Archive for Media

Stabilization Program

Mediaon September 21st, 2018Comments Off on Stabilization Program

The Freestore Foodbank is here to help our neighbors in their time of need. We work day in and day out to keep hunger in check across our community, but our impact doesn’t end there.

The Stabilization Program is designed to help individuals find stability and independence. Using intensive case management, along with our extensive list of collaborative partners in the area, we help clients solve the core problems that lead to hunger. We aid their job search, help locate long-term housing and refer them to a medical care provider.

When customers visit our Customer Connection Center, a Freestore Foodbank employee meets with them one-on-one to understand what is happening in their lives and the best ways that we can help.

An example of this in action is the story of Justin, Deanna and two-month-old Avianna. Justin had lost his job and was struggling to make ends meet for his family.  When he found himself on the steps of the Freestore Foodbank, he immediately knew he had come to the right place.

Stabilization Program

“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.”

[Read Justin’s Story]

Through the Stabilization program, we were able to help this family find a place to live and get back on their feet. “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.”

The Customer Connection Center is located at 112 E. Liberty Street in Over-the-Rhine. Our staff is available between 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday*.

We offer a variety of programs and services:

Additionally, we provide referrals to partner agencies that can assist customers with housing, clothing, money management and job assistance to ensure that all needs are met. If you have questions, please give us a call us at (513) 241-1064.

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

The dedicated support of Freestore Foodbank donors help make the Stabilization Program possible. Thank you for helping to move our clients out of the food line and toward a better life.

[DONATE TODAY]

Story in Pictures – September 2018

Mediaon September 11th, 2018Comments Off on Story in Pictures – September 2018

August was one of the busiest months of the year as we prepared for our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Rubber Duck Regatta. In addition, US Congressman Thomas Massey visited The Giving Fields our farm in Melbourne, Kentucky, we celebrated another graduating class of Cincinnati COOKS! and executed a poverty simulation.


US Congressman Thomas Massey Visits

We were thrilled to have US Congressman Thomas Massey and his staff visit our farm in Melbourne, KY. Special thanks to Billy Mathews Northern KY Field Rep for Senator Rand Paul and our friends from our partner agency Brighton Center for joining us. We appreciate their support very much.

Poverty Simulation

We hosted our first successful poverty simulation after several years at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. Thank you to our valuable partner CAIN – Churches Active in Northside for supporting this effort.

Cincinnati COOKS! celebrates another graduating class!

CONGRATULATIONS Class 173 of Cincinnati COOKS! We wish you the very best!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018

Mediaon September 11th, 2018Comments Off on Volunteer Connection – September 2018

Volunteer Connection – September 2018

A ROUND OF APPLAUSE TO OUR QUACKTUCLAR VOLUNTEERS!

Celebrating All Things Duck
Many volunteers supported the Rubber Duck Regatta throughout August, on the day of the event, and even days after the ducks went swimming in the Ohio River. Without their dedication and support, our largest fundraiser would not have been so successful. The Freestore Foodbank is greatly appreciative of the wonderful work and commitment of our volunteers!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018Thank You Duck Pluckers and Taggers!
For two weeks straight volunteers gathered at the Mayerson Distribution Center to prepare 180,000 ducks for the big day.  Ducks arrived from all corners of the nation to be a part of the big splash into the Ohio River.  With help of our fantastic volunteers, ducks were inspected, previous dressings were removed, and bright shiny new tags placed on them before being loaded into the truck to head to the Ohio River.  We could not have made the event without our dedicated crew!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018Thank You Quacky Games Volunteers!
The Quacky Games were held on Friday, August 17th on Fountain Square. Volunteers helped with event setup, breakdown, games support, duck sales and even a few helped Quacky “come to life”. We wouldn’t have been able to pull it off with YOU…many thanks!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018Check Out Duck Volunteers – We Salute YOU!! 
Volunteers helped support the 6 week campaign by maintaining a great group of Kroger stores in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. They visited their store(s) at least once per week; some even visited their stores a few times a week to ensure customers were able to utilize the duck coupons to purchase ducks. The campaign would not be a success without your continued support!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018A Weekend at Findlay Market and Kroger – Duck Sales Volunteers
Volunteers sold ducks each Saturday in August at Findlay Market and at various Kroger stores throughout the month.   Donors had an opportunity to pick up some “duck swag” with their duck purchases in addition to completing their weekly shopping. What a fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon! Thank you Kroger Weekend Duck Sales Volunteers!!

