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Fall 2016 All Staff Meeting

Mediaon October 24th, 2016Comments Off on Fall 2016 All Staff Meeting

Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Help Fight Child Hunger

Mediaon October 17th, 2016Comments Off on Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Help Fight Child Hunger

In partnership with the Joy in Childhood Foundation (formerly The Dunkin’ donuts & Baskin-Robbins Communitybaskin Foundation), Dunkin’ donuts and Baskin-Robbins local franchisees, crewmembers and corporate employees have partnered with the Freestore Foodbank to help fight child hunger in communities throughout Greater Cincinnati.  The Freestore Foodbank joins other Feeding America member food banks across the country for the Joy in Childhood Foundation’s third annual National Week of Joy (formerly the Week of Service), taking place October 17-21, 2016 .  The Foundation anticipates that over 1,500 Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchisees across the country will be giving back with their time and/or donation.

This year Freestore Foodbank has expanded Power Packs. These are weekend bags of food assistance for children in grades K-8 who may not know where they will find their next meal. One in five or 21.8% of children in our region struggle to find proper nourishment for healthy development. This program supports more than 100 school sites and 5,000 children each weekend to improve the health and well-being of local students and help decrease childhood hunger. Each bag contains over a dozen nutritious, kid-formulated items to keep students strong and active.

The Joy in Childhood Foundation has been a supporter of Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization, since 2007 and partners with local food banks nationwide. This is the third year of a $1 million, three-year grant with Feeding America that supports critical initiatives nationwide to help alleviate childhood hunger.   As part of this gift, the Freestore Foodbank received a $5,000 grant for its Power Pack program in 2016. The check presentation took place on October 20, 2016.

Qiana’s Story

Mediaon October 13th, 2016Comments Off on Qiana’s Story

Holidays are a special time. They can also be one of the most challenging times of the year for hungry children and families. Qiana knows that all too well. The single mom found herself in a pickle a few years ago, as she was trying to make ends meet for her three teenage boys. She turned to our holiday food distribution for help.

“I didn’t let my pride get in the way. I knew I had to get assistance for my family. I knew that they deserved it and needed it.”thanksgiving-story

Qiana saw it as hand-up. She also took advantage of our culinary job training programs Cincinnati COOKS! and Second Course.

“For someone who  doesn’t really have a lot, it helps out for people to get more or want to do more with themselves. To get better or have a better living situation.”

Qiana is one of countless lives impact by our holiday distributions, as well as other services. Last year, we helped 36,000 people with a Thanksgiving and Christmas meal alone.

“We didn’t have to go without,” recalls Qiana. “It gave me and my family a meal that we all could have as a feast and show the love of the holiday season.”

We are busy gearing up for the 2016 holiday season. Click here for hours and additional information.

Tiara’s Story

Mediaon October 12th, 2016Comments Off on Tiara’s Story

photo-2-tiara-fambro-cooks-class-153Tiara has worked hard since high school, sometimes juggling three jobs to support herself. Through Cincinnati COOKS! she now has the skills and opportunities to provide a stable life for her and her family.

Growing up in Forest Park, Tiara had a difficult relationship with her mother. Eventually, the tension caused Tiara to move in with her grandmother while she completed high school at Winton Woods.

After graduation, Tiara thought about joining the Army or attending community college, but neither seemed like the right fit for her. She found a job as a housekeeper at a nursing home and steadily increased her responsibilities there. But something was missing in her work.

“I’ve always loved to cook. If we have a family gathering, I cook. My kids and I make brownies and they are always asking me about what I’m making.”

Tiara heard about the Cincinnati COOKS! program from a friend who graduated in early 2016, and she decided to apply.

Starting in a new program in a new field was a struggle for Tiara, and she seriously considered quitting. But the support of COOKS! staff encouraged her to continue.

Once she settled into the program, Tiara decided to get ahead on her job search and look for work in the culinary field. She was hired to work in the kitchen at a suburban hotel, and within a couple of weeks was promoted to kitchen manager. Juggling COOKS! training, work and taking care of her three children has been challenging, but Tiara has big plans for herself and her family.

“I want my kids to grow up in a place where they can play outside in a yard. I want to give them that.”

