In a year where the need for assistance is likely to be greater than ever, Canby Kiwanis has elected to move forward with the “Covid-19 edition” of its Community Food & Toy Drive for the 2020 holiday season.
There will be several modifications to the long-standing outreach that serves hundreds of local families and children each year — the major difference being that Kiwanians will be hand out grocery gift cards instead of food boxes this year.
“With students in online classes, schools will not be able to hold the necessary food drives, and coronavirus makes it questionable to handle other people’s food,” Food & Toy Drive organizer Sharon Schneider said on the Canby Kiwanis website.
The organization will hold a toy drive, thanks to the Canby Fire District, which will sanitize toy donations and help implement other safe handling practices. But the nonprofit will not have as many donation sites around town, to reduce the chance of exposure for its volunteers.
What it boils down to is that the Food & Toy Drive will seek additional help from the community this year. Kiwanis expects to see greatly increased needs this December due to higher unemployment and other economic impacts from both the coronavirus pandemic and the more recent wildfires.
“What will be most needed this year is cash donations to enable us to pay for food cards and purchase more toys than usual,” Schneider said.
The group expects to begin accepting applications for assistance on Nov. 2. Two weeks later, volunteers will set up the pavilion at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds & Event Center and begin accepting and bagging toys — a process that will continue through Dec. 9.
A drive-thru, no-contact Toy Drive will take place at the fairgrounds on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, featuring Santa and others, according to the tentative timeline shared with the Current.
The pick-up of toys and food cards — which will also be done in a drive-thru, contactless format — will be held Dec. 11. Deliveries will go out the following day for families who could not make it to the fairgrounds.