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The Volunteer Connection December 2016

Mediaon December 5th, 2016Comments Off on The Volunteer Connection December 2016

Thank You!

Wishing All of Our Awesome Volunteers a Very Happy Holiday Season!

We have so much to be grateful for! We couldn’t fight hunger without your continued support, enthusiastic spirit and time! We had a whirlwind of events in November and because of our magnificent volunteers each event was a HUGE success!

November Volunteers

Fantastic News: Christmas Holiday Food Box Distribution
Thanks to everyone who has signed up or wanted to sign up to volunteer at our Christmas Food Box Distribution. The amount of interest to help out was astronomical to the point we had more than enough volunteers to make it happen! Thank you to our fantastic volunteers in 2016!


Check out these other amazing opportunities coming in 2017!

MLK Day Power Pack-A-ThonMLK Day Power Pack-A-Thon
What can be better than spending three hours of your day helping us feed hungry children by assembling Power Packs at our Power Pack-A-Thon on Monday, January 16th. This is the best service day assignment ever and you would not want to miss out on all the fun. Sign Up Today! Spaces are limited.

studentsStudent Nights: Helping Students Achieve Their Community Service Hours
Are you a student 16 years of age or older and in need of community service hours? Then we have an opportunity just for you!! Every Thursday beginning on January 12, 2017 until the end of the school year,  we’ll host a Student Night at the Distribution Center on Tennessee Avenue to give students the opportunity to earn those required community service hours! Tell your friends, bring them along and let’s have some fun while providing a great service to someone in need! Sign Up Now! Reservations are needed and spaces are limited.


Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP

thankyou_banner

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

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

Anheuser-Busch
Blue Mark Capital
Bottom Line Systems
Chobani
Christ Hospital
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Cincinnati Kiwanis
Duracell
F + W Media
Fidant Wealth Partners
Fifth Third
Four EG
General Electric
Green Hills/Forest Park Kiwanis
Green Ink Press
IGS Energy
Iota Sweetheart Inc.
JLL
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Kroger
Northwestern Mutual
P & G
Protiviti
Vantiv
Western Southern Financial
Wyoming Presbyterian Church

Food Room (Liberty Street)

GCSMPS
General Electric
Humana
Macy’s
Miami University

Events (Bengals Canned Food Drive and Thanksgiving Holiday Food Box Distribution)

American Modern Young Professionals
Ameriprise
Ameritas
Astellas Pharmaceutical
Beechwood High School
Belterra Casino
Buffalo Wild Wings
Chateau at Mountain Crest
Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Cintas
Concur
Delta
Duke Energy
Dynegy
EMC Insurance
Ethicon
Fidelity Investments
Fifth Third
First Financial Bank
Fund Evaluation Group
General Electric (GE)
Girl Scouts
Go Dutch
Harrison Pavilion Nursing Center
ILSCO Corporation
KAO
Mike Albert
Nestle
News America
Northern Kentucky University
P & G
Pep Promotions
Rhinegeist Brewery
RSW/US
S.C. Johnson & Son
Socius
St. Joseph Catholic School
Standard Retirement Services
Star One Realtors
Talbert House
The United States Playing Card Co
Thomas More College
UFCW Local 75
University of Cincinnati
US Bank
Vantiv
Withrow High School Alum C/O 87


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 www.feedingworks.com.

Montgomery Food Share

Mediaon November 9th, 2016Comments Off on Montgomery Food Share

montgomery-food-share-3Hunger affects people you see every day – the cashier at the grocery store, a child in your son or daughter’s class, the senior down the street who requires expensive medications. Many people live one paycheck away from financial disaster. An unexpected illness, injury, car repair, or life change can put a self-sufficient person at risk of hunger.

The Freestore Foodbank distributes 23 million meals, including shelf stable and perishable food and grocery items, to people facing hunger each year.

The generous support of the community helps to make our work possible.