Rubber Duck RegattaDuck Central Volunteers – Duck Sale Calls
“Hello?  Do You Want to Buy A Duck?” Did you register your duck by calling the duck line? If you did, you were probably assisted by one of our many esteemed volunteers. Thank you Duck Central Volunteers for answering those phones and helping us to secure that those ducks were in the race!!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018What is the Rubber Duck Regatta without Quacky?
Quacky wanted to send a huge and hearty THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who braved the extremely warm costume to make children and adults giggle and laugh during Quacky’s many appearances. Quacky couldn’t have “quacked” without YOU!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018The Finale – Rubber Duck Regatta Volunteers
We made it!! On Sunday, September 2nd at Serpentine Wall and Newport on the Levee, volunteers flanked the river at both venues selling ducks! Volunteers assisted with setting the ducks free off the Purple People Bridge and after the big splash and race, they helped scoop the ducks from the Ohio River and load them into our trucks. Way to go Rubber Duck Regatta Volunteers!!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018Wash, Rinse, Load, Ship – Duck Washing Volunteers
For the past few years, Xavier University’s Men’s Swim Team has unloaded, washed, rinsed, and repackaged over 190,000 racing ducks on Labor Day morning at our Mayerson Distribution Center. They come with enthusiasm and a competitive nature to beat their previous completion time. They have created their own system and we pretty much step back and let them do their thing. Thank You XU Swim Team for sending the ducks off in style!

Rubber Duck Regatta 2018 – Photo Gallery

Volunteer Connection – September 2018

Volunteer Connection – September 2018Mayerson Distribution Center
Located at 1250 Tennessee Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229.
School is back in session and Power Packs are needed to feed children on weekends!  During the school year, students receive food through their free and reduce breakfast and lunch programs during the week and on weekends the Power Pack provides supplemental food until they can get back to school on Monday morning.  Groups and Individuals are needed to assemble over 5,000 boxes weekly.

Regular Warehouse Shifts: Shifts are held Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Both individuals and groups are welcome at the Distribution Center. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age to volunteer. Student 13-18 years old must have parental consent and students 13-15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. 


Volunteer Connection – September 2018Food Room
Located at 112 E. Liberty, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
The Food Room is the Freestore Foodbank’s very own choice pantry at the Customer Connection Center.  On a daily basis the Customer Connection Center may serve up to 300 people and provide food and connections to other services which helps individuals and families.

Food Room Shifts:  Individuals or groups of 10 or less can schedule a time to volunteer in the Food Room, Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays and Friday from 8am-4pm.  Projects include food sorting, restocking shelves with groceries, assisting customers with their groceries outside of the building and loading groceries in their vehicle in front of the building. Volunteers must be at least 16-years-old (with parental consent) to volunteer at this site.


SPECIAL EVENTS

Volunteer Connection – September 2018Yom Kippur Food Drive at Wise Temple, Ridge Road
September 19th from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Annually during Yom Kippur, various temples host a food drive and donate items collected to local social service agencies.  Volunteers will unload the donated items from vehicles as members pull up to the temples and place the donated items inside the totes provided by the Freestore.  Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age to volunteer for this activity.

Volunteer Connection – September 2018The Holidays Operations Are Coming Soon
November 19 & 20th and December 19th & 20th
Over 2,000 volunteers are needed to assist with our holiday food give away.  Look for more information to be posted soon.  Make plans now to reserve your spots.  Groups and individuals are welcome.  Volunteers must be at least 10 years old to volunteer (with parents).

Cincinnati CooksCincinnati Cooks! Soft/Life Skills Instructors
Located at 1141 Central Parkway
Cincinnati Cooks! is looking for a few new facilitators to lead their soft/life skill classes. These classes are held on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 1 pm to 3 pm at our office Topics of interest are: Interviewing 101, Resume Building/Writing, Customer Service, Diet/Nutrition, Effective Communication/Listening, Time Management, Conflict Resolution, and Anger/Stress Management.  We’re also looking for volunteers to help with writing curriculum for these topics!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018Healthy Harvest Mobile Market
At various locations throughout the community
Want to help bring healthy nutritious produce into the community?  Volunteer on a regular basis with the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market!  We are also in need volunteers once a month for the HHMM Clean Up Crew as well.

All volunteers are welcome to join our team as TOGETHER, WE CAN SOLVE HUNGER! Individuals may self-register and groups may request special dates by visiting our website: freestorefoodbank.volunteerhub.com.  Email our Volunteer Engagement Specialist, Carolyn Frank at volunteer@freestorefoodbank.org or call 513-482-7550 for further assistance.


Other Ways to Help

Are you in need of a company project during the holiday season or just looking for a new family tradition for your family? We have a great project just for you!

Volunteer Connection – September 2018Become 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 Stabilization, Protective Payee, and Shelter Diversion programs. Adopt – A – Family is an annual program that helps over customers during the holidays. Your generosity will provide a great sense of value and worth to these families and clearly demonstrate 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.

