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Macy’s Employees Make a Donation To Freestore Foodbank

Mediaon July 13th, 2018Comments Off on Macy’s Employees Make a Donation To Freestore Foodbank

On Friday, July 13, 2018, Macy’s employees presented the Freestore Foodbank with a check for $14,392. The donation, which equates to more than 43,000 meals, is part of Macy’s annual Bag Hunger campaign.

The check presentation took place at the Freestore Foodbank’s Mayerson Distribution Center in Bond Hill.

From March 15, 2018 – March 31, 2018, customers at Macy’s Northgate, