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Union Gospel Mission serves 4,000 meals at barbecue in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Click to play video: 'UGM summer barbeque returns after COVID-19 pause'
UGM summer barbeque returns after COVID-19 pause
A summer tradition on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside returned Saturday after a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paul Johnson has more on the Union Gospel Mission's summer barbeque at Oppenheimer Park – Jul 9, 2022

Thousands of people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside were fed by the Union Gospel Mission in the return of its summer barbecue.

Union Gospel Mission staff held their first summer barbeque in two years, a break due to COVID-19, and said it’s a great event for people to connect with the community.

Read more: Gastown fire victims finding hope in UGM annual Easter meal

“The barbecue is a very different kind of event from UGM’s other major meals,” said Union Gospel Mission kitchen manager Randy Spark.

“It happens outside in a park. This barbecue can connect you to our team, where we would love to support you, to help change your life for the better.”

The summer barbecue was held at Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown Eastside on Saturday.

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“UGM’s annual summer barbecue is our largest celebration of the year, serving over 4,000 meals to families and members of the Downtown Eastside community,” staff said.

“We gather at a public park for a carnival-style day of games, face painting, bouncy castles, delicious food, music, and, most importantly, relationship building.”

Union Gospel outreach teams were busy connecting with barbeque participants, creating relationships with those in the surrounding community, according to the non-profit.

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