Whole Foods Market Helps Bar Mitzvah Boy Raise Money For Food Bank

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Usually when a young man has a Bar Mitzvah he's celebrated with a large party and lavished with checks and gifts. When consulted about his own Bar Mitzvah, 12 year-old Wellington resident Ryan Shnider had a strange request. Was it to have a Cirque-themed affair? Hire One Direction as cover band? Get a celebrity chef to cater the event?

On the contrary, young Shnider had a much less selfish way to mark the occasion. He wanted to provide food to families in need -- peanut butter and jelly, to be specific.

Ryan started raising money for his "PB&J Project", baking cookies and making lemonade to sell in front of his house for the past six months.

"I look at this as turning lemons into lemonade...and into PB&J," he says. To further fund the project, Ryan emailed Whole Foods Market's co-CEO's to get them as a partner. The result is a one-day fundraiser for the project, with proceeds supporting the Pantry of Broward.

The Pantry of Broward serves seniors in need on low fixed incomes and grandparents raising their grandchildren throughout Broward County. Over 400 senior citizens take advantage of the pantry, which distributes more than 25,000 pounds of food per month.

On Tuesday, May 20, all Whole Foods Markets in Broward and Palm Beach counties will donate five percent of their net day's sales to Ryan's "PB&J Project". In addition, participating stores will sell $2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, customized with a choice of nut butters, jellies, and toppings, with all proceeds benefiting the project.

Ryan and his family will stop at each participating store during the day to assist with the project, so go out and congratulate him on becoming a man in every sense of the word. Schedule is as follows:

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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