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Oral surgery clinic staff give Metzger food pantry a boost

The doctors and staff at Sunset Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Beaverton are more used to looking into patients’ mouths than providing food for them to eat.

So the tables were turned on Nov. 21, when about 30 employees showed up at Bethlehem House of Bread in Metzger to pack 100 food boxes with all the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for families who participate in the monthly food bank program.

The Sunset staff had never taken on a project like this, but Dr. Steven Beadnell, one of three doctors at the clinic, attends Tigard United Methodist Church, where he heard about Bethlehem House of Bread’s food bank and Thanksgiving dinner programs. Bethlehem is located in the former Metzger United Methodist Church, which merged with the Tigard church, leaving the facility available for social service programs.

Bethlehem is now part of the Tigard church’s Pathways ministry, which has a goal of finding new ways of being a church in the world, and Linda Dove is Bethlehem’s pastoral director.

And Beadnell decided to do more than just show up to pack food boxes: Sunset provided all the food in them, thanks in part to Pam Miller, a surgical assistant at Sunset, whose brother-in-law Brad works at Sysco Food Service in Wilsonville and gave them a good deal.

“And we provided the manpower to pack the boxes,” Miller said.

The logistics Saturday morning didn’t go quite as planned but actually worked out even better than originally envisioned.

The Sunset crew showed up at 8 a.m., expecting the Sysco truck to arrive around 10 a.m., but the stop was the first one of the day for the driver, so he was early. However, everything was on pallets, so they had to be broken down and all the good items lined up on long tables before the boxes could be packed.

“We had an assembly line going,” said Miller, and Beadnell added, “This was meant to be a team-building exercise as well as doing a good deed at the same time.”

Food items included a giant frozen turkey, gravy, potato pearls (“just add water”), stuffing, dinner rolls, cans of green beans and corn, and a pumpkin pie.

The Bethlehem food bank is open every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m., and families can shop once a month, so every Sunday in October, 20 families could sign up for a food box, according to Dove.

With all the boxes packed on Saturday by 10:30, and people not expected to show up to get them until noon, the Sunset employees started calling the families to tell them their dinners were ready, and soon cars started pulling up.

“Some dinners will be delivered, and one family didn’t have a car and walked here with a family member in a wheelchair,” said Dove, explaining that one of the Sunset employees drove them and their dinner home.

“There were probably 30 to 40 more families who could have used food boxes, and we’ll be doing it again,” she added. “Dr. Beadnell is already talking about doing something for Christmas.”

And he predicted, “Next time we’ll double it to 200.”

And Dove had another thought for next time as well: “You know what we missed? Dental floss.”

Sunset specializes in a wide variety of problems related to the mouth, jaws, and facial region, including bone grafting and dental implant surgery, corrective jaw surgery, cleft lip and palate, traumatic injuries and pathologic conditions.

Bethlehem House of Bread is located at 9055 S.W. Locust Street. For more information, or to make a donation or volunteer, email Dove at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..