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UGM Brings Brief ‘Summer Holiday’ to Vancouver Homeless

Downtown Eastside Set to Celebrate Summer with 5,000 Meals at Summer BBQ

Vancouver, B.C —Summer is no holiday for single mothers like 37-year-old Kerry. Rather than time on vacation, her summer months are spent trying to make ends meet.

“It’s hard when you’re alone…I can’t afford a proper summer vacation,” she says. “I could go somewhere but then I couldn’t pay my rent. I would probably be evicted.”

Kerry spent three months homeless last summer while caring for her 7-year-old daughter. Now housed and living on a fixed income, she’s planning to celebrate summer at UGM’s Summer BBQ, along with thousands of others who wouldn’t otherwise experience a summer holiday.
“It’s a nice summer welcome,” she says. “It’ll be awesome for the kids…to put a smile on everyone’s faces.”

The Summer BBQ is UGM’s biggest event of the year, serving up to 5,000 meals on July 16th in Oppenheimer Park. It offers a myriad of family-friendly activities, ranging from face painting to a bouncy castle to a mini-carnival of games, meant to give those in the Downtown Eastside much needed rest and relaxation.

“Homelessness doesn’t take a holiday,” says UGM President Bill Mollard. “Many struggling in the Downtown Eastside miss out during summer. They aren’t at the lake. They don’t get a break from reality on the street. The Summer BBQ brings a little bit of relief and restoration.”

The event is made possible by Rogers Sugar Vancouver of Lantic Inc., which operates just around the corner from UGM.

“Rogers Sugar Vancouver has been in the Downtown Eastside for more than a century; it is our home base, and we feel it is important that we help the less fortunate who are near to us,” says Rogers Sugar Vancouver’s Ted Bowsfield. “We see the difficulties and struggles of many local residents and it hits home. We are extremely proud to be the sponsor for the Summer BBQ; it is the next step in our commitment to our local community, and we hope to have the privilege of continuing to sponsor the event in the years to come.”

“It’s awesome, it means a lot,” says Kerry, who is planning to attend the BBQ with her daughter. “I feel cared for.”


DATE:       Saturday, July 16th 2016
TIME:       11 – 3:30
WHERE:   Oppenheimer Park


  • 5,000 hamburgers
  • 5,000 smokies
  • 1,500 lbs coleslaw
  • 1,500 lbs pasta salad
  • 5,000 cans of pop
  • 5,000 Freezies


MAIN SPONSOR: Rogers Sugar Vancouver of Lantic Inc.
LGM Financial and Rogers Financial      


Derek Weiss
Manager of Community Engagement, Union Gospel Mission
[email protected]

Lantic Sugar Limited and Rogers Sugar Ltd. merged into a new operating entity now known as Lantic Inc., on June 30, 2008. The two companies had worked together as one for a number of years before the amalgamation. The finest traditions of both Sugar based companies form the foundation of a culture that is national in character and diverse in ambition. Rogers Vancouver, the former BC Sugar, is one of the three Lantic Sugar refining facilities. We have been in business since 1890 and recently celebrated 125 years of continuous operation. Milled Cane sugar is brought to the Port in bulk shipments; from it, the Refinery refines and produces a wide range of sugar and sugar containing products for consumers and industry, including the familiar retail ‘Rogers’ brands. Our website at can be accessed for further information.

Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than 75 years. Through its seven locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides shelter, meals, career development counselling, education, safe housing and addiction 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 lives and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit


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