Food Drive with the Cincinnati Symphony OrchestraFood and Fund Drives
Donations of canned goods are needed all year around, not just at the holidays! If you
would like to organize a canned food OR fund drive, please contact Bob Barnes at 513-482-4517.

AVolunteer Connection – September 2018re you interested in becoming a member of the Freestore Foodbank team? Please click here for our current employment opportunities.


Volunteer Connection – September 2018

Thank you to the following groups for your support in August 2018!
We sincerely appreciate their continued support and contribution of their time.

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

84.51
Bottom Line Systems
Broadway Serves
Catalina Marketing
Cengage
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Citizens Bank
Clayton Group
Ethicon
Fidelity Investments
Fifth Third
First Christian Church
Franciscans for the Poor
General Electric
Great American Risk Soluntions
Henkel Corporation
Ken Anderson Alliance
Kiwanis
KLH Engineers
Kroger
L’Oreal USA
Macy’s
Nestle
Nielsen
Northwestern Mutual
Organizations Helping the World
Pappas Restaurants
Peter Cremer NA
PNC Bank
Procter and Gamble
Reinhart Foodservice
Smucker
St. Margaret Knights of Columbus
The Gathering
Toyota Boshoku America
Tri-State Freethinkers
University of Cincinnati
Ursuline Families
US Bank
Western Southern Financial
Willis Towers Watson
Wise Temple
World Pay
YMCA of Cincinnati
YouthBuild NKY

Food Room (Customer Connection Center - Liberty Street)

Bahl & Gaynor
BKD
Butler University Alumni
Cincinnati Bell
Collective Visions
Easter Seals Tristate
Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
MRDP
Passport USA
Urban League Young Professionals

Giving Fields

Clark Schaefer Hackett
Erin’s Friends and Family
Fifth Third
Gap
General Electric
Girl Scouts
Great American Insurance Group
Kids4Peace
Kroger
Marathe Family
Michelman
Pep Promotions
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
St. Ignatius School
St. Thomas More
Systems Evolution, Inc.
Turner Construction
World Pay
YouthBuild NKY

Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food Deserts

Mediaon September 11th, 2018Comments Off on Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food Deserts

Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food DesertsAs Freestore Foodbank works to solve the critical issue of hunger for the 273,060 food insecure residents of our region, increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables is essential.

“I wish I could have fruit and vegetables at every meal,” said a visitor to our Food Room at the Customer Connection Center. “My daughter is only 12 but has high cholesterol. My food stamps barely cover the basics and there is nothing left for fresh food.”

Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food DesertsOver 45% of low income residents in the 20 counties we serve live more than one mile from the nearest supermarket, making it challenging for people to access healthy foods. Freestore Foodbank is working with our community partner agencies, including Power Pack and School Pantry sites, to increase the amount of produce available.

“Most of our clients don’t have transportation and its $10.50 round trip to take the bus to the closest grocery,” said Kim with MercyWorks/LightShine in Clermont County. “The food we provide sustains them. We have a lot of elderly residents and children who need access to healthy food.”

Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food DesertsWe are thrilled to have received grants from the Elsa M. Heisel Sule Foundation and Nutrien to support our pop-up produce mobile program this year.

Pop-up produce mobiles bring at least four varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables to communities across the tristate. These distributions are provided at no cost to our partner agencies and offer up to 20 pounds of produce to each family.

“Strong community partnerships and community investment is a high priority for our company and specifically our facilities,” said Trina Aburto, Senior Advisor, Community Outreach and Investment at Nutrien (formerly Agrium and PotashCorp). “We make a concerted effort to support impactful, sustainable and efficient organizations that address the issues important to communities and the world. Our contributions over the years to Freestore Foodbank have been an example of a great partnership and an excellent organization that we are proud to support.”

Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food DesertsNutrien is the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services. Feeding the Future, one of their initiatives, helps growers increase production sustainably and provides online educational programs, including games, to spread awareness of challenges and solutions to the global food system.

“Our employees have committed their time and efforts to support the organizations important to them and to their communities,” said Aburto. “Nutrien is proud to stand behind them.”

Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food DesertsThe Elsa M. Heisel Sule Foundation grant specifically supports Freestore Foodbank’s efforts to bring produce to School Pantry sites. Using pop-up produce mobiles, we can deliver fresh fruits and vegetables directly to school sites in order to reach children and their families.

“The staff and Advisory Board of the Elsa M. Heisel Sule Foundation were delighted that fresh, healthy food options with nutritional benefits would be easily accessible to families and offered in their own community,” said Bridget Kremer, Executive Director and Grant Manager.

School Pantry pop-up produce mobiles also distribute up to 20 pounds of produce per family. This is especially important for School Pantry sites without refrigeration. Some School Pantry sites are planning to offer these pop-ups monthly; others will request them in conjunction with a specific event, like parent-teacher conferences or arts night.

Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food Deserts“One thing I’ve noticed is that when your budget is low, you don’t buy produce,” said Cathy, one of our School Pantry site managers. “Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of storage, so we are now getting pop-up produce mobiles every month, and we distribute everything! Our parents love the produce! They always ask when it’s coming again.”

The Elsa M. Heisel Sule Foundation takes a hands-on approach to philanthropy, meeting with non-profit organizations to learn about their missions, the challenges they face and the impact of their success. They also keep up with current philanthropic trends by connecting with other tristate funders and professional organizations.

Grants Bring Fresh Produce to Food Deserts“The Elsa M. Heisel Sule Foundation is a proponent of engaged philanthropy,” said Kremar. “We welcome opportunities to volunteer and visit organizations to support their good works.”

If you would like to support Freestore Foodbank’s efforts to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved communities, please contact Maureen Gregory, mgregory@freestorefoodbank.org or 513-482-7542.

The Truck That Made A Difference

Mediaon September 11th, 2018Comments Off on The Truck That Made A Difference

The Truck That Made A Difference On a quiet shaded street, removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown Cincinnati, is a beautiful old building that houses the main office of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati (SVDP), a valuable partner to the Freestore Foodbank. Set back from the street, with a small but charming courtyard in front, the building sports interesting hallways, staircases and rooms full of character. “This used to be the home of a local mattress factory,” explains Claire Luby, Development Manager as we make our way to the back of the building to the loading dock. SVDP was the recent recipient of a capacity development grant from the Freestore Foodbank which helped them purchase an 18-foot box truck.

The Truck That Made A DifferencePrior to receiving the grant, the agency had struggled for years with a decrepit, old truck that broke down almost every week. Earlier this year, right before July 4th weekend, the agency was offered a massive donation of fresh corn from a local farm. The staff made arrangements for the truck to pick up the fresh delicious corn as soon as possible. They knew it would be a welcome treat to their neighbors over the holiday weekend. On its way back from the farm, however, to everyone’s great consternation the truck broke down! A tow truck was deployed to pull the broken down truck to SVDP’s main office so they could unload the corn before taking it to the repair shop.

The Truck That Made A DifferenceThe opportunity to apply for the grant came as a blessing. “The truck has been a life-saver,” says Luby. “We use it every day to pick up palettes of produce, water and meat from different parts of the city. There were several instances in the past when we had to turn down donations because we did not have a vehicle.” The new truck makes regular trips to local grocers such as Sam’s Club and Walmart to pick up food donations. The donated items are brought back to the main office, sorted and distributed. “The best part is that the truck comes with a liftgate which makes loading and unloading so much easier,” says Kevin, a volunteer driver for SVDP. The ability to load barrels and pallets easily has been life-altering.  The old truck did not have a liftgate. During the Reds Strike out Hunger Food Drive fans donated hundreds of cans of food. It was a nightmare trying to get the barrels of donated cans onto the old truck.  The same was true of a food drive at a recent University basketball game. The new truck solved this problem once and for all.

The Truck That Made A Difference St. Vincent de Paul was started in 1833 in Paris. Today it is an international organization with branches all over the world consisting of a relatively small staff and a multitude of volunteers.  There are nearly 1,000 SVDP volunteers working out of 56 Conferences (groups of volunteers typically based in a parish) in the Cincinnati area. One of the unique features of the organization is its willingness to go to clients and provide assistance at home. “We try to meet the families we serve where they are,” says Luby. “This is the basis of our service model.” Today the agency offers food, clothing, bus tokens, rent and utility assistance as well as free pharmaceutical care through its Charitable Pharmacy. They also work with partners to offer other specialized services such as health screenings as well as  dental and vision screenings.

The Truck That Made A Difference “We appreciate the help of the Freestore Foodbank and we are very grateful for this grant,”comments Luby. SVDP is an important partner to the Freestore Foodbank.  It is a pleasure to work with them and help them do good in the communities that we serve.