In preparation for a Cincinnati COOKS! job fair, COOKS! staff helped Tiara update her resume. After meeting with several employers, Tiara was offered a full-time position, starting after graduation, with benefits and a salary that would allow her to provide the safe and stable home for her family that she dreams about.

Tiara plans to accept the position, and she also wants to continue her culinary education by taking Second Course and eventually pursuing a certificate or degree program.



The Freestore Foodbank announces a $50,000 grant from the Morgan Stanley Foundation to fund its School Pantry program, a child hunger initiative that helps to make sure low-income families have a readily accessible source of morgan-stanley-check-presentationhealthy and nutritious food to prepare at home.

The grant is part of the Morgan Stanley Foundation’s recently announced $8 million, four-year pledge to support Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks, and its children’s hunger and produce programs. Since the firm’s partnership with Feeding America launched in 2009, the Foundation has given over $21 million, including $110,000 to the Freestore Foodbank.

“We are thrilled to receive this important grant from the Morgan Stanley Foundation in support of our efforts to deliver more nutritious meals to children and families in Cincinnati,” said Kurt Reiber, President and CEO of the Freestore Foodbank.  “Morgan Stanley and its employees provide vital support to our efforts by generous contributions like this.”

“We are honored to be able to help the Freestore Foodbank in its important fight against child hunger,” said Morgan Stanley Complex Manager Rusty Clark. “Our employees volunteer regularly with Freestore, so we are delighted to extend our support through this grant and provide even more children with the foods they need to learn, grow and thrive.”

“Grants like this from Morgan Stanley make a vital difference in our efforts to provide children with the nutritious meals they need every day,” said Nancy Curby, Interim Senior Vice President of Development at Feeding America. “More than 13 million children in the United States live at risk of hunger. Together, we can solve hunger and ensure that children have the fuel they need to grow healthy and strong.”

Registration Form

Mediaon October 5th, 2016Comments Off on Registration Form

Register for the Ohio Medicaid/Marketplace
Application Assistance: Best Practices

Training presented by:
Southwest Ohio Marketplace Assisters Workgroup

October 24, 2016, 12:30 pm-3:30 pm
(lunch provided)

Freestore Foodbank, Mayerson Distribution Center
1250 Tennessee Ave., Cincinnati, OH  45229
(On street parking available)

Contact Person:
Ryan Luckie,, 513-357-4633

Are you:
 Navigator Certified Application Counselor Agent/Broker Other




Email Address:

Will you be attending the Networking Lunch from 12:30 pm-1pm?
 Yes No

If yes, please list any dietary restrictions:

The Volunteer Connection October 2016

Mediaon September 30th, 2016Comments Off on The Volunteer Connection October 2016

Never underestimate your ability to make someone else’s life better - even if you never know it. Greg Louganis

Upcoming Events – Just in Time for the Holidays
All the ducks have been washed, packed, and shipped. Summer has officially ended. What’s next? Check out our upcoming volunteer events below, just in time for the holiday season!

Yom Kippur Food Drive
Wednesday, October 12
Annually during Yom Kippur, Wise Temple Centers on Ridge Road and Plum Street host a food drive to benefit the Freestore Foodbank.  Volunteers are needed to help unload vehicles and place donated items in awaiting totes.  Spaces are still available at the Ridge Road location. Click Here to view shift time and to sign up.

Coat Day Distribution
Tuesday, October 27
Help keep families warm during the cold winter months by assisting us on Coat Day distributing coats to families at our Customer Connection Center. You can also help prepare for the big day by sorting and steaming coats beginning on October 10 through October 25 and event set-up on October 26. We will be accepting coat donations until October 20 as well. For more information or to sign up to volunteer click on the following link: Coat Drive Volunteer

Check-Out Hunger
Monday, November 14 – Tuesday, January 3
Adopt a Kroger store and assist with maintaining the placards (coupon holders) and tear coupons located at each cash register and U-Scan. This campaign gives customers a convenient way to give to the Freestore as they pay for their groceries.  This is a flexible volunteer activity and can be done on your own time. It’s a great way to get your family involved, even with a full work or school schedule. Sign up today!  I’m a Check-Out Hunger Volunteer

Twice the Impact on Double Your Dollars Day
Wednesday, November 16
Come out and join us! We will kick-off the holiday season with our Fifth Annual Double Your Dollars Day campaign.  Thanks to our community partners, every dollar donated to the Freestore Foodbank that day will be matched allowing us to feed twice as many Tri-State children and families! Volunteers are needed to answer phones and complete the one page payment forms.

