FAQ

About Our Work

What is the Freestore Foodbank?

The Freestore Foodbank of Cincinnati, Ohio is the largest emergency food and services provider in the Tri-State area, serving a 20 county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. We purchase, solicit and collect donated food from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and government agencies and distribute it to about 260 community partner agencies. The Freestore Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks and food rescue programs. The Freestore Foodbank is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. To download our IRS Form 990, click here.

 

What is the Freestore Foodbank’s mission?

Our mission is to provide food and services, create stability and further self-reliance for people in crisis. Our vision is to be the leader of a community mobilized to end hunger and address its causes. Our values are Commitment, Compassion, Empowerment and Community.

 

What are the strategic goals of the Freestore Foodbank?

One Goal:

  • 21.5 million meals – 2016
  • 23.5 million meals – 2018

Maximize Mission Impact

  • Develop and pilot Self-Sufficiency Index
  • Evaluate programs for mission fit
  • Develop operational plans to engage internal and external support

Board Governance

  • Strengthen Governance Committee
  • Formalize nomination process
  • Implement Board commitment pledge and self-evaluation

Deepen Relationships

  • Raise more money
  • Leverage volunteer/corporate relationships to enhance volunteer activity and increase donations
  • Enhance talent management and relationship development efforts

Regionalization

  • Explore regional approach to Customer Connections Center
  • Collaborate to improve processes and cash flow
  • Develop council of advisory agencies
  • Build advocacy efforts to shape policy

Where is the Freestore Foodbank located?

The Freestore Foodbank has four area locations:

 

  1. Jeff and Darlene Anderson Family Building

1141 Central Parkway

Cincinnati OH 45202

 

This location houses administrative offices and the Rosenthal Community Kitchen, which is the home to Cincinnati Cooks Catering and our Cincinnati COOKS! culinary job training program

 

  1. Mayerson Distribution Center

1250 Tennessee Ave.

Cincinnati OH 45229

 

We distribute more than 20 million annually. At our Mayerson Distribution Center, all food is checked for quality and sorted, and our Power Packs are assembled by volunteers.

 

  1. Customer Connection Center

112 E. Liberty St.

Cincinnati OH 45202

 

The Customer Connection Center in Over-the-Rhine houses administrative offices, as well as our Food Room where we provide emergency food assistance to thousands of individuals each month. Additionally, we provide referrals to community partner agencies that can assist customers with housing, clothing, money management and job assistance.

 

  1. The Giving Fields

101 Anderson Avenue

Melbourne, KY 41059

 

The Giving Fields is a community farm that helps alleviate hunger in the community by growing fresh produce for Northern Kentucky agencies of the Freestore Foodbank. The Giving Fields is a project operated in partnership between Freestore Foodbank, Doug and Sheila Bray, the Campbell County Cooperative Extension, and Northern Kentucky partner agencies.

 

How does the Freestore Foodbank get food?

National and local food manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, brokers and food distributors donate food and supplies to the Freestore Foodbank, including packaged, canned, perishable and non-perishable food, which meet all food safety and nutrition standards. Additionally, traditional canned food drives total thousands of meals donated by the community. Fresh produce and prepared foods are donated by many grocery retailers including Kroger, Walmart, Remke and Meijer. In order to supply the food programs with specific products, the Freestore Foodbank also purchases large quantities of staple foods and basic supplies at wholesale prices, utilizing donated funds.

 

How is the food distributed?

Food arrives at the Freestore Foodbank on pallets from retailers or wholesalers or in barrels from community food drives. The food is inspected, sorted, labeled and stored at our distribution center for repacking and distribution. Community partner agencies order food based on their needs and are able to pick up their orders or have them delivered. Our Mobile Food Pantry carries food to rural areas, where there are gaps in our service. Additionally, our Power Pack and Kids Cafe programs provide thousands of meals monthly to hungry children.

 

How much food is distributed?

We provide more than 20 million meals annually over three states in 20 counties.

 

Who does the Freestore Foodbank serve?

With the support of our network of 260 community partner agencies, the Freestore Foodbank serves hungry children and families through soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, after-school/summer programs, and senior, youth, rehabilitation and outreach centers. We also partner with local school districts to provide thousands of meals to disadvantaged students through our in-house programs, Kids Cafe and Power Pack.

The Freestore Foodbank also serves the community by offering a free 10-week culinary job training program for adults, called Cincinnati COOKS! As students proceed through the program, they learn life and job skills that ensure their success, in both professional kitchens and in their personal lives. Cincinnati COOKS! students also prepare all of the meals for the Freestore Foodbank Kids Cafe program, which provides after-school nutrition for children who might otherwise go hungry.

How can someone receive assistance Freestore Foodbank?

The Freestore Foodbank provides emergency food and other services at our Customer Connection Center in Over-the-Rhine. We also distribute food through our network of 260 community partner agencies located in our Tri-State area. Information regarding our emergency Food Room below:

 

112 E. Liberty St.

Cincinnati, OH 45202

(513)357-4600

 

Monday – Friday*, 8:00am-3:00pm

*The Food Room is closed the first Friday of every month.

 

What do I need to bring?

When you come to the Customer Connection Center, please bring:

 

  • A state ID/driver’s license
  • Proof of current address (utility bill, paycheck stub, phone bill, etc)
  • Birth Certificate or Social security card for each person in your household

What types of food donations are acceptable?

We gladly accept your donations at our Customer Connection Center drive-thru bay, located at 112 East Liberty Street in Over-the-Rhine. Our volunteers will unload donations from your car. The drive-thru bay is open:

  • 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturday

Food

Most needed food items include: canned fruits and vegetables, cereals, tuna, canned chicken and soups.

 

The Freestore Foodbank is unable to accept prepared food, due to federal guidelines that requires all donated items to include an explicit label of ingredients. However, we do pick up prepared food from places like Kroger and Great American Ball Park, where the items go straight from the donor to a community partner agency that is equipped to distribute it quickly.

 

Does the Freestore Foodbank sell food?

The Freestore Foodbank does not and cannot sell donated food. In addition, our network of community partner agencies are prohibited from selling food intended for those in need. Community partner agencies do contribute a small shared maintenance fee to cover operational costs; the rate is charged by the pound and varies by type of food.

 

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