A Man with a Vision and a Heart to Help
The Freestore Foodbank began in 1971. Its early beginnings come with a story – a man with a heart to help others. Frank Gerson, a worker at Cincinnati’s incinerator, saw useable household items being tossed away. He began collecting those items and distributing them to families in need.
Gerson named his practice the Free Store. He incorporated it as a public charity, quit his job, and opened for business in his apartment.
In 1979, the Free Store became a founding member of Feeding America, evolving into the Freestore Foodbank, and began distributing food to our neighbors in need.
Today the Freestore Foodbank is one of over 200 food banks within the Feeding America network serving communities across the nation.
The Freestore Foodbank is also a member of:
Meeting a Growing Need
Now under the leadership of Kurt Reiber, the Freestore Foodbank is one of Ohio’s largest food banks, distributing more than 19 million meals annually through a network of more than 275 community partner agencies serving 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Become more familiar with Kurt and our team working each day to help fight hunger and bring hope to those who need it most. Our Board of Directors is leading the way for us to find innovative ways to be self-sustaining in today’s economy.
What the Freestore Foodbank is about
Food is a vehicle for a larger conversation, aimed at helping to create stability and self-reliance for our neighbors in need.
We provide food and services, create stability, and further self-reliance for people in crisis.
To be the leader of a community mobilized to end hunger and address its causes.
Our Core Values
Commitment: We will not accept hunger.
Compassion: We embrace diversity.
Respect: We are in service with our neighbors.
Empowerment: Those we serve can succeed independently.
Community: We collaborate with others in our region.
Customer Connection Center
When people come to the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center, located at 112 East Liberty Street, for food, we also help connect them to additional resources to help create stability. Services made available include:
- Food assistance in our Food Room ( a choice pantry)
- Money management
- Clothing assistance
- Bus tokens
- Housing/rent assistance
- Homeless outreach
Mayerson Distribution Center
At the Freestore Foodbank’s Mayerson Distribution Center, located at 1250 Tennessee Avenue in Bond Hill, all food is sorted and distributed to help families and children in need in the Tri-State. The Freestore Foodbank accepts donations from canned food drive, government agencies, wholesalers, retailers and produce farmers.
Additional Ways We Help
Using food to create positive solutions for stability, our programs work to eliminate hunger from many angles in the community. Additional programs of the Freestore Foodbank include:
• Cincinnati COOKS!
• The Giving Fields
• Rosenthal Fresh Food Initiative
• Power Pack
• Kids Cafe
A Blueprint to Fight Hunger
With a growing need in the community, the Freestore Foodbank has a goal to fight hunger and support our neighbors in need by providing:
21.5 million meals in 2016
23.5 million meals in 2018
Our Strategic Plan breaks down how we plan to reach that goal.
How You Can Help
You can join us in helping to make a difference. With every dollar donated, the Freestore Foodbank is able to provide three meals to children and families in need in the Tri-State. Your support goes a long way. 95% of all donations go directly to serving our neighbors in need.
As a non-profit, the Freestore Foodbank prides itself in being open and transparent about where our donors’ dollars are going.
Join our Team
Be a part of the fight against hunger by joining our staff. The Freestore Foodbank was named one of the Top Workplaces in 2012.
Our newsletters and Annual Reports provide a more in-depth look at some of the work the Freestore Foodbank is doing in the community.