It Takes A Village

Mediaon September 11th, 2018Comments Off on It Takes A Village

It Takes A VillageOne fall morning in 2012 Wendy New was listening to National Public Radio on her way home from a hike with her husband. They both loved listening to NPR. The morning’s story caught their attention. It was about a man in California who had started a charity that collected thousands of cans of food from neighbors. The story was inspiring and thought-provoking. That night, after considerable thought, to their own amazement, Wendy and her husband made the unexpected decision to try something similar in their own neighborhood of Montgomery, Ohio. “It can’t be that hard,” Wendy thought to herself as she deliberated over what lay ahead. Boy, was she wrong!! The project took on a life of its own. However, Wendy never gave up on her decision to make it work. She organized a group of 12 friends and started making plans.  They pulled the City of Montgomery into the discussion. Months It Takes A Villagepassed as this amazing group of friends and neighbors toiled over details. They scoured the Internet for similar programs in other parts of the country and tried to replicate what was done elsewhere. Help came from all around. “I discovered that my neighbors had skills and talents that I did not know about,” Wendy comments. She found out that one of them was a graphic designer who created a logo and designed all the printed materials. The City of Montgomery came to their rescue by making tons of copies and prints for communication purposes. The Freestore Foodbank jumped in to help and gave them 200 reusable shopping bags to distribute throughout the neighborhood. Months later, in April 2013, the Montgomery Food Share was officially launched.

It Takes A VillageSince then, the program has spread to 22 neighborhoods as well as a few outlying locations outside of Montgomery and Blue Ash. Once a neighborhood decides to get involved, someone volunteers to be a neighborhood captain and that person signs up ongoing food donors.  Every family that signs up to participate gets a reusable grocery bag. The expectation is that whenever possible, the family will add one or two items from their pantry or weekly shopping list to the bag.  The donated items may include non-perishables such as rice, beans or pasta, canned goods or personal hygiene products. The items get picked up six times per year on the first Saturday of even numbered months.  Participation is purely voluntary. “Some families wrongly assume that they are required to fill up the bag and then they find it difficult to keep up,” she says. “That is not the expectation at all.  They are encouraged to add just one or two items to the bag. In fact sometimes we end up picking up only a couple rolls of toilet paper and that is completely okay!”

It Takes A VillageThe Montgomery Food Share has exploded in the last few years. “It truly takes a village to make something like this work. I have loved the friends I have made and the relationships I have built,” says Wendy. “The program has brought the community together in unimaginable ways.” Volunteers lead the program in different ways – from spreading the word by passing out fliers to driving through different neighborhoods to pick up donations. Food that is picked up by volunteers is taken to Sycamore High School and placed in bins provided by the Freestore Foodbank. “We generally fill about 45-50 barrels in the space of a couple of hours,” says Wendy. In December 2017 they raised over 6,000 lbs of food. The program has found widespread support among volunteers and donors alike. Sycamore Community Schools Board of Education became a huge supporter and Sycamore High School has evolved into a hub from which the Freestore Foodbank truck picks up the donated items. “When I remember how we started and think of how far we’ve come, I am incredulous,” Wendy observes. “I did not ever think that this program would be able to make such a wonderful difference. “ Wendy’s program feeds thousands of families in the tristate region every year. The Freestore Foodbank appreciates the vision, commitment and hard work that goes into running a program that is so successful and that engages a significant portion of the community. To learn more about Montgomery Food Share go to https://bit.ly/2ObkmUN

Story in Pictures – August 2018

Mediaon August 2nd, 2018Comments Off on Story in Pictures – August 2018

July was busy and extremely productive as we worked hard to take advantage of the warm weather and help our neighbors as best as we can. We are grateful to Amazon for coming out to interview and recruit at our Customer Connection Center. It was exciting to have the Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner visit our 10-acre farm, The Giving Fields.  And we are so very appreciative of our friends at Macy’s who made a generous donation to help us serve the community even better!


Amazon Hiring Event

Thank you to Amazon’s Human Resources team for visiting our Customer Connection Center on Liberty St. to screen and recruit employees. Amazon will be visiting us next at 10 am on August 6, 2018 and we appreciate their support very much!

Kentucky Ag Commissioner Visits

Special thanks to KY Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles, KY State Rep Kim Moser and Campbell County Judge Executive Steve Pendery for paying a visit to The Giving Fields. It was truly an honor to have you all. Thanks to our partner agency Be Concerned for joining us.

Thank you Macy’s for your generous donation!

Thanks to our friends with Macy’s for making a donation to our efforts through their annual Bag Hunger campaign. Their contribution equates to more than 42,000 meals for our neighbors. We also appreciate the Macy’s team for volunteering with us today!

Thanks for including us, 84.51!

Congratulations 84.51 for organizing a fabulous “Take Your Children to Work Day” for your employees. It was an honor to be a part of it. And terrific fun too! Thank you!!

Congratulations to Class 172!

Congratulations to the graduates of Class 172 of Cincinnati COOKS! Thank you Council Member Greg Landsman for attending the ceremony. Special thanks to our friends from Northwest Indiana Foodbank for joining us.

Volunteer Connection – August 2018

Mediaon August 2nd, 2018Comments Off on Volunteer Connection – August 2018

Volunteer Connection – August 2018

Special Events
Located at various locations throughout the Cincinnati Area.

