GOOD SAMARITAN Katie Swan has swapped tennis balls for fruit bowls to help vulnerable US families in the fight against coronavirus.
The Bristol-born Fed Cup star is part of her mum Nicki’s expanding amateur grocery operation which is feeding 70 households in Wichita, Kansas.
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Their garage has turned into a mini supermarket with the family sorting out food packages which are delivered to locals daily.
While it is unlikely she will be playing at Wimbledon this summer, she will be shipping bundles of strawberries and cream to those who need it most.
British No6 Swan said: “My mum works with a charity called ‘Big Brother Big Sisters’.
“They look after kids that come from a tough background or whose families struggle financially.
“My mum already looks after some kids whose parents cannot give them the proper care they need.
“But when all of the coronavirus stuff started, she wanted to support those families with their groceries.
“Either because they were too scared to go out, or have too many kids they can’t leave them at the house.
“Basically she has been going to Costco pretty much every day for the past two weeks, buying loads of groceries.
“Through Facebook donations, she has raised more than $4,000.
“My brother and I help organise the care packages and get them ready for delivery. There’s a team of volunteers who then deliver the food . . . kids from my brother’s school.”
Those who benefit include a family of 15 who live in the same house.
There is also a 98-year-old man who loves nothing more than gorging on the Swan family homemade banoffee pie.
Swan, 21, revealed: “The other day my mum had a call from one single mum and she was crying.
“She is very religious and said she had prayed for my mum to say thank you so much. She blessed us all. It was emotional to hear.
“Mum’s a very good people person. She loves doing volunteer work.”
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“Over the last few years she started volunteering at the Humane Society.
“In the last year we had 17 different dogs in our house, which she has fostered. Ones that were going to be put down or they didn’t have a good home.
“She fosters them until they are ready to go up for adoption.”
Swan, who has lived in Wichita since 2013, reached the second round of SW19 in 2018 and would have been involved in the Fed Cup play-offs against Mexico next month.
Wimbledon chiefs meet next week to discuss cancelling the event for the first time since the Second World War.
Swan, ranked 256th in the world, said: “I’m hoping the situation is resolved — if not much better — this summer.
“But nobody can predict that. I’m just taking it one day at a time.
“If everyone does their best to stay hygienic and follows the guidelines, then hopefully Wimbledon has a chance of going ahead.
“But I’ve no idea if that will be the case.”