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Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives food pantry 1,000 pounds of food, $2,500 check

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard area unload boxes of food to St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Tigard on July 2. Helping out are, from left, Kiersten Homer of Sherwood, John Judkins of Tigard and Bishop Ken Chesler. Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard area recently donated a $2,500 check along with $1,000 worth of food to the Tigard Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a ministry group located at St. Anthony Catholic Church.

Kiersten Homer, a member of an LDS community communications committee committee for her church, along with help from others, delivered the boxes of food to the Tigard organization on Thursday, July 1.

"Leaders of our church in the Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood area requested and were granted funds and food donations from the church headquarters in Salt Lake City with the purpose of helping those in need in our local communities," said Homer.

She said the Tigard St. Vincent de Paul got to choose what they needed with enough food boxes to fill the back of a large pickup truck.

"They chose a lot of cereal — a lot of Raisin Bran," said Homer, a Sherwood resident. "They were also able to get butter and hamburger, which they had not had for a long time. So they were super excited about that."PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Mark Bogert, middle, who oversees St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Tigard, reacts with emotion after being presented a $2,500.00 check from Bishop Ken Chesler and Peggy Stevens, both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard area.

Mark Bogert, president of the St. Vincent de Paul St. Anthony's Tigard Conference, said he was appreciative of the various foodstuff brought by the group.

"Yes, the Raisin Bran was a prayer answered," Bogert noted. "We weren't able to get enough cereal in from the Oregon Food bank and other donations to put a bag in each staples box. We do about 100 (boxes) a week, and buying cereal isn't in the budget. So hence, the 19-case order."

What he didn't expect was a "terrific check for $2,500," which will be used to help supply the organization's food pantry.

"He didn't know about the check and that was the best moment because he was like 'what there's more?'" Homer said of Bogert's response after her group unloaded the boxed food. "He just about cried as we all kind of did. That was pretty awesome."

Homer said the donations are to benefit those who are in most need of such services in each respective community.

"And it's great to work with the other churches. We're thrilled to be able to work with the other churches and whatever organizations have a need."PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tiffany Mitton, right, Kiersten Homer, middle, and Ken Stevens, all members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard area, unload boxes of food to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Tigard.

Two weeks ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave the Good Neighbor Center a $2,500 check as well," said Homer of the Tigard agency that shelters unhoused families in Washington County.

She said the various congregations of her church often take meals over to the Good Neighbor Center as well and provide overnight supervision, something that has been put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking of which, while some food pantries throughout the county had to shutter their doors or go to reduced hours during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tigard St. Vincent de Paul has been open the entire time.

"The pantry (is) shopping style, but of course we had to go to a staples box of about 35 items," said Bogert. "We also provide a produce box with 10-15 pounds of produce and a box with frozen meat, milk, eggs, desert and 2 loaves of bread."

While it did include a community café in the church's Francis Hall on Sundays, that has now been relegated to distributing to-go meals.

Meanwhile, Homer said one of their next stops will be the Tualatin School House Food Pantry where they hope to soon take a $2,500 check and $1,000 in food donations.PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - John Judkins, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tigard, carries boxes of black beans inside the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Tigard.

(This updates a previous version of this story.)


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