We are in “Duck Season” at the Freestore Foodbank as we make final preparation of the 24th Annual Rubber Duck Regatta!  Volunteers are needed to help us raise over One Million Dollars which supports many of the programs that work to solve hunger each day!  Check out the activities and join our QuackerJack Squad this year!

Volunteer Connection – August 2018

Check Out Duck Store Monitors – Adopt a Kroger Store
Are you in need of community service hours but there aren’t enough hours in the day to make get them done? Have you always wanted to volunteer with the Freestore but can’t find the time to volunteer? Well, we have the perfect activity for YOU!! We are seeking volunteers to help maintain duck placards (coupon holders) with tear off coupons at local Kroger checkout counters and UScan stations for the campaign starting this month. This fundraiser is a convenient way for people to buy ducks as they pay for their groceries. Last year, this campaign yielded close to $200,000 in duck sales with the help of our partners at Kroger and our dedicated volunteers. There are still stores available to adopt for the Check Out Duck campaign. Volunteers will begin picking up their supply bags on Wednesday, July 18th at our Central Parkway location and maintain their adopted store from July 18 – Friday, August 31. We are giving 8 community service hours to volunteers that assist us with this campaign during its 7 week run. To see the list of stores still available, click: Find Your Kroger Store Here

Volunteer Connection – August 2018

Quacky, the Rubber Duck Regatta Mascot:  Get Ready to Have a “Quacktabulous” Good Time:
We’re still looking for volunteers to play Quacky, our Rubber Duck Regatta mascot. This activity is a great way to hon in on your acting abilities, appear on all the local media and social media outlets, and get community service hours while giving back to a great cause! To sign up to be Quacky click: I’m Quacky the RDR Mascot

Volunteer Connection – August 2018Kroger & Findlay Market Weekend Duck Sales
Are you looking for something to do on the weekends is August? We have the perfect activity for you! We’re selling ducks at select Kroger stores and at Findlay Market on Saturdays and Sundays beginning the weekend of August 12th. Come out and have fun selling ducks and you just might be the lucky one to sell the million dollar duck!!!  I Want to Sell Ducks

Rubber Duck RegattaTake Duck Sales Calls at Duck Central
Volunteers are needed to help answer duck sales calls at our Central Parkway office beginning the week of August 28th until Duck Day, September 3rd. It’s a great way to stay cool and help out! I’m a Duck Central Volunteer

The Freestore Foodbank announces the winners of the 22nd Annual Rubber Duck Regatta, which sent more than 165,000 ducks into the Ohio River.The Grand Finale: Rubber Duck Regatta
Don’t miss out on all the fun on Sunday, September 3rd at Serpentine Wall! Come down and help sell ducks, watch the ducks drop from the Purple People Bridge, or retrieve ducks from the Ohio River! Rubber Duck Regatta Volunteer


Volunteer Connection – August 2018Mayerson Distribution Center
Located at 1250 Tennessee Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229.
Come spend time with us at our Mayerson Distribution Center to assemble food boxes for the children in our rural communities. With the school year start just around the corner, we are kicking off our Power Pack Assembly on August 1st!  During the school year, students receive food through their free and reduce breakfast and lunch programs during the week and on weekends the Power Pack provides supplemental food until they can get back to school on Monday morning.

Volunteer Connection – August 2018

Special Warehouse Activity:
Duck Plucking and Tagging!
Shifts are scheduled August 21st through 31st
Tuesday through Saturdays: 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.
Over 200,000 little rubber ducks will land at the Mayerson Distribution Center in preparation for the Rubber Duck Regatta and we need help your help to get them dressed for the big event! Shifts of 50 people are needed to help remove and place new stickers on each duck before they are loaded into the semi-truck that will take them to the river on Sunday, September 2nd for the big splash.  Join us for this unique and fun volunteer experience as you play a vital role in our biggest fundraiser of the year!

Regular Warehouse Shifts: Shifts are held Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Both individuals and groups are welcome at the Distribution Center. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age to volunteer. Student 13-18 years old must have parental consent and students 13-15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.


Volunteer Connection – August 2018The Giving Fields
Located at 101 Anderson Lane, Melbourne, KY 41059
The Giving Fields is our community farm located in Melbourne, Kentucky – approximately five minutes from NKU. We plant, maintain and harvest fresh produce for our partner food pantries and soup kitchens in Northern Kentucky. This is a great volunteer opportunity for people of all ages. Families with children five years of age and older, high school and college students, as well as individuals and groups are welcome.

We also want to welcome Ali Ulanski (pictured with two awesome volunteers) as our new Volunteer Engagement Specialist- Giving Fields!

Volunteer Connection – August 2018

Farm Shifts:  Shifts are held Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Projects include planting, weeding, simple landscaping and once the crops are in…harvesting.  Many hands make the work light.  Come get dirty with us and feed our neighbors in Northern Kentucky.


