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The Volunteer Connection November 2017

Mediaon November 2nd, 2017Comments Off on The Volunteer Connection November 2017

There once was a gentleman who entered the doors of the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center on Liberty Street looking for a suit and tie for an upcoming job interview, his first. The man had shared that he had never worn a suit or even owned one of his own, but this job interview was too important for him to go without. So the volunteers at Back on Track helped him find the perfect suit for his interview, and he was on his way.

A few days letter the man returned to the Freestore to share how his interview went. He was indeed happy to report that he had gotten the job. He went on to say that when he was walking down the street, dressed in the suit and tie, people on the street greeted him and many of them addressed him as “Sir”. He then went on to say that this was a big deal because he had never been called ‘Sir” before. He felt proud and confident, as if he would be able to do anything. He said that wearing that suit and tie motivated him to think and act in a way that would warrant respect. He was very grateful to Freestore Foodbank’s Back on Track program for the part they played in dressing him for success, helping him find the confidence he needed to interview for the job and start an exciting new chapter in his life.

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Check Out Hunger: November 16th – January 2nd
Help us check out hunger this holiday season at your local Kroger store.   Volunteers are needed to adopt a Kroger store and assist with maintaining the placards (coupon holders) and tear coupons located at each checkout counter and UScan station. 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


Rumble in the Jungle
31st Annual Bengals Canned Food Drive

Sunday, November 26th
We are teaming up again with the Cincinnati Bengals for the 31st Annual Bengals Canned Food Drive on Sunday, November 26th 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. Join us as we tackle hunger with our favorite NFL home team!  Over 60 volunteers are needed to make this a game winning success.  I’m a Bengals Food Drive Volunteer


Holiday Food Box Distribution
Christmas Operations
December 20th, December 21st, and December 22nd
Volunteers make Holiday Operations happen each year at the Customer Connection Center! Over 1,000 volunteers are needed to complete various tasks allowing the Freestore Foodbank to distribute holiday meals to over 15,000 households for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Our Thanksgiving shifts are almost full but we have many openings for the days leading up to Christmas.  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


Become a Family’s Donor
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 really care about them.  For more information about adopting a family or helping with gift purchases, please email: adoptafamily@freestorefoodbank.org or call 513-720-6099.


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

 

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities
Other Ways You Can Help

Thank you to the following groups for your support in October 2017!
We sincerely appreciate their continued support and contribution of their time.

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)
Giving Fields (Melbourne, KY)
Food Room (Liberty Street)

 

Story in Pictures – November

Mediaon November 2nd, 2017Comments Off on Story in Pictures – November

October flew by as we completed major milestones that highlight the breadth of our services in the tristate region. We are touched and gratified by the support and commitment of the communities we serve. The Mayor recognized our excellent work in the community in his State of the City Address. We were honored to be a part of the Kentucky League of Cities Convention. We were extremely proud to celebrate the graduation of Class #164 of Cincinnati COOKS! as well as the graduation of the inaugural class of the LIFT the TriState Program. We also held the largest Coat Drive ever while partnering with The Christ Hospital and several other agencies to organize the first annual OTR Community Health Fair.

State of the City

At his State of the City address, Mayor John Cranley recognized the Cincinnati COOKS! program and launched the “One for Cincy” initiative calling on citizens to spend at least one hour giving back to the community. He also recognized the Freestore Foodbank for our work. Thank you Mayor Cranley for your support!

Kentucky League of Cities Convention

We were excited to be part of the Kentucky League of Cities Convention 2017.  We partnered with the Kentucky Association of Food Banks to do a presentation on food insecurity, hunger and our services in Kentucky.  We also organized a Power Packing event where 1212 Power Packs were packed by over 100 amazing conference attendees to be distributed to schools in Kentucky.

LIFT the TriState Graduation

Congratulations to the nine remarkable graduates of the inaugural class of our LIFT the TriState program! All of our 9 graduates have been placed in brand new positions.

Cincinnati COOKS! graduation

Congratulations Class # 164 of Cincinnati COOKS! Since its inception, over 1,500 individuals have graduated from the program.

Healthy Harvest Mobile Market

We celebrated the first anniversary of a few select locations of the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market by passing out free hot coffee, hot cider, cookies and a pumpkin.

 The Giving Fields Fall Harvest Celebration

We celebrated our Fall Harvest with a party and bonfire at our 10-acre farm, the Giving Fields in Melbourne, KY! Thank you to all the hundreds of volunteers who helped us have a fabulous year! We hope to see you again in the spring!

OTR Community Health Fair 

On Saturday September 28th we partnered with the Christ Hospital, Cincy Smiles Foundation, Cincinnati Health Department, Walgreens, Talbert House, Rothenberg Preparatory Academy and many other local organizations to organize the first OTR COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR. We are grateful to the doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, other health professionals, community workers and volunteers who helped make this event a success. Over 400 individuals came through the fair and many of the guests walked away with specific instructions from our healthcare partners on how they can live a healthier lifestyle and follow-up on their initial health screenings. In addition, we distributed over 2,500 coats, jackets, hats, gloves and mittens at the OTR COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy.

The Latest on Food Waste

Mediaon November 2nd, 2017Comments Off on The Latest on Food Waste

More than 42 million people in the United States struggle with food insecurity. This means that they do not know where their next meal will come from. It is also unacceptable that as much as 72 billion pounds of safe and wholesome food gets wasted every year in this country. Food loss occurs at every stage of food production and distribution.  Not only do we lose large quantities of food to the landfill, we also lose the resources, energy and money that went into producing the food.

The Freestore Foodbank is part of the Feeding America network of 200 foodbanks.  We work with more than 400 partner agencies in OH, KY and IN to distribute over 24 million meals to our neighbors in the tristate region. Feeding America helps us find new and innovative solutions to reduce food waste. We also work with local organizations such as Green Umbrella to find socially responsible ways to dispose of waste from our operations.

Feeding America leads the way in food recovery efforts by leveraging public, private and non-profit organizations across the country to rescue more food, increase awareness and mobilize the community to take action towards food recovery. Their relationship with grocers, farmers, manufacturers, food service operators and others across the food supply chain gives them unique access to food that might otherwise go to waste. Currently they rescue close to 2.8 billion pounds of safe and wholesome food every year from going to waste and provide it to families in need.

One of the largest opportunities to rescue more food is to expand pilot programs with the agricultural industry to harvest excess crops and divert them to food banks and other organizations that can quickly distribute them.  A key enabler of this is the expanded federal food donation tax deduction passed in December 2015. Other key pieces of legislation include the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act which provides a baseline of civil and criminal liability protection for food donors and the non-profits that receive and redistribute those donations. Feeding America educates Congress and the administration about food recovery. They also focus on collaborating with the food industry and policy makers to highlight how we can strengthen food donation practices to tackle food waste and hunger at the same time.

The Freestore Foodbank hopes to leverage our partnership with local companies such as Kroger Corporation to come up with ways to minimize waste.  Kroger recently launched the Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative which aims to reduce waste, produce clean, renewable energy and also increase donations to food banks. We look forward to working closely with Kroger and other partners to develop new ways to make our operations more efficient and effective.

The Suit that Made a Difference

Mediaon November 2nd, 2017Comments Off on The Suit that Made a Difference

There once was a gentleman who entered the doors of the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center on Liberty Street looking for a suit and tie for an upcoming job interview, his first.  The man had shared that he had never worn a suit or even owned one of his own, but this job interview was too important for him to go without.  So the volunteers at Back on Track helped him find the perfect suit for his interview, and he was on his way.