In 2013, Montgomery resident Wendy New launched an initiative to help support our efforts to solve hunger. It’s called the Montgomery Food Share. Montgomery residents are asked to make food donations once a month. Volunteers collect the donations, which they in turn deliver  to us.

montgomery-food-share-1“The Freestore Foodbank has the distribution capacity that is crucial to reach as many people in need as possible,” said Wendy. “Our efforts can be maximized, and the product can benefit even the most rural communities.”

The first Montgomery Share pickup in 2013 generated 721 meals for our efforts. Today, the initiative has grown to generate, on average 4,167 meals a month.

“The program has been successful beyond my wildest dreams. I hope that we can keep growing.” 

The Montgomery Food Share was recently highlighted in the Community Press. You can read the article here. To learn more about the Montgomery Food Share, please click here.

montgomery-food-share-2

His Second Act Provides Second Chances For Others

Mediaon November 9th, 2016Comments Off on His Second Act Provides Second Chances For Others

Mike is a man of many talents: professional accordion player, photographer, educator, and guidance counselor.

When he retired in 2005 he decided to cultivate a new talent: cooking.mike-van-oflen-1

“I’m Italian. Everyone in my family cooks. I’ve always enjoyed it so I thought, why not learn how to really cook.”

Mike enrolled in Cincinnati State’s culinary program, taking every class he could while also teaching in the humanities department. He graduated in 2009, but didn’t want to work in a restaurant or on weekends so he was unsure how he would apply his skills.

That autumn, he was invited to attend a dinner a friend had won at Freestore Foodbank’s Taste of the NFL event. That’s where he learned about Cincinnati COOKS! and found a place where he could continue to practice his cooking skills while also making a difference in the lives of his students.

Mike quickly became a volunteer and critical member of the COOKS! instructional staff, teaching baking but also preparation classes for the ServSafe exam and soft skills.

“There are a lot of job training programs out there, but not many of them provide the resume help and other skills that Cincinnati COOKS! does.”

mike-van-oflen-3Mike is particularly concerned about the opportunities available to single mothers.

“I saw it as a guidance counselor and even more in COOKS! A girl gets pregnant, doesn’t graduate, can’t go to school or get a good job because of child care, and is stuck. These women deserve a fair shake.”

Mike also financially supports the Freestore Foodbank’s programs because he wants to ensure his neighbors in need, including women, get the skills they need to build a better life for themselves and their children.  And, to ensure that his support continues well into the future, Mike has made the Freestore Foodbank a beneficiary in his estate plan.

Duane’s Story

Mediaon November 3rd, 2016Comments Off on Duane’s Story

Duane is the youngest of six kids and grew up in a single parent household. He was a “troublesome child” and hadphoto-duane run-ins with the law at a young age, including a juvenile arrest before he turned 13.

From petty crimes like vandalism and trespassing, Duane moved on to car theft and burglary. “They say the small things can lead to bigger problems, and looking back, I can say that for me it really did.”

Duane worked through temp services in construction, day labor, warehouses, and manufacturing, and for longer periods as a dishwasher or busboy at restaurants and in the fast food industry. He met his partner in 2006 and started a family, welcoming a daughter in 2008 and a son in 2010.

Just prior to the birth of their son, Duane enrolled in Cincinnati State’s culinary program. His brother had graduated from the program and shared his love of cooking with Duane.  Unfortunately, his inconsistent employment combined with the loss of his partner’s income due to her pregnancy led to the family facing eviction. Desperate for cash to pay the rent, he got involved with stealing copper from vacant buildings and selling it for scrap.

Duane was arrested and convicted of breaking and entering. He served five years, counting every day of his sentence and resolved to build a stable, crime-free life for his family on his release.

While completing his post-incarceration monitoring, Duane heard about Cincinnati COOKS! from friends. He wanted to complete his culinary training so he applied and enrolled. While attending classes, he continued to work for a temp service and provide for his family.

Duane appreciates the acceptance he received from COOKS! staff and his classmates, but he is worried about how his record will impact his ability to get employment.

“All I need is one person to let me into the kitchen and show them what I can do. I will wash dishes for that chance.”

His experience at COOKS! has taught him how to work with different types of people. Duane loves the precision of prep work and his skills in that area are exceptional. But he admits that he still has room to grow on his presentation skills.

Duane’s mother wasn’t able to attend his graduation due to an illness requiring a hospital stay, but she was there in spirit and he visited her to show off his chef hat and coat. “She told me she was proud of me. I haven’t heard her say that since I graduated from junior high.”

He hopes to enroll in Second Course and continue to pursue a career that will provide stability and a better life for him and his family.

The Volunteer Connection November 2016

Mediaon November 1st, 2016Comments Off on The Volunteer Connection November 2016

page_volunteer

Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday Food Distribution

20151123_131954This event takes place at the Customer Connection Center the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving.  The Christmas Food Distribution is scheduled for the Wednesday and Thursday before Christmas Eve.

Up to 100 volunteers are needed per shift to complete various tasks which enable the Freestore Foodbank to distribute holiday meals to more than 36,000 people.

Minimum Age Requirement:  Volunteers must be 10 years of age or older.  This is a safety issue and is not negotiable. Volunteers who are 10-15 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to serve. Volunteers, 16-17 years old, may serve without accompaniment.

There are a limited number of spaces still available for Thanksgiving.  I Want to Volunteer at Holiday Operations

Holiday Operations will run regardless of weather conditions.


Adopt – A – Family: Gift Wrapping and Distribution
Come help us bring good cheer to some of the families that we serve at our Customer Connection Center. We are looking for volunteers to help us prep and distribute gifts to the families participating in our Adopt-a-Family program. I Want to be an Adopt-A-Family Volunteer

Help Check-Out Hunger
The campaign will begin on November 14 and run until January 3, 2017. Volunteers are needed to “adopt” a store and assist with ensuring that placards and tear coupons are available to customers throughout the campaign. Volunteers are asked to visit their adopted store once or twice a week and replenish and/or replace placards and coupons as needed. You will receive seven hours of community service for volunteering. 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. I Want to be a Check-Out Hunger Volunteer

Double Your Dollars Day
On Wednesday, November 16 we will kick-off the holiday season with our Fifth Annual Double Your Dollars Day campaign. Every dollar donated to the Freestore Foodbank that day will be matched, thanks to gifts from our partners to help feed twice as many Tri-State children and families. Volunteers are needed to help answer phones and complete payment forms at our phone bank located at our Jeff and Darlene Anderson Family Building located on Central Parkway. Shift times are in two-and-a- half hour increments. I Want to Volunteer at Double Your Dollars Day

Local 12 News will provide coverage throughout the day. We hope that you can join us!


Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP

thankyou_banner

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

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

Alpha Kappa Alpha
CH2M
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Corinthian Baptist Church
Enterprise Fleet Management
Executive Jet Management – Leber
Fifth Third
Fusion Alliance
General Electric
Glen Este High School
Green Hills/Forest Park Kiwanis
Groupon
Kroger
La Salle High School
Madeira Freshman Girl Scouts
Marsh and McLennan
New Life Temple Church
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
P & G
PNC-Wrona
Redeemer Church
Smithfield
St. Margaret Knights of Columbus
St. Xavier School
The Gathering
Turner Construction
UC Delta Sigma Pi
University of Cincinnati
Vantiv
Western Southern Financial
Whitewave Foods
Wise Temple

Giving Fields (Melbourne, KY)

40 under 40
Baerlocher
Clark Schaefer Hackett
Dynegy
Girl Scouts
Interact for Health
La Salle High School
Mondelez
Nestle
P & G
UPS
Wyoming High School

Food Room (Liberty Street)

Bottom Line Systems
E&J Gallo Winery
Equipment Depot
Humana
Indian Hill Church
Michelman


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 www.feedingworks.com.

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.

FREESTORE FOODBANK RECEIVES MORGAN STANLEY GRANT TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD HUNGER

Mediaon October 11th, 2016Comments Off on FREESTORE FOODBANK RECEIVES MORGAN STANLEY GRANT TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD HUNGER

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.”