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Union Gospel Mission to Serve 4,000 Thanksgiving Dinners; Increased Demand for Services will be met by New Building in 2011

Vancouver, B.C.—Union Gospel Mission is projecting record numbers and long lineups as they serve 4,000 turkey dinners with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Monday, October 12, 2009. Three thousand of those meals will be served at the Vancouver campus on Cordova.

“The economic downturn has hurt pocketbooks across the province, but it has been especially hard on those who are living paycheck to paycheck,” says Union Gospel Mission (UGM) President Bill Mollard. “Over the last year we’ve served an increasing number of families, many of whom are on the brink of homelessness.”

UGM is meeting the increased demand by increasing capacity: In July, UGM broke ground on a six-storey building project at 601 East Hastings, beside the current facility on Princess and Cordova. The new building will open in early 2011, greatly expanding the organization’s capacity to help the hungry, hurting, and homeless of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

“Thanksgivings in Vancouver are often rainy,” notes UGM Senior Chaplain Bruce Curtiss, “and every Thanksgiving I meet people in the long lineup for the meal and wish that they had a warm, dry place to wait. With this new facility, many of them will also have a dry, safe place to sleep.”

For now, UGM staff and volunteers will continue to offer hope and dignity to those who need it most amidst the cramped confines of the current facility, with programs for addiction recovery, employment services, affordable housing, and, of course, delicious thanksgiving meals.

Thanksgiving Day Details

Where: 616 Cordova Street (corner of Cordova and Princess)

When: Doors open at 10:00am, meals served at 10:30am. Meals served until 5:00pm

Items served:

  • 130 turkeys (2,450 lbs)
  • 1,200 lbs of mashed potatoes
  • 700 lbs of vegetables
  • 700 lbs of stuffing
  • 50 gallons of gravy
  • 250 lbs of cranberry sauce
  • 3,000 dinner rolls
  • 500 pumpkin pies
  • 240 litres of ice cream

Other Locations Served:

  • New Westminster Drop-in: 33071 Railway Ave (doors open at noon)
  • Mission Drop-in: 658 Clarkson Street (doors open at noon)
Union Gospel Mission has been reaching hungry, hurting and homeless men, women, youth and children for nearly 70 years. Through its 10 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. UGM is a proud member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. To find out more, visit www.ugm.ca. 

09/10/2009
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