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Salt Lake City Mission Serves Thousands of Area Homeless On Labor Day

Sara Butcher eats BBQ with her family in Pioneer Park.

The Salt Lake City Mission’s annual birthday celebration for the homeless and outreach event drew thousands of people to Pioneer Park Monday.

Lines to the BBQ spanned the length of the park by noon. Most of the volunteers and mission employees had been setting up since 7 am. There were enough burgers, chicken and nachos to feed 4,000 people. Conrad Tallackson and his friend Sean Lyne used the day off from classes at the University of Utah to come down and volunteer.

“Just kind of cooking food, hanging out, and making jokes, having a good time,” Tallackson says. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

The event targeted needy families, but anyone could come by, play games, eat, listen to music or have their face painted.  

“There’s just not a lot open today, being a national holiday,” says Joe Vazquez, assistant director of the Mission. “We’re out here making sure that folks get fed.”

He says the event is an opportunity to celebrate the lives of Utah’s homeless without reminding them of their work situation.  He reminds the public, the end of the summer is lean for the mission’s food supplies.

“Please keep the mission on your mind and if you could pick up extra food supplies or bag up some clothes,” Vazquez says. “We’ll be doing food boxes for the holidays. So lots of opportunities to help people. Everybody doing a little bit we’re going to get a lot more accomplishes.”

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