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Vancouver charity serves 2,200 lbs. of turkey at Christmas dinner

Union Gospel Mission provided 3,000 homeless people with warm meal

Volunteers at Union Gospel Mission help serve the charity's annual Christmas meal on Dec. 7, 2017.

Andrew Taran / Union Gospel Mission

Volunteers at Union Gospel Mission help serve the charity's annual Christmas meal on Dec. 7, 2017.

Volunteers served up 2,200 lbs. of turkey Saturday during the Union Gospel Mission's annual Christmas dinner, where the charity provides a holiday meal for more than 3,000 homeless residents in the Lower Mainland.

The dinner is not only a warm meal for guests – it can also lead to opportunities to turn their lives around.

“Christmas can be make-or-break for our homeless guests,” said Bill Mollard, president of Union Gospel Mission, in a press release.

“This meal could be a turning point for many ... who will connect to our life changing supports like addiction recovery or housing. We want them to reclaim Christmas too."

Metro Vancouver's most recent homeless count showed a 30 per cent increase in homelessness between 2014 and 2017.

Union Gospel Mission provides shelter, meals, career development, and more at seven locations in the region.

Union Gospel Mission's Christmas meal in numbers

- 2200 lbs. of turkey

- 800 lbs. of mashed potatoes

- 700 lbs. of vegetables

- 800 lbs. of stuffing

- 300 litres of gravy

- 260 litres of cranberry sauce

- 3900 dinner rolls

- 600 cherry pies

- 400 litres of ice cream

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