Childhood hunger is a reality and it exists in our own neighborhoods. Nearly 100,000 children living in the 20 counties served by the Freestore Foodbank are food insecure, meaning they aren’t always sure where they will get their next meal.
How Hunger Impacts Kids
Research shows that hungry children are more likely to be vulnerable to illness, lack focus and energy, and score lower on achievement tests. These children are more likely to suffer from poverty as adults.
Feeding Kids in Need
The Freestore Foodbank has several programs aimed at tackling the issue of childhood hunger and ensuring children are receiving the proper nutrition they need to help them succeed in life.
Making Sure Children Don’t Go Hungry on Weekends
Each Friday during the school year, the Freestore Foodbank sends bags of food, known as Power Packs, home with students to ensure they have something to eat on weekends. Each Power Pack contains nearly a dozen food items, which are shelf-stable and easy to prepare.
Nearly 4,000 children in more than 90 participating schools receive Power Packs from the Freestore Foodbank each week.
Feeding Kids After School
Kids Cafe is a Freestore Foodbank program providing free, nutritious meals to children at the end of the school day so that they aren’t going hungry in the evenings.
More than 3,700 children take part in Kids Cafe, which serves more than a dozen school sites in Hamilton County, Ohio and Campbell County, Kentucky.
The meals served at Kids Cafe are prepared by adult students from the Freestore Foodbank’s Cincinnati COOKS! culinary arts job training program.
Providing Food during Summer Months
The Summer Food Service Program gives the Freestore Foodbank the opportunity to serve children in need during the summer months when they are away from school. Kids ages 1-18 receive nutritious lunches prepared by Cincinnati COOKS! at select locations.
Getting Infants the Nutrition They Need
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Freestore Foodbank are working together to make sure our youngest and newest members of our community are receiving the proper nutrition they need through Keeping Infants Nourished and Developing, or KIND. The program was launched after Cincinnati Children’s uncovered that mothers facing financial hardships were stretching formula by diluting it or feeding their babies less.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital finds food insecurity among infants’ impacts development and mental health, eventually resulting in behavior problems, poorer psychological function, lower math achievement scores, poorer grades, and higher likelihood of repeating a grade.
Your Dollars Making a Difference
You can make a difference in the fight against childhood hunger. Children receiving a proper diet perform better on tests and are on time and in attendance at school more frequently. When you donate to the Freestore Foodbank, every dollar helps to provide three meals to children and families in need in the Tri-State.
As a non-profit, the Freestore Foodbank prides itself in being open and transparent about where our donors’ dollars are going.