From the outset of the pandemic in 2020, the Oregon Food Bank supporter community came together in new and incredible ways to keep food flowing to hard-hit communities. One of the most innovative ideas arrived with a donation note in March:
"I'm planning to donate all the money I receive from an auction I'm doing for one of my giant cinnamon rolls. The first person won the roll with a high bid of $300!!!"
The donor was Whitney Rutz, who started baking giant cinnamon rolls with her daughter during the early days of quarantine to support our mission to end hunger and its root causes. As the fundraiser gained momentum, donations and messages of support poured in from across the country and overseas — including Great Britain, Germany, Finland and Australia.
For weeks, “Whitney’s Giant A$% Cinnamon Roll” was featured regularly in local and national news, and became the subject of a short documentary film. In total, the cinnamon rolls in artist-adorned boxes raised more than $50,000 — with countless rolls sent to brighten the days of local healthcare workers and frontline staff along the way.
Today, many of us are still recovering from the pandemic’s economic impacts, now coupled with rising food and housing costs. Food insecurity is again on the rise here in the Pacific Northwest and across the country, with as many as 1.5 million people seeking emergency food assistance through the Oregon Food Bank Network this year. And the Oregon Food Bank community continues to come together to meet the need head-on.
By popular demand, and through Whitney’s heartfelt generosity, the giant cinnamon rolls are back! We are raffling off one roll each week throughout November and December. Check out this page to purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win. Each week will bring a new raffle and another chance to win world-famous baked greatness.
“The enthusiastic support of the Giant A$% Cinnamon Roll effort during the start of COVID-19 was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” shared cinnamon roll baker (and anti-hunger champion) Whitney Rutz. “I'd love the chance to reignite the support for the Oregon Food Bank by raffling off my rolls! It's a win-win: a sweet treat for a raffle winner that supports our community members in need.”
Each ticket purchase supports Oregon Food Bank’s systemic approach to ending hunger in our communities — providing nutritious, culturally familiar food today while working to address the policies and systems that drive food insecurity. Join us to take part in this delicious raffle and help end hunger for good!