Dot Com Lunch at Union Gospel Mission Soup Kitchen


With the US dollar in the toilet, my buying power isn’t what it used to be. Let’s face it, $20K US a month just doesn’t get you very far in the most expensive city in Canada. As a matter of fact, things have gotten so bad, we ended up dining at a soup kitchen for the homeless! From $60 burgers to a free lunch at the Union Gospel Mission. How humbling is that?

The Union Gospel Mission cares for the hungry, hurting and homeless of Greater Vancouver. Founded in 1940 as a small soup kitchen, UGM now has satellite facilities in Surrey, New Westminster, Mission and downtown Vancouver, and provides services from employment training to affordable housing solutions. UGM serves over 280,000 meals each year, and provides shelter for almost 10,000 individuals a year. Because of contributions to the them in the past, UGM invited us to have lunch on them and take a tour of their facilities.


The Mission is located in the poorest neighborhood in all of Canada, the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, and serves as a beacon of hope for the homeless and hungry. UGM offers drug and alcohol recovery programs, community outreach, low-cost thrift stores, and emergency meals, shelter and clothing.


Union Gospel Mission’s Lorene Vernon and Kevan Gilbert showed us around the entire UGM facilities. It’s much bigger than I thought and includes a drop-in centre, thrift store and an affordable housing complex.




Free Lunch at the Union Gospel Mission


Clockwise from left to right: Michael Kwan, Ed Lau, Kevan Gilbert, Stephen Fung, John Chow, Greg Morgan, and Danny Chang.

For a soup kitchen for the homeless, the food at the UGM was pretty good. I would say almost too good. A homeless person may wish to remain a homeless person if this is what he can eat for free everyday. Stephen ate the most. He ate so much I’m afraid the UGM may not have anything left when the kitchen opens its doors to the people waiting outside.

The House Where I Grew Up


Union Gospel Mission is located at 616 East Cordova Street, which is just across the street from the house where I grew up. Yes, I grew up in the poorest neighborhood in all of Canada. To my amazement, the house is still there. I should buy it and turn it into a safe house or something.

Help Me Raise Money for The UGM Thanksgiving Dinner


Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the UGM needs your help to provide hot Thanksgiving meals and other life-changing services to hungry, hurting and homeless men, women and children in Vancouver. The UGM is an organization that I support and I’m asking you to join me in helping to feed the hungry this Thanksgiving. A complete meal cost only $2.59. This is an amount I believe we can all afford.

I Will Match Your Donation

I will personally match every dollar donated by the John Chow dot Com community up to a maximum of $1000.00. Simply make a donation at UGM’s online donation page, then email me a copy of the email receipt. Feel free to leave a comment about your donation as well.

All readers making donations will be recognized in a blog post this Friday. If you have a website or blog, I will link to it. I grew up in the Downtown Eastside. I did not come from money. I am where I am today because I know that in order to receive any blessings in life, you must first give. The more you give, the more you will receive. The meals and other services we provide can be the start of a new life and new beginning for those in need. Let’s show the Union Gospel Mission that the John Chow dot Com community cares.