Becky's Story

Becky Thomas manages the River of Life food pantry, a member agency of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Becky and her dedicated team supply groceries to an average of 75 different families each time their pantry doors are open.

While picking up food for her monthly distribution at the Foodbank, Becky saw a postcard for the annual Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump.

Within seconds of reading that hundreds of community members will join together at the Polar Bear Jump to raise donations for the Foodbank, Becky knew exactly what she had to do—she had to jump!

“We see first hand the need in our community, and it’s growing,” said Becky. “Since I took over the pantry two years ago, our program has more than doubled. Those we serve have become part of my extended family; they really have. This jump gives us another opportunity to help those in our community who need it the most. We get to pay it forward!”

But Becky won’t be jumping alone. She has plans to recruit church members, volunteers and her daughter, who has already agreed to take the icy plunge with her.

Becky’s daughter, Rachel, shares her mom’s passion for service. “Food is just such a basic need,” Rachel stated. “Just by jumping, someone else can be served. We get to bless others and all it takes is jumping in water. And if my mom and I can do it, you can do it!”

The Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump has an ambitious goal to raise enough money to provide 400,000 meals for the Foodbank, and you can help. You’re invited to join Becky and Rachel on February 21, 2015! For more information, please visit