A few days letter the man returned to the Freestore to share how his interview went. He was happy to report that he had gotten the job. He went on to say that when he was walking down the street, dressed in the suit and tie, people on the street greeted him and many of them addressed him as “Sir”. This was a big deal because he had never been called ‘Sir” before. He felt proud and confident, as if he would be able to do anything.  He said that wearing a suit and tie motivated him to think and act in a way that would warrant respect.  He was very grateful to Freestore Foodbank’s Back on Track program for the part they played in dressing him for success, helping him find the confidence he needed to interview for the job and start an exciting new chapter in his life.

This story is just one of many that show the great work done by the Freestore Foodbank’s Back on Track program, and it’s also one of the reasons why longtime volunteer Rose Anderson gives so much of her time to this worthy cause.  Back on Track, which is located on the second floor of the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center in Over-the-Rhine, exists to help Freestore customers do just what its name suggests, get their lives back on track with the help of donated apparel.

Though only open to customers on Tuesdays and Thursdays (from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.)  Rose along with many other dedicated Back on Track volunteers, are often seen working Monday through Friday to receive, sort, organize, and put out the ongoing donations that the Freestore receives almost daily. At any given time, Back on Track houses thousands of gently used garments of all styles and sizes, for men, women, and children alike.  From t-shirts to dress shirts, blouses to blazers and everything in-between Back on Track maintains a constant supply of gently used clothing items that will suit just about anyone’s tastes and needs.

For Rose, who has been with Back on Track since her retirement in 2006, it’s an opportunity to get out of the house during the day and stay busy.  “I just like helping people,” she says and with her help and others, Back on Track provides for the clothing needs of more than 4,000 customers every single year as they prepare for job interviews and work training, as well as in emergency situations.

So whether you’d like to be a volunteer like Rose who has extra time available to lend a hand, or you have an overflowing closet and would like to donate a few items of clothing, we hope you will consider getting involved with Back on Track, because who knows how a suit, tie, shoes, or a coat could change someone’s life for the better!

To learn more about Back on Track or how you can donate please call (513)357-4822. Want to volunteer with Back on Track?  Please email our Volunteer Services Department at volunteer@freestorefoodbank.org or call (513) 482-7550.

In Search of a Home

Mediaon November 2nd, 2017Comments Off on In Search of a Home

Justin looked into his young wife’s face and whispered, “I promise you, you’ll never have to sleep outside again.” Deanna stared at him, her brown eyes filled with tears, a comforter pulled tightly around her shoulders. She was nine months pregnant and her life was chaotic. Justin had lost his job, they had not been able to pay their bills and now they were homeless. They were curled up on the front steps of a department store.  She was thankful that the weather was getting warmer. But in her heart she felt nothing but panic.

Although he’d always lived in New Jersey, Justin was quickly coming to the realization that he would not be able to live there much longer. He had not been able to keep his job and the cost of living was astronomical. That night the couple moved into a homeless shelter and Justin called his cousin Paul in Cincinnati, Ohio. A month later the couple boarded a bus to Cincinnati with a newborn baby girl, Avianna. Paul had been able to find Justin a job as a cook at a restaurant in Blue Ash, Ohio. The family arrived in Cincinnati and moved in with Paul. However living conditions were far from optimal for the young family. It was crowded, noisy and rough on the baby. To make matters worse, they had lost most of their belongings in transit.

Desperate to find a place they could call home, Justin decided to explore the city. “I walked out on faith,” Justin remembers. “I knew I had to find a way out. But I had no idea how!”  A few hours later, quite by accident, he found himself on the steps of the Freestore Foodbank. Within a few moments, Justin knew he had come to the right place. “It was unbelievable,” he says. “I felt that I had met the nicest people in the world at the Freestore Foodbank.  They were helping us carry stuff and holding doors open for us. After months of suffering, it was amazing to experience genuine compassion and kindness.”

The Freestore Foodbank immediately got to work finding emergency shelter for the young family. They enrolled them in their Stabilization Project which works with individuals facing multiple barriers to employment. Participants are paired with a case manager to help them navigate issues such as childcare, housing and medical needs. Through a minimum six-month process, case managers support and encourage program participants to improve their stability with a focus on maintaining employment.  Within a few hours, Justin and his family were checked into a hotel right across the street from the restaurant where Justin worked.  The Freestore Foodbank also helped Justin get a new birth certificate, one of the items he had lost when he moved.

