The 18th annual Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump will benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Community members interested in supporting local hunger-relief efforts are encouraged to join the Foodbank by jumping into the frigid waters of Portage Lakes on Feb. 26.

“I was really scared the first time I jumped, but I’ve done it many times now; I’m used to it. It keeps me young!” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Foodbank. “The community’s support of this unique fundraiser makes it possible for the Foodbank to continue to serve families facing hunger as our region rebounds from the pandemic. We are so grateful for our partnership with the Portage Lakes Polar Bear Club for the opportunity to jump together in support of local families in need!”

The 2021 jump intended to support the Foodbank’s hunger-relief efforts was postponed due to COVID-19. This year, jumpers will be staged in groups and spaced accordingly, if needed, to maintain social distance.

Get involved:
• Jump for the Foodbank! Visit to register and download the jumper information packet.
• Too chicken to jump, but want to support the Foodbank? Visit and register as a Chicken. Collect donations for the Foodbank and Chilly Chicken will jump in the lake on your behalf.

“We invite all warm-hearted people willing to freeze their bodies to raise funds to help feed people and fight hunger in our community! Please join us!” said Flowers.

This year’s Polar Bear Jump goal is to raise $150,000. This will help the Foodbank provide the equivalent of 600,000 meals to its network of 600 food pantries, hot meal sites, shelters and other hunger-relief programs within its eight-county service area.

So far, community businesses like Ameriprise Financial - Pariso & Associates, Ayers Insurance and Cleveland Clinic Akron General have stepped up to the challenge and signed up to jump.

For more information about the Polar Bear Jump and how you can get involved, please visit or call 330.535.6900.