“I was still working full time and my husband was trying to figure out how to become a first year teacher for our 7 year old daughter,” she told CNN.
In addition, two of Rutz’s friends had just been diagnosed with Covid-19.
“I just lost it. I had a good cry. I can’t control anything! We can’t leave the house! “
So Rutz regrouped, grabbed his iron pan and, with the help of his daughter, put his energy into a 3-hour cooking project.
A touch of fever, a cup of flowers and a video on social media
Rutz then shared a time-lapse video of the jumbo roll manufacturing process with his friends on social media.
“My friends said to me, ‘I want one! “A friend even offered to drive from Seattle to pick up a roll,” said Rutz.
The cut mom knew she had to come up with an idea to keep the rollers, finally rolling.
The next night, Rutz talked with her husband about the buzz the giant cinnamon roll had created among her friends.
“I asked my husband how much would people pay for the cinnamon roll? I thought $ 50 dollars more. “
So she decided to auction a giant roll on social media, saying all of the proceeds would go to the Oregon Food Bank. The highest bid was $ 300.
“I said” OK, it was fun. I made the cinnamon roll and delivered it to their veranda. “
But then the second roll sold at auction for $ 750. The highest bidder paid and suggested that Rutz donate the gooey giant to someone in the healthcare business.
“I said” is a great idea! I gave it to a friend, and he took it to his nursing unit at Legacy Emmanuel. ”
The rolls continued to sell and Rutz continued to send money to the food bank.
Comfort food to match
After taking note of the money Whitney was donating, the Oregon food bank called Rutz and offered to set up a fundraiser on its website. And now, for every $ 500 donated to the food bank, Rutz makes a giant cinnamon roll to give to Portland health workers.
“For every dollar, we can distribute three meals. So she has supplied 90,000 meals to Portland and the entire Oregon food bank network, “Susannah Morgan, chief executive officer of the Oregon Food Bank, told CNN.
And during this pandemic, the food bank experienced a spike in requests for food aid.
“I have been a food banker for 24 years. It’s the highest hunger rate I’ve ever seen. Our system in the month before the pandemic serves 260,000 people a month. We have seen an increase of 20 to 70% in recent months. seven weeks, “said Morgan. “This is a very difficult time for our community and our nation and Whitney has found a magic formula to serve our community with food, joy and love. “
Rutz is now preparing more than 20 giant rolls a week with the help of his twin sister, Carrington Light, and a friend.
“It feels good to focus on something positive and the generosity of people who donate to a stranger to have cinnamon rolls distributed to health care workers.” I feel like it wouldn’t have been possible without the community. “