10:52 PM on Thursday, August 27 - Saturday, November 7
w News from THE WALLACE GROUP
P.O. Box 21303, Eagan, MN 55121
3750 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan, MN 55122
Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNION GOSPEL MISSION TWIN CITIES ADAPTS THANKSGIVING 2020 MEAL OUTREACH
TO ENHANCE SAFETY, REDUCE TOUCHPOINTS, AS IT HELPS FAMILIES IN NEED
Online donations to purchase food requested, instead of non-perishable Thanksgiving items
for 63rd annual event; registration goes online and by phone, drive-through distribution November 21
As COVID-19 fills the headlines, Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities is adjusting its annual Thanksgiving meal distribution plan to reflect new safety realities while continuing to reach area families with what many consider to be the most important family meal of the year. The frozen turkeys, yams, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables and other fixings feed families of five who sign up early in November.
“Our hope is that groups and individuals will continue to join us to share God’s love and meals for our community while we enhance our safety footing,” said Emily VanLith, marketing and events coordinator with the Mission. Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving non-perishable food drives, the Mission is asking for funds to purchase food items in bulk.
The approach reduces the number of volunteers needed and product handling, enhancing safety for Mission students, volunteers and the community, she explains. In-person registration in early November is moving to an online and phone-based system and grocery pickups prior to the holiday will be handled via a drive-through system at the UGM Men’s Campus in St. Paul.
Requests for meals are expected to increase this year, and the Mission is committed to helping support families in need in their local community. “The involvement for 2020 changes slightly for our many partners, but the need for their help continues,” said VanLith. Thousands of contributors and volunteers combine their efforts each year to feed tens of thousands of people.
While the Mission is not a food shelf, staff often repeat the phrase that “Hope begins with a meal.” The Thanksgiving effort is an extension of this value system, and a time-honored tradition. “We want our community to experience the joys of a Thanksgiving meal, draw close to their families and thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed on us,” said VanLith.
Registration to receive one meal per family runs from October 24 to November 7 online at ugmtc.org, and by calling 651-222-4949. Individuals need to bring photo identification when meals are picked up. Only one bag of groceries is available per household, and again, pre-registration is required to receive the meals the week before Thanksgiving.
Grocery bags include a frozen turkey, vegetables, stuffing mix, potatoes, rice and dessert to feed a family of five.
Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities provides Christ-centered, discipleship-oriented pathways and programs that restore dignity and wholeness to men, women and children. Shelter, housing, food, mental health counseling, and holistic programming are made available to help get men, women and children off the streets for good.
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UGM Men’s Campus in St. Paul