FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- Friday, March 17th 2023 -
Refugee Families Find Culture, Food & Connection at Special Nowruz Event
UGM’s grant program helps support local Cultural Food Pantries for Persians & Afghans in Tri-Cities
(Coquitlam, B.C.) – “We provide a welcoming space beyond just food needs—a place for relationship-building and ongoing connection. We are grateful to reach out to help lift a real weight off people’s shoulders,” Sonia Friesen, the Local Missions Pastor at CA Church shares.
Coming to Canada as an immigrant or refugee can often feel like an uphill battle. Those who are newcomers face what seems like insurmountable challenges: food insecurity, high cost of living, language barriers, and feeling isolated and lonely.
CA Church & House of Omeed partner together to run Cultural Food Pantries in the Tri-Cities, where especially Persian and Afghan families can access culturally-sensitive foods that they recognize and know how to cook.
“A refugee woman with two children shared with us that our food program has saved them,” says Ahmad Zeividavi, Founder & Executive Director of House of Omeed. “She lives in a shelter because she has nowhere else to go, as a survivor of domestic abuse. She cannot eat food from other food banks due to her cultural and religious beliefs. She has no work permit, so she cannot work. She said that our program ensures her children do not go to bed hungry.”
UGM directly supports this initiative through the Transforming Communities Grant, aimed at empowering local faith communities to practically help their neighbourhoods.
“We are passionate about partnering with communities to proactively address root causes of poverty for those who are new to Canada,” says UGM’s Rachael Allen. “With practical food support and connection to community, we hope that many will avoid being in situations of critical need.”
As Nowruz, the Persian and Afghan lunar new year approaches, about 300 families in the Tri-Cities will be able to celebrate together and connect with their culture at a special Nowruz event. Hosted by House of Omeed at CA Church in Coquitlam, familiar foods like special Persian soup will be served, and everyone gets to leave with a Nowruz food hamper on their way out.
MEDIA EVENT DETAILS
Date: Saturday, March 18, 2023
Time: Media wishing to attend are asked to arrive no later than 5:15pm
Where: CA Church—2601 Spuraway Ave, Coquitlam
- Please RSVP to email@example.com before arriving
- Upon arrival at CA Church, there will be a UGM staff member there to greet you in the parking lot and show you to CA Church’s Food Pantry.
Media Communications Officer
ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than 80 years. Through its eight locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides emergency shelter, meals, outreach, career development counselling, education, safe and affordable housing, addiction recovery, and much more to those struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. The heart of UGM is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of those who are vulnerable, and come alongside people who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit www.ugm.ca.
ABOUT HOUSE OF OMEED
“Omeed” is Persian for hope. The House of Omeed exists to inspire hope in the hearts of refugees and newcomers to Canada as they are transplanted into an unfamiliar, incomprehensible society. Many intimidating obstacles such as language barriers, unemployment, and not knowing a single person, can cause newcomers to lose hope of ever settling in and feeling comfortable in their beautiful and relatively safe, new home. From the conception of our charity, God has been faithful in enabling us to help thousands of our newcomers and refugees in their hardships. To learn more, visit www.www.houseofomeed.ca.
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