.- World Youth Day 2008 organizers, planning a massive barbeque for pilgrims, have placed orders for food supplies for the massive event that will take place this July. About 25 million items have been ordered for the up to 125,000 expected international visitors and 60,000 Australian attendees.
Geoff Morris, Director of Pilgrim Services, said 3.5 million meals will be served during the event, including 900,000 hot meals provided by the Victoria-based Easyfood.
“World Youth Day will be a fantastic event, and my team has the very special challenge of planning to feed the largest mobilization of young people in Australia’s history,” Morris said.
“We want to provide pilgrims with ‘a good feed’ and a little bit of an Australian taste. We have tried to do that by including some of our more iconic items such as Tim Tams, Weet-Bix crunch, vegemite, lamingtons and good old baked beans!”
The focus on Australian cuisine will peak with a massive simultaneous barbeque to be held at around 200 locations on Wednesday, July 16. Rotary Australia has offered its support to help host the barbeque.
“There’s no better way to welcome young people to our country than to host a traditional BBQ,” Morris said.
Morris said that Cadbury will provide 425,000 chocolate bars produced at the company’s Tasmanian plant. Mrs. Macs will supply over 200,000 traditional “Big Aussie Beef Pies,” while Sanitarium will provide more than 300,000 servings of Weet-Bix crunch. Tip Top will supply over 220,000 slices of bread for the barbeque.
Food items with minimal or recyclable packaging have been ordered where possible to reduce waste, Morris said.
World Youth Day will take place from July 15 to July 20 and will mark the first visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Australia.