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Union Gospel Mission to serve over 3,000 meals this Thanksgiving kicking off Homelessness Action Week

WHAT (UGM)
The Union Gospel Mission dining room will be a flurry of activity on Thanksgiving Monday, October 8, as the homeless, addicted and those struggling to make ends meet will be treated to a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings. UGM expects to serve some 3,000 people throughout the lower mainland—mainly in Vancouver but also in New Westminster.
WHAT (Vancouver)
The Eastside Stride is a Homelessness Action Week (HAW) project available from October 8 to 14 to anyone who wants to know more about the Downtown Eastside (DTES), past and present. The two-hour walking tour, developed by UGM in partnership with Mission Possible, Youth Unlimited, and with support from City of Vancouver and numerous local service providers, not only builds awareness and promotes education within Greater Vancouver; it gives employment to local residents in an empowering and dignified manner. 
WHEN
Monday, October 8th (Thanksgiving Day) 
Doors open at 10:00am, meals served at 10:30am until 4:00pm
Media are welcome to set up earlier, just connect with Keela if coming before 9:30am 
WHERE
Main location
601 East Hastings, Vancouver (@ Princess Street) 
Other location
UGM New Westminster: 33071 Railway Ave (doors open at noon)
THE MEAL – By the numbers
  •           170 turkeys (1,700 kilos)
  •           1,500 lbs of mashed potatoes
  •           900 lbs of vegetables
  •           900 lbs of stuffing
  •           80 gallons of gravy
  •           260 litres of cranberry sauce
  •           4,000 dinner rolls
  •           800 pumpkin pies
  •           400 litres of ice cream
WHY 
UGM Chaplain Matt Hislop explains that the meal is about more than just providing physical sustenance: “For many of our guests, this is a special time of celebrating in a community of friends and family. This is a unique opportunity for most, because while a lot of our guests do not have family of their own, they consider UGM to be family. In this sense, the Thanksgiving meal is a time of ‘coming home’ for many. It is a special time of celebrating and of giving thanks amongst good food, laughter, music, and – most importantly – a warm and loving community.”
ABOUT 
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, and children for over 70 years. Through its 8 locations in Metro Vancouver, 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 find out more, visit www.UGM.ca.
01/10/2012
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