It's not just during Christmas that homeless guests at St. André Bessette Parish get some of Portland's finest food. Bakeries, restaurants, a produce seller and a coffee company make sure that fare at the church's drop-in center is always more high cuisine than Dumpster dive.
The parish offers a warm, dry place and food six mornings and two evenings out of the week. The good eating furthers good fellowship, says Andy Noethe, pastoral associate at St. André Bessette.
"Providing quality food in a welcoming environment is what all people deserve," Noethe says. "It allows us to better celebrate the dignity of every person who comes through our doors."
Donations of food come from the downtown Marriott, Panera Community Cafe, St. Honoré Bakery, Bon Appetit at the University of Portland, and the International Culinary School. United Salad donates three to five boxes of bananas and oranges each week. Nossa Familia Coffee gives its fine grinds at a low cost.