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St. Vincent de Paul program at Aloysius Catholic Church provides food and assistance to those who need it

PMG PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - St. Aloysius Council of St. Vincent de Paul's Joyce Buzzard, pictured here with council president Terry Brown, was honored as the 2019 Vincentian of the Year.

As a new decade gets underway, a group at St. Aloysius Catholic Church is continuing its tradition of serving the community.

The Estacada-based St. Aloysius Council of St. Vincent de Paul was established more than 20 years ago, and one of its founders was honored by the Portland Council of St. Vincent de Paul as the 2019 Vincentian of the Year.

Joyce Buzzard was one of the St. Aloysius parishioners who started the church's weekly food distribution program through St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic organization in which members strive to serve people who are suffering. When the project started in Estacada at the church at 192 N.W. Third St., it connected community members with food boxes for a Christmas meal, but those involved soon saw there was a greater demand for their work.

"There was so much need," Buzzard recalled.

The group began distributing food boxes twice a month. Two decades later, they're continuing this tradition by distributing boxes on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Along with food and toiletries, assistance with rent and utility bills are also available.

During the 2018-19 fiscal year, the St. Aloysius Council of St. Vincent de Paul distributed 85,500 pounds of food to 2,539 families in the Estacada area.

Buzzard has been happy to see the program's growth in Estacada.

"What I wanted to do is just what we're doing. It started with very little, and we noticed people still need it," she said.

St. Aloysius Conference President Terry Brown appreciates being able to serve others in the community.

"There's a significant need," he said.

Help available

Food boxes and more are available on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 192 N.W. Third St.

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