Rumble in the Jungle – Bengals Canned Food Drive
Sunday, November 20
We are teaming up again with the Cincinnati Bengals for the 30th Annual Bengals Canned Food Drive on Sunday, November 20 at Paul Brown Stadium.  Last year, food and monetary donations received through this event helped us to provide more than 71,000 meals to hungry children and families in the community. Let’s have some fun together while helping families in need collecting monetary and food donations.  I’m a Bengals Food Drive Volunteer

It’s a Family Thing – Holiday Food Distribution
Monday, November 21 – Wednesday, November 23
Wednesday, December 21 – Thursday, December 22
This event takes place at the Customer Connection Center. Volunteers helps to make our Holiday Food Distribution happen! Do you want to give back during the holidays? This event is just right for you. Come by yourself or with family, friends, and/or co-workers and help us provide a meal for families this holiday season. Holiday Food Box Distribution Volunteer

Adopt-a-Family this Holiday Season
Share in the spirit of the holidays by helping other families enjoy the season. Become a donor and purchase gifts for one of our Freestore Foodbank families that participate in our Housing, Direct Rent and Shelter Diversion programs.  Adopt –a– Family is an annual program that helps over 200 customers during the holidays. Your generosity will provide a great sense of value and worth to these families and clearly demonstrates, in a meaningful way, that others care about them.  For more information about adopting a family or helping with gift purchases, please email: or call 513-720-6099.

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities


Thank you to the following groups for your support September 2016!
We sincerely appreciate their continued support and contribution of their time.

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

Catalina Marketing
CR Architecture
Equipment Depot
Ernst & Young
Farm Credit Mid-America
Fifth Third
Fort Washington Investment Advisors
General Electric
Green Hills/Forest Park Kiwanis
Guardian Angels
IN Marketing
Messer Construction
Northwestern Mutual
Ohio National Corp
Ohio Society of CPAs
P & G
Park National Bank
Pep Promotions
Pepsi Beverage Co.
Redeemer Church
Rochester Institute of Technology
Ross School
St. Xavier  High School
University of Cincinnati
US Bank
Western & Southern
Xavier University

Giving Fields (Melbourne, KY)

Atricure Finance
Fifth Third
Great American Insurance Group
Guardian Angels
Hillman Group
LaSalle High School
Northern Kentucky University
P & G
Perfetti van Melle USA
Plum Creek Church
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Sigma Beta Club
Tri-State Freethinkers
Tyson Foods, Inc
US Bank
Xavier University

Food Room (Liberty Street)

Duke Energy
Ernst & Young
First Financial Bank
Henkel Corporation

FeedingWorks: Transformational Teambuilding

Looking for a new way to strengthen your team’s ability to communicate, problem-solve and manage conflict while improving your opportunities to provide successful outcomes? Looking for an opportunity to not only grow stronger as a team internally, but to make an external impact on the community? Consider FeedingWorks, the Freestore Foodbank’s social enterprise.

FeedingWorks is a unique combination of professional leadership development and the transformational experience of a team working together to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. Teams form genuine bonds through this experience which is based on the principle of giving back while developing yourself and your team.

For more information about how your company can benefit from FeedingWorks, please visit

Learn About The Neighbors We Serve

Mediaon September 13th, 2016Comments Off on Learn About The Neighbors We Serve

Braiden and his brother Ashton by no means live a simple life. They live with their grandmother in Pike County, just southeast of Cincinnati. The boys moved to the area last year. Braiden and Ashton have occasional visits with their dad, but no longer see their mom because of legal issues. Their grandmother is on a fixed income.

