Press Releases

Foodbank seeks warm-hearted people willing to freeze their bodies to help fight hunger at the Polar Bear Jump

Feb 12, 2019

The 16th annual Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump will benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Community members interested in supporting hunger-relief efforts in the local community are encouraged to join the Foodbank by jumping into the frigid waters of Portage Lakes on Feb. 23, 2019.

“I was really scared the first time I jumped, but I’ve done it many times now; I’m used to it. Face your fear, grab your swimsuit and winter hat, and join us for this exhilarating experience,” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Foodbank. “Your support makes it possible for the Foodbank to provide 105,000 meals every day to our community. We are so grateful to partner with the community for this great event, and we sincerely thank the Portage Lakes Polar Bear Club for the opportunity to jump together in support of our local families in need!”

During last year’s Polar Bear Jump, thousands of spectators came to support nearly 800 jumpers becoming ‘polar bears’ by plunging into the icy Portage Lakes. The jumpers raised more than $150,000 for nonprofit agencies in the community.

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 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 nearly 500 food pantries, hot meal sites, shelters and other hunger-relief programs within its eight-county service area.

So far, community businesses like FirstEnergy, Kisling, Nestico & Redick and Ayers Insurance 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.