Shnider Is Collecting PB&J To Feed The Needy

Ryan Shnider, a 12-year-old from Wellington, is making the most of his bar mitzvah project by focusing his attention on those in need. On May 20, with help from Whole Foods Market, all stores in Broward and Palm Beach counties will donate 5 percent of their net day’s sales to Ryan’s “PB&J Project” supporting the Pantry of Broward.

The partnership is part of Whole Foods Market’s 5 Percent Day, in which all stores donate 5 percent of their net day sales to a local educational or nonprofit organization. Stores participating in the project include: Coral Springs (810 University Drive), Plantation (7720 Peters Road), Pembroke Pines (14956 Pines Boulevard), Fort Lauderdale (2000 N. Federal Highway), Wellington (2635 State Road 7), Boca Raton (1400 Glades Road) and Palm Beach Gardens (11701 Lake Victoria Gardens).

“Raising money for peanut butter and jelly is really important for these children,” Shnider said. “Peanut butter and jelly can be used as a daily meal and provide enough nutrition to raise healthy children. Over the past six months, I have been busy baking cookies and making lemonade to sell in front of my house in order to raise money. I look at this as turning lemons into lemonade and into PB&J.”

Initially, Ryan e-mailed Whole Foods Market co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb about his idea. Shortly thereafter, the project was moving forward.

The Pantry of Broward serves seniors in need on low fixed incomes and grandparents raising their grandchildren throughout Broward County. The pantry serves more than 400 clients (senior citizens) and feeds more than 1,000 people each month as each grandparent might have several grandchildren living with them. They distribute more than 25,000 pounds of food each month.

In an effort to raise more funds on May 20 for the “PB&J Project,” participating stores will sell $2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with customers’ choice of nut butter, jelly and toppings. All of the proceeds from the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will be donated to the project.

Shnider and his family will stop at each store during the day to assist with the project. The schedule is as follows: Palm Beach Gardens, 10:45 a.m.; Wellington, 11:45 a.m.; Boca Raton, 12:45 p.m.; Coral Springs, 1:30 p.m.; Pembroke Pines, 2:30 p.m.; Plantation, 3:45 p.m.; and Fort Lauderdale, 5 p.m.

ABOVE: Ryan Shnider