Learn About The Neighbors We Serve

Braiden and his brother Ashton

The boys find some sense of normalcy at school. They attend an elementary school in Piketon, where Braiden is a second grade student and Ashton is repeating kindergarten. This school year marks their second as “Power Pack kids.” The boys receive the kid-friendly bags of food each Friday during the school year, to ensure they have something to eat on the weekend when they are away from school. This is made possible by a partnership between the Freestore Foodbank and the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.

“We wouldn’t have anything to eat without the Power Packs,” said Braiden.

And without them, the brothers say they would be, “sad.”

Both boys share some of the food items with their two-year-old sister. “She especially loves the sunflower seeds,” said Ashton.

“Given the fixed income of their grandmother and the uncertainty of the visits to their father’s apartment, Power Packs provide a consistent food source for these boys during these ever-changing times,” said Mark Hunter of the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.

Braiden and Ashton are just two of the more than 4,000 children around the Tri-State who receive Power Packs each week. The Freestore Foodbank currently operates the program in partnership with 95 schools in Hamilton, Clermont, Clinton, Pike and Scioto Counties in Ohio and Campbell, Kenton Boone and Grant Counties in Northern Kentucky.

Feeding America Releases Study On Teens And Food Insecurity In America

Mediaon September 12th, 2016Comments Off on Feeding America Releases Study On Teens And Food Insecurity In America

teenBringing Teens to the Table and Impossible Choices are the products of a research collaborative between the Urban Institute and Feeding America aimed at better understanding the ways in which teens experience and cope with food insecurity in the United States. It used qualitative methods—a series of focus group discussions with teens in low-income communities—to explore three key questions:

(1) How do teens experience food insecurity in their families and communities?
(2) What coping strategies, including risky behavior, do they use to survive?
(3) What are barriers to teen participation in the current food assistance programs, and how could teens be better engaged?

Twenty focus groups were held in 10 diverse communities across the country, spanning five states in the West, Midwest, and Southeast; public and market-rate housing; and large and small urban areas as well as urbanized clusters located in more rural parts of the country. A total of 193 youth participated in these discussions, with separate groups held for boys and girls in each site.

Bringing Teens to the Table: A Focus on Food Insecurity in America broadly covers the ways in which teens experience food insecurity, the strategies they employ, their experiences with government and charitable feeding programs and their ideas about improvements.

Impossible Choices: Teens and Food Insecurity in America more narrowly examines the risky behaviors in which some teens engage when resources are scarce.

Key Findings
The following are key findings from Bringing Teens to the Table and Impossible Choices:

