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Over 3,000 meals to be served at Union Gospel Mission’s 73rd Christmas Dinner

Vancouver, BC— Many Christmas memories instantly conjure up reflections of days gone by; happy times filled with family and friends, but for those whose lives have been impacted by personal loss, alienation, homelessness and addiction, those memories can be brutally painful reminders of all that has been lost. What a broken heart needs at times like these, is love and care for the individual and a community of support to rally around that person. That is just one of the many reasons why Union Gospel Mission hosts its all-day annual Christmas dinner on Saturday, December 7th. The decorations are hung, merry music is played and full festive meals are served by 200+ friendly volunteers. 
“Many people in our community experience a sense of isolation during the Christmas season,” says UGM Chaplain and outreach worker, Matt Hislop. “Many are alienated or distanced from their families, and Christmas is an amplified time for them.”
Although those struggling with homelessness and addictions have a varied set of issues they grapple with, Hislop knows that a meal can go a long way. 
“Often when people look back on their own lives, some of our more cherished memories were created around the dinner table,” he says. “Having a place where community members can come for a special meal gives the people safe environment to reflect in. And Christmas can often be a time where we look for purpose, so for those struggling with addiction, UGM is able to provide a safe space for that type of reflection, as well as the immediate opportunity to seek help on the spot and start to begin a dialogue on how to partner with an individual to take steps toward entering UGM’s comprehensive, live-in alcohol and drug recovery program.”
On December 7, Union Gospel Mission will be hosting its 73rd Annual Christmas Dinner, inviting everyone to celebrate the holidays. The dinner will feature live music, over 200 volunteers, and, of course, delicious Christmas meals, all free of charge for the communities of Vancouver and New Westminster. UGM is prepared to serve upwards of 3,000 meals.
Date:               Saturday, December 7, 2013
Time:              10:30am – 4:00pm (doors open at 10:00am)
Locations:       Union Gospel Mission, 601 East Hastings (corner of Princess and Hastings); 
UGM New Westminster: 33071 Railway Ave (doors open at noon)
The Meal: 
  • 3500 lbs of turkey (roughly 160 turkeys)
  • 800 lbs of mashed potatoes
  • 700 lbs of vegetables
  • 800 lbs of stuffing
  • 300 litres of gravy
  • 180 litres of cranberry sauce
  • 4,000 dinner rolls
  • 675 pies
  • 400 litres of ice cream
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing lives of men, women, youth, and children for over 70 years. Through its 7 locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides counseling, education, safe housing, and alcohol and drug recovery to those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and addiction. The heart of the mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild the lives of the broken, and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit
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