Volunteer Connection – August 2018Food Room
Located at 112 E. Liberty, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
The Food Room is the Freestore Foodbank’s very own choice pantry at the Customer Connection Center.  On a daily basis the Customer Connection Center may serve up to 300 people and provide food and connections to other services which helps individuals and families.

Food Room Shifts:  Individuals or groups of 10 or less can schedule a time to volunteer in the Food Room, Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays and Friday from 8am-4pm.  On the third and fourth Saturdays of the month we have one shift from 9:30 pm to 2:30 pm and we are in need of up to 50 volunteers!  Projects include food sorting, restocking shelves with groceries, assisting customers with their groceries outside of the building and loading groceries in their vehicle in front of the building. Volunteers must be at least 16-years-old (with parental consent) to volunteer at this site.


Cincinnati COOKS! has helped Tiara find rewarding employment and build a stable life for her family.Cincinnati Cooks! Soft/Life Skills Instructors
Located at 1141 Central Parkway
Cincinnati Cooks! is looking for a few new facilitators to lead their soft/life skill classes. These classes are held on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 1 pm to 3 pm at our office Topics of interest are: Interviewing 101, Resume Building/Writing, Customer Service, Diet/Nutrition, Effective Communication/Listening, Time Management, Conflict Resolution, and Anger/Stress Management.  We’re also looking for volunteers to help with writing curriculum for these topics!


Volunteer Connection – August 2018Healthy Harvest Mobile Market
At various locations throughout the community
Want to help bring healthy nutritious produce into the community?  Volunteer on a regular basis with the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market!  We are also in need volunteers once a month for the HHMM Clean Up Crew as well.


All volunteers are welcome to join our team as TOGETHER, WE CAN SOLVE HUNGER! Individuals may self-register and groups may request special dates by visiting our website: freestorefoodbank.volunteerhub.com.  Email our Volunteer Engagement Specialist, Carolyn Frank at volunteer@freestorefoodbank.org or call 513-482-7550 for further assistance.

Other Ways to Help

Donations of canned goods are needed all year-round! If you would like to organize a canned food drive, please fill out the online form available here.

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Freestore Foodbank team? Please click here for our current employment opportunities.


Volunteer Connection – August 2018

Thank you to the following groups for your support in July 2018!
We sincerely appreciate their continued support and contribution of their time.

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

Advics NA
Bank of America
Beechwood High School
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Youth
Church of the Brethren
Church of the Nazarene
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Cincinnati Police Cadets
Cincinnati State
Citizens Bank
Danis
Davis/Rebello Team
Dinsmore & Shohl
DSD Advisors
Fifth Third
General Electric
Hillman Group
Indian Hills High School
Ken Anderson Alliance
Keyser Party
Koinonia
Macy’s
Mercy Health Group
Meritor
Miami University
Neyer Properties
Nielsen
OLMC – Holy Spirit Youth Ministry
Organizations Helping the World
Peoples Bank
Pep Promotions
Procter and Gamble
Redeemer Church
Riley Family
Scripps
Sherwood Forest Camp
TFA Elite ’01
The Gathering
TriHealth
Tri-State Freethinkers
Upic Solutions
Western Southern Financial
World Affairs Council
Youth Build NKY

Food Room (Customer Connection Center - Liberty Street)

Collective Visions
David J. Joseph Company
Easter Seals Tristate
Greater Liberty Baptist Church
Health Carousel
Heat Transfer Warehouse
Indian Hills High School
St. Henry High School
World Pay

Giving Fields

84.51
All Saints Episcopal Church
Celanese
Farm Credit Mid-America
Fifth Third
Gap
HSS
Jesuit Spiritual Center
JLL
KLH Engineers
Navistone
Parkside Christian Church
St. Ignatius School
The Asset Advisory Group
T-Mobile
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Ulster Project
United Bank
Wise Temple
YouthBuild NKY

Food and Family

Mediaon August 2nd, 2018Comments Off on Food and Family

Food and FamilyUmesh and Katina met while stationed in Hawaii. They married and transferred to Georgia where, after leaving the Army, Katina worked for the United Way. Through her work, Katina and Umesh learned about their local food bank, America’s Second Harvest. The couple became familiar with that organization and the work of food banks.

“When we came to Cincinnati we looked for a similar organization and found the Freestore Foodbank,” said Katina.

The couple made donations to support the work of the Freestore Foodbank and as their children grew up, began volunteering as a family.

Food and Family“The Giving Fields is not far from us and it is a good opportunity to teach the kids about helping people have access to healthy foods. They also learn about the process from planting seeds to harvesting. It reinforces our belief that fresh food is valuable and special.”

