VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Amid this pandemic, the traditional Easter meal for the less-fortunate on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is going to be taking on a completely different feel this weekend at the Union Gospel Mission.
The mission has decided rather than gathering hundreds inside, to offer door service instead.
— Paul James (@pjimmyradio) April 10, 2020
UGM’s Jeremy Hunka says 1,200 meals will still be moved through their front door.
“On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, we’ll be serving Easter ham dinners, and we’re doing it rather than gathering hundreds of people together in our dining hall,” he says, adding they’ll be serving meals biodegradable containers.
While the number of Easter meals will be fewer than in previous years, the UGM is actually increasing its total weekly meals by 33 per cent in order to meet the needs of both the homeless and for those who have been laid off by this pandemic.
But with the virus, a major threat for the community, Hunka says they have gone into virus protocol.
“I think [people] will understand that because of what’s happening with COVID-19, we just can’t throw a major event inside with music and all the fanfare,” he explains.
Only a handful of UGM staff will be serving the meals, and they will be wearing personal protective equipment. A typical Easter meal at UGM would usually require at least 100 staff and volunteers.