Canby Rotary Establishes COVID-19 Relief Fund, Aims to Raise $20K to Support Local Food Banks

While many businesses, sadly, are struggling to adapt in a world where an unprecedented number of Oregonians are out of work, and those who have jobs are being urged not to leave home unless absolutely necessary, there are some places where demand has never been higher: food banks.

The St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank at St. Patrick Catholic Church is serving 300 families weekly, which is up 30 percent from the pre-COVID days.

The Canby Center has shut down 12 of their 16 programs, to focus their time and resources on essential food distribution services, where they have already seen the demand nearly triple, from an average of 60 families a week, to more than 160.

And that’s just the beginning. Canby Center Executive Director Ray Keen expects their Harvest Share distribution to serve at least 200 families each week through April.

“Looking ahead, we anticipate a significant increase in the number of people seeking help in the coming year,” Keen said in a recent video on the center’s Facebook page. “COVID-19 will impact, literally, thousands of people in our community, and many of them will be children in low-income families.”

To support the increased demand for food at The Canby Center, St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank and other Canby food programs, the nonprofit Canby Rotary Foundation is asking for support of a newly established COVID-19 Relief Fund.

The foundation’s secretary, Kathy Robinson, said the funds raised will go exclusively toward serving the Canby community, as well as increase the availability of “Rotary Dollars,” which are vouchers that augment the food distribution programs.

Rotary Dollars can be redeemed at Cutsforth’s Market for items generally not available through the food banks, such as dairy products and meats.

Canby resident and Rotarian Ron Harris has offered to match any donations made to the Club’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, up to $5,000. Canby Rotary has set a goal of raising $20,000 to support local food banks and other critical programs.

Contributions can be made to the Canby Rotary Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, by mail to P.O. Box 926, Canby, OR 97013. For more information about the foundation, the COVID-19 Relief Fund, or to make a pledge, you can call 503-307-6654 or email

Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!