Umesh, Katina, Deven, Maya and Asha volunteer during each phase of the Giving Fields season – planting cucumbers, weeding beds, pruning tomato plants, and harvesting beans and onions.

“The kids really like it; our oldest loved driving the gator and collecting weeds.”

Katina has also engaged her children’s friends and their families in volunteer opportunities at the Freestore Foodbank. She has scheduled shifts at the farm and recruited her daughter’s Girl Scout troop to volunteer.

Food and Family“It’s an easy sell. The parents are always enthusiastic about volunteer opportunities and community service is greatly valued at all the organizations where our kids are involved.”

In addition to spending time at the Giving Fields, the family has also volunteered at other locations of the Freestore Foodbank by assembling Power Packs and bringing along more friends for that experience. Both the Giving Fields and Power Pack programs depend entirely on volunteers to provide healthy options as part of food assistance for hungry regional children and families.

Katina and her son also came to a Cincinnati COOKS! graduation to learn more about Freestore Foodbank’s workforce development programs that reduce the number of tristate families needing emergency food assistance.

“There are different ways to give. And over time, these experiences leave a lasting impression in our kids.”

The family is planning their volunteering schedule for the 2018 farm season and hoping to attend another COOKS! graduation soon. Umesh and Katina also continue to support Freestore Foodbank’s Second Helping Fund, which provides matching gifts for Double Your Dollars Day and other special fundraising campaigns.

To support The Giving Fields click here.

It’s All About The Duck!

Mediaon August 2nd, 2018Comments Off on It’s All About The Duck!

It’s All About The Duck!What would you do if you had a ginormous 15-foot balloon duck? Would you stick it atop your corporate headquarters and celebrate it? That is exactly what Kemba Credit Union has done for the last many years. As you drive down Union Center Boulevard, the giant Kemba duck is difficult to miss as it presides over the city of West Chester, Ohio perched on a concrete office building, adding a delightful touch of whimsy and charm to the landscape. Kemba has been a sponsor of the Freestore Foodbank’s most celebrated fundraiser, the Annual Rubber Duck Regatta for the past eight years. The relationship took shape under the guidance of Bob Edwards, who founded the event almost 25 years ago. Since then Kemba has sustained their involvement, rallying behind the efforts of the community to fight childhood hunger in the tristate region, contributing over $430,000 to the Rubber Duck Regatta and sponsoring  the famous “Kemba Million Dollar Duck”.

It’s All About The Duck!

Michael Szaz

(Michael Szaz, Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives, Kemba Credit Union)

As soon as duck sales open at the Freestore Foodbank, Kemba mobilizes its internal team to organize duck-related celebrations within the company. The President of the company, branch managers and a team of Quackers (staff who keep the employees motivated) meet and chart out the company’s strategy for the season. Every year they follow a tradition of dressing up five-foot ducks and having an internal contest to see which duck is dressed best. Team members come up with great ideas – some clever, some goofy – but all very creative. “The contest adds fun to the event and it gets our employees involved,” says Michael Szaz, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Kemba. “This is an annual event for us. We display the decorated ducks in the lobby and make the atmosphere festive. Our members immediately notice that it is duck season and they start asking how they can participate!”

It’s All About The Duck!Kemba specializes in the safe, reliable and efficient handling of money. And they have brought professional expertise and sophistication to rubber duck sales as well.  As soon as a member purchases a single duck or multiple ducks, Kemba electronically transfers funds from the member’s account to the Freestore Foodbank.  Szaz comments, “The easy and seamless transfer of funds is what we do for a living. So our first move was to get the transactional piece of this process figured out.” Kemba prides itself on making the sale of ducks as easy for the buyer as possible. At Kemba, duck sales close on the Friday preceding the Rubber Duck Regatta and Kemba puts its finishing touch on the event by sending the Freestore Foodbank a complete list of duck entrants with other details almost immediately after sales close. “We are proud of the level of transparency and efficiency we have brought to the process,” Szaz observes.  “And we know the process works because a few years ago, one of the ducks we sold won the car! Another year one of our members won the $5,200 gift certificate from Kroger and recently a member won a $500 cash prize.”

It’s All About The Duck!Kemba cherishes the unique opportunity to raise awareness about childhood hunger in the community. “We were brought into this most worthy event by Bob Edwards many years ago and we have enjoyed every bit of the experience ever since,” remarks Szaz. “It is a privilege to support the Freestore Foodbank because we believe in their mission. Hunger is not about to go away or take a break. So we need to be diligent in our efforts to combat it, so that our children can stay healthy.” Kemba is in the middle of another busy duck season this year and we cannot wait to see the results. To purchase your own duck, feel free to visit one of eleven local Kemba branches or click here.