On February, 24, the 20th annual Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump will benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank this year. Community members interested in supporting local hunger-relief efforts are encouraged to join the Foodbank by jumping into the frigid waters of Portage Lakes.

“The Polar Bear Jump has become a beloved event in our community, and we’re grateful for the individuals and organizations who choose to participate every year,” said Leslie Genovese, director of corporate engagement for the Foodbank. “The event is a unique and fun way people can come together to show their support for the Foodbank and families facing hunger. The event has become a memorable and annual tradition for many, and we are so appreciative of our partnership with the Portage Lakes Polar Bear Club who make it happen.”

Get involved:
•    Jump for the Foodbank! Visit akroncantonfoodbank.org/polarbear to register. 
•    Too chicken to jump, but want to support the Foodbank? Register as a Chicken and collect donations for the Foodbank. Chilly Chicken will jump in the lake on your behalf.

Day-of registration and packet pickup begins at noon; the jump takes place at 2pm. 
A $50 minimum donation will need to be made to jump.

So far, community businesses like Summa Health, Burns & McDonnell and 415 Group are top fundraisers for the jump. This year’s goal is to raise $125,000 which would help the Foodbank provide the equivalent of 375,000 meals to its network of 600 food pantries, hot meal sites, shelters and other hunger-relief programs within its eight-county service area.

The Foodbank is grateful for the community’s support. Last year in partnership with its hunger-relief network, it served a record number of people seeking help with groceries. More than 3 million visits were made to the network, and there was a 31% increase in people visiting food pantries alone.

“We know that the demand for emergency food is at an all-time high,” said Dan Flowers, Foodbank president and CEO. “But the community’s generous support of the Polar Bear Jump and of the Foodbank all year long ensure we can serve as the difference between hunger and hope for our neighbors.”

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