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Beaverton church delivers meals to teens struggling with homelessness and food insecurity

Volunteers dropped off five tons of food to students in need at Beaverton High School.

BEAVERTON, Ore. — A Beaverton church donated five tons of food to local students facing homelessness or food insecurity.

Monday morning at the Bethel Congregation United Church of Beaverton, dozens of volunteers were preparing to drop off food bags to students at Beaverton High School. The food went to around 120 students, and organizer Nancy Winston said it's enough to last the students about two weeks. She said it takes a large community effort to get the job done.

"Food is provided, it's part of a grant from the Beaverton City Council," Winston said. "We get $5,000 from them. We get food from the Oregon Food Bank and volunteers from the church drop off the food. Alumni from the Jesuit High School drop off gift cards."

Beaverton High School head counselor Bonnie Heaton said almost half of their students qualify for free and reduced lunch.

"When school is closed during the Thanksgiving break and the winter break, they might not have food they can count on," Heaton said.

Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty said the food drive is just one way to make things a little easier for teens dealing with homelessness and food insecurity. 

"We have one of the highest rates of teen homelessness in the State of Oregon," Beaty said. "It's not a statistic we are proud about. Homelessness doesn't look like what it may look like in other communities. We have a lot of young people who are sleeping on a couch one night and then another couch another night."

Heaton said there are 98 students at Beaverton High School alone registered as homeless.