A week later, in late September, Justin, Deanna and two-month-old Avianna moved into their own apartment.  The Freestore Foodbank paid the security deposit and the first month’s rent since Justin had just started working. “We wanted to give them a leg up so that they could get settled in their new environment,” says Dan Anderson, social worker at the Freestore Foodbank. “We are beyond grateful for the help that the Freestore Foodbank provided,” Justin comments. “Without their support, we would not have survived this move with our newborn baby.”

Today Justin and Deanna live comfortably in their apartment. Justin still works at the restaurant while Deanna stays home to take care of the baby.  Justin sometimes works double shifts to make ends meet. They still come to the Freestore Foodbank once in a while to get food.  “It is comforting to know that they are still there looking out for us,” Justin comments. “However, we are doing everything we can to be independent and to lead a normal life.” And that is exactly the goal of the Freestore Foodbank – to help people get back on their feet when they fall on hard times and to give them the tools they need to lead stable lives going forward.

Justin and Deanna are one of hundreds of families that the Freestore Foodbank assists on a daily basis. “Wrap-around services such as housing and rental assistance, food, clothing and social services are part of the broad spectrum of services that we offer,” says Bernice Cooper, Vice President of the Customer Connection Center.  “Our goal is to deliver critical services to our neighbors so that they can build stability in their lives.”

The Customer Connection Center, located on Liberty Street, has a choice pantry on the lower floor that provides emergency food assistance to nearly 75,000 families every year.  They also offer clothing to over 4,000 individuals annually and distribute bus tokens so individuals can have transportation for employment or medical services. The Customer Connection Center is home to the Benefits Call Center that provides assistance with enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), health insurance and Medicaid. “We are proud of what we have been able to do for individuals like Justin and Deanna. It is very gratifying to see that we have been able to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors,” adds Ms. Cooper.

To learn more about the Customer Connection Center go to http://bit.ly/2s2NPVO

Delta Airlines: Powering our Thanksgiving Mission

Mediaon November 2nd, 2017Comments Off on Delta Airlines: Powering our Thanksgiving Mission

Delta Airlines: Powering our Thanksgiving Mission

As the fog starts to lift from the Ohio River and sunrays gently filter through the clouds, a line starts to form on the sidewalk in uptown Cincinnati. Policemen line the streets as rush hour traffic starts to pick up.  Shopping carts trundle down the pavement pushed by volunteers wearing luminous yellow vests.  It’s almost Thanksgiving and Cincinnati is preparing for a day of giving thanks. The Freestore Foodbank’s Thanksgiving Food Distribution powered by Delta Airlines plays a big part in bringing holiday cheer to the lives of over 7000 households (over 20,000 individuals) in the tristate region.  This year the event will take place on November 20, 21 and 22 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. at our Liberty Street location.

This is the second consecutive year that Delta Airlines has generously agreed to partner with the Freestore Foodbank to sponsor this incredible event that touches many lives. In addition to financial support, Delta provides free t-shirts to over a thousand volunteers who help with the event. Employees of Delta Airlines volunteer during the food distribution, helping in numerous ways from boxing meals to pushing carts.  Kurt Reiber, President and CEO of the Freestore Foodbank comments, “Delta Airlines is an invaluable partner who helps us accomplish our mission during the holiday season. Their support helps offset the cost of the food we distribute, and that is a tremendous advantage.  We are deeply grateful to them for their support.” The Freestore Foodbank is proud to be powered by Delta Airlines once again this year. We greatly appreciate their commitment to making a difference in the communities we serve and we enjoy having them as a partner.

OTR Community Health Fair

Mediaon October 3rd, 2017Comments Off on OTR Community Health Fair

OTR Community Health Fair

Story In Pictures – October 2017

Mediaon October 2nd, 2017Comments Off on Story In Pictures – October 2017

Hunger Action Month

September was Hunger Action Month. We are grateful to our staff as well as community partners who helped raise awareness about food insecurity in the tristate region.

