families and people in need across Hamilton have received food baskets from Te Puna Oranga.

Four families, three of which have more than six children, were given food baskets to help take some of the financial pressure of the parents.

One of the families told the organisation it had made their “Christmas come true”.

Tonight the last group of food baskets will be given out to the Hamilton Homeless Trust, who deliver food to many of the city’s homeless.

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