  • Teens are active participants in family food acquisition and management strategies. Getting the largest volume of food for the lowest price is the driving factor behind most food choices. Acquisition of healthier, higher quality foods is often sacrificed to stretch limited dollars. Fresh food, including produce, is often deemed both a luxury and a risky purchase, due to higher cost and risk of spoilage.
  • Teen food insecurity is widespread. Even in focus groups where participants had little direct experience with food insecurity themselves, teens were aware of classmates and neighbors who regularly did not have enough to eat. These accounts are consistent with national data, which show that approximately one in five children under the age of 18 lives in food-insecure households.
  • Teens fear stigma around hunger and actively hide it as much as they can. Consequently, many teens avoid food assistance delivered in publicly visible settings or from people outside of a trusted circle of friends and family. They feel embarrassed if others know that their families receive charitable help and repeatedly emphasize that incorporating food into other programming and services is a desirable approach.
  • Food-insecure teens strategize about how to mitigate their hunger and make food last longer for the whole family. For example, they may go over to friends’ or relatives’ houses to eat, or they may save their school lunch for the weekend. They also look out for friends who may be struggling.
  • Although parents try to protect teens from hunger and from bearing responsibility for providing for themselves or others, teens in food-insecure families also routinely take on this role. They find ways to bring food into the household and sometimes go without food to protect younger siblings.
  • SNAP is an important source of support for many families, and benefits are valued because they allow households to acquire food by shopping in mainstream retail settings. Although they see SNAP as beneficial, teens also talk about the inability of families to stretch the benefits over an entire month and the loss of benefits when incomes improve only marginally.
  • Teens have a lot of opinions about school meal programs and ideas about how to strengthen them. Many teens believe more resources should be devoted to improving the quality of the programs, but they also recognize that they are very important for many food-insecure teens and express concerns about students who they perceive need the school meals just to get by, particularly access to free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program.
  • Most teens in the focus groups seem unaware of summer feeding options, and some perceive them as largely programs for younger children. The lack of engagement with summer feeding stands in stark contrast to teens’ own reports that summer is a time when there is greater pressure on family food budgets.
  • Teens frequently perceive that charitable feeding programs are not available to their age group. In some cases, they perceive that only adults can access charitable feeding programs, although adolescents may be responsible for acquiring household food resources. In other cases, programs like weekend backpacks are viewed as available only to younger kids.
  • Teens are very aware of the broader economic challenges that are connected to food insecurity. They have a host of ideas about changes to the food system, public policy, school nutrition programs, and charitable responses they believe would better meet the needs of food-insecure teens in their communities.
  • Teens would overwhelmingly prefer to earn money through a legitimate job. However, prospects for youth employment are extremely limited in most communities—particularly in those with the highest rates of poverty; and teens often cannot make enough money with odd jobs to make a dent in family food insecurity.
  • When faced with acute food insecurity, teens in all but two of the communities said that youth engage in criminal behavior, ranging from shoplifting food directly to selling drugs and stealing to resell the items for cash. These behaviors were most common among young men in communities with the most limited employment options.
  • Teens in all 10 communities and in 13 of the 20 focus groups talked in some way about “some girls selling their body” or “sex for money.” These themes came out most strongly in high poverty communities where teens also described sexually coercive environments (Popkin et al. 2016). Sexual exploitation most commonly took the form of transactional dating relationships with older men.
  • In a few communities, teens talked about going to jail or flunking school as viable strategies for dealing with food insecurity.

Teens in the focus groups shared their ideas about ways programs could improve to better reach teens in need, and the Urban Institute and Feeding America have been engaging teens in Portland, Oregon, to design and launch a pilot program to reduce stigma and increase teens’ access to food.

Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, which annually provides free meals and groceries to more than 46 million people (or 1 in 7 Americans), including 12 million children and seven million seniors. The study is supported by ConAgra Foods Foundation.

Charitable Gift Annuities

Mediaon September 8th, 2016Comments Off on Charitable Gift Annuities

Charitable Gift Annuities

With a Charitable Gift Annuity, donors transfer cash or stock to the Freestore Foodbank. That gift is held for the Freestore Foodbank and the donor by Feeding America. As a result of supporting the organization, the donor receives a partial tax deduction and gets a guaranteed stream of annual income for their lifetime.

To learn more about making a charitable gift annuity please contact Mindy Hammer at or 513-482-7099

Read about other donors who have made the decision to create a Charitable Gift Annuity.

The Perfect Way to Give

Peter and Mary Bauer

Peter and Mary Bauer

“I won’t forget when working in a poor school district, how it broke my heart to see hunger affect children in my classroom.”  Mary Bauer, who retired as a primary school teacher years ago, still recalls how some of her students came to school and couldn’t concentrate because their stomachs were empty. The kid-friendly, nutritional food that the Freestore Foodbank provides over weekends, holidays and breaks would have been a great help to improve the performance and the health of these students.

When Mary was choosing a charitable organization to make a Charitable Gift Annuity with, she felt the Freestore Foodbank would be a perfect choice. Peter, her husband, agreed. A number of year’s back he had a relative that went through a personal crisis and was able to receive supportive services provided at the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center.

With a charitable gift annuity, donors transfer cash or stock to the Freestore Foodbank. It is a mutually beneficial method of giving. As a result of supporting the organization, they receive a partial tax deduction and get a guaranteed stream of annual income for their lifetime. Those benefits made the decision to support the Freestore Foodbank perfect for them. We are thankful for their foresight and dedication in the fight against hunger.

Please consider joining all of us in ensuring tomorrow’s harvest.

Donor Inquiries
Learn More About Our Endowment Learn More About Making A Gift In Your Will Learn More About Making A Gift Through Your Insurance Or Retirement Plan Learn more about some of our Tomorrow’s Harvest Society Members