23rd Annual Rubber Duck Regatta

The Freestore Foodbank celebrated our 23rd Annual Rubber Duck Regatta on Sunday, September 3, 2017, with more than 173,000 rubber ducks swimming in the Ohio River. The owner of the first prize duck, Cindy Stark of Fairfield, won a 2017 Honda HR-V LX, courtesy of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Honda Dealers

On Friday, September 15, during the Rubber Duck Regatta Prize presentation at the Procter and Gamble General Offices downtown, the Freestore Foodbank announced that $1,249,000 was raised through the 23rd Annual Rubber Duck Regatta presented by Dawn, the equivalent of 3,747,000 meals. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the event has raised more than $1 million. Thank you Cincinnati for your support!

WoodmenLife’s National Community Focus Fundraising Campaign

We were thrilled to attend the launch of WoodmenLife’s National Community Focus Fundraising Campaign this morning. Thank you Kentucky AG Commissioner Ryan Quarles for your support.

The campaign extended through the month of September and our partner agencies in Kentucky were invited to participate in the campaign by collecting donations through WoodmenLife’s free non-profit fundraising platform Red Basket (https://redbasket.org/)

Cincinnati COOKS!

CONGRATULATIONS Class #163 of Cincinnati COOKS! We are very proud of you!

Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl

We were excited to partner with the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, the office of the Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes and the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts to launch a friendly food and fund drive competition to support hunger relief in Kentucky. The campaign will run from October 16, 2017 to October 27, 2017. The goal is to raise the equivalent of 400,000 pounds of food ($50,000) for Kentucky’s seven regional food banks.

Thank you Tyson, Walmart and Bimbo Bakeries for your generous donation!

We received a generous donation of Sara Lee branded bread from Bimbo Bakeries USA through collaboration with Walmart, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Tyson and Feeding America of 20,000 lbs. of chicken and bread. Thank you for supporting us in our efforts to end hunger.

Poverty Simulation at Cincinnati State

Congratulations to Dr. Monica Posey and her team at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College for partnering with the Freestore Foodbank to organize a powerful poverty simulation exercise for the faculty and staff. Thank you Ohio Association of Foodbank for brilliantly supporting this effort.

The Volunteer Connection October 2017

Mediaon October 2nd, 2017Comments Off on The Volunteer Connection October 2017

The rattle of grocery cart wheels is a familiar sound in the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center Food Room located in the Over the Rhine area in Cincinnati.  Longtime volunteer, Bernice Woodard has become very accustomed to it over the years.  After 21 years as an employee at the Freestore, Bernice retired from her official duties in 2014. But you wouldn’t know it, as she still volunteers down in the Food Room almost every day.

“There’s just no better place to be, than down here helping people,” says Bernice, and helping people she does.   Out of the Freestore Foodbank’s 400 plus community partners across the tristate, the Food Room serves as its largest and one of the longest running.  A food pantry at its core, everyone is welcomed into the Food Room which serves upwards of 300 individuals and families every single day.

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WHAT’S NEXT?

With Fall in the air and the holidays around the corner, volunteers are needed to bring comfort and joy to our community.

The 1st Annual OTR Community Health Fair – Saturday, October 28th
We are partnering with Rothenberg Preparatory Academy and The Christ Hospital to host our 1st Annual Community Health Fair. There will be health screenings for blood pressure, BMI, glucose for diabetes, EKG, ECHO and referrals to a clinic (if necessary). There will also be 20 minute education classes on tobacco cessation, healthy eating, and diabetes/cholesterol. All ages are welcome to attend. Volunteers are needed to assist with pre-event setup, event setup, in event support, and event breakdown. To learn more and to sign up to volunteer click on the following link: OTR Community Health Fair Volunteer

