Local 12-year-old to swim for food bank donations

July 20, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

A local boy is turning what he loves, competitive swimming, into a way to donate to the Orangeville Food Bank, at a time when they see a decrease in donations.

Ryan Hann, 12, has been a competitive swimmer for four years, and is a member of the Orangeville Otters Swim Club. With a theme, ‘Will Swim for Food,’ he will be swimming at the Alder Recreation Centre in August for money and food donations.

“I know from swimming that I could not last a day without food,” he said. “It just breaks my heart to think that people live with hunger.”

He explained to the Citizen how last year in school he created a project for charity, and his family participated in the Christmas Hampers program. “It just made me think, ‘How could I help?’”

From August 19 to 25, Ryan will be doing 200 laps a day, equal to five kilometres, or 35 km for the week.

His initial goal was to raise 100 food items and $500, but within a few hours of putting it up on Facebook, he is now just shy of $1000, and so has increased his goal to $2000.

“It’s so overwhelming the generosity and support of the community,” said his mother, Christine.

Both Ryan and Heather Hayes, executive director of the food bank, agreed the timing is perfect as summertime is very slow for donations.

“Our food reserves are really low and we know that kids are out of school and don’t have access to breakfast and lunch programs,” said Ms. Hayes.

She said she is impressed with Ryan’s spirit and want to help others, and those who take their passion and unique abilities into giving back. “Our community is very generous and having a young man like this helps all of us focus on the good in Dufferin County.”

Ryan says he is looking forward to the week of the swim, and encourages other to join in as well.

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