Coat Day Distribution – Saturday, October 28th
Help keep families warm during the cold winter months by assisting with the distribution of 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 16 through October 25 and event set-up on October 27. We will be accepting coat donations until October 24th at the Customer Connection Center on E. Liberty Street. For more information or to sign up to volunteer click on the following link: Coat Drive Volunteer

Check Out Hunger – Wednesday, November 15 – Tuesday, January 2
Adopt a Kroger store and assist with maintaining the placards (coupon holders) and tear coupons located at each checkout counter and UScan station. 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

Doubling Dollars on Double Your Dollars Day – Wednesday, November 8th
We will kick-off the holiday season with our Sixth 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. Come out and join us… Double Your Dollars Volunteer

Cincinnati Bengals Food DriveTackle Hunger at the 31st Annual Bengals Canned Food Drive – Sunday, November 26th
We are teaming up again with the Cincinnati Bengals for the 31st Annual Bengals Canned Food Drive on Sunday, November 26th 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.  Help us tackle hunger by collecting monetary and food donations before the game.  I’m a Bengals Food Drive Volunteer

Holiday Food Box Distribution

  • Monday, November 20 – Wednesday, November 22
  • Wednesday, December 20 – Friday, December 22

Over 1,000 volunteers are needed to distribute food boxes that will provide a family with the gift of a holiday meal.  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

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities
Other Ways You Can Help

thankyou_banner

Thank you to the following groups for your support in September 2017!
We sincerely appreciate their continued support and contribution of their time.

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)
Giving Fields (Melbourne, KY)
Food Room (Liberty Street)

Legacy of Compassion

Mediaon October 2nd, 2017Comments Off on Legacy of Compassion

I met Rick Steiner for the very first time many years ago. We had both just dropped our kids off at school. We talked about our kids, their sports, their homework and the challenges of fixing dinner. It was hard not to take an immediate liking to the soft-spoken, mild-mannered man with his self-effacing demeanor and kind eyes.

Years passed since that first meeting. Our kids graduated high school and went to colleges in different cities. I took a job at the Freestore Foodbank. A few weeks ago, I heard that we received a bequest from a donor who passed away recently.  As I learned more about this extraordinary act of generosity, I realized with shock and sadness that the deceased donor was none other than my dear friend, Rick Steiner.  As I started to write about him, I discovered that Rick had led an extraordinary life and was a remarkable human being in every sense of the word.

Rick Steiner came from a family of artists. His grandmother was Desiree Lazard, the famous Broadway performer. The Steiner family has lived in North Avondale since 1955. Rick’s father and two uncles founded “Kenner Products”, the creators of the famously successful “Easy Bake Oven” and a host of other well-known toys.  Rick’s mother was an actress and she introduced him to acting when he was a child via the Cincinnati Summer Playhouse. Rick graduated from Walnut Hills High School, got a BA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago. He worked a number of unusual jobs including selling medicated tropical fish food, started a closed circuit TV theater in Boston and dabbled in capital investment by investing in Chi-Chi’s Mexican restaurant. He also pursued his passion for poker and ended up winning a number of championships. Eventually he started investing in large scale productions on Broadway.  This was the direct result of his friendship with childhood friend and college roommate Rocco Landesman. Together they created many celebrated Broadway hits such as “Big River:  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (one thousand performances), “Hairspray” (two thousand five hundred performances), “The Producers” (twelve Tony awards shattering all records) and “Jersey Boys? ”(performed  for more than ten years). He ended up co-producing 11 Broadway musicals four of which won the Tony Award for Best Musical.  Rick was a rare genius who started in Cincinnati, made us all proud and hardly ever spoke about his accomplishments.

Rick’s generosity has left the Freestore Foodbank with the ability to help the community of Cincinnati in significant ways.  “Philanthropy was not something that we talked about. However it was observed by our family, especially my father who was ahead of his time in how much he gave back to the community,” remembers Corky Steiner, Rick’s brother.  The Steiners would like Rick to be remembered for his compassion and his willingness to think of what he can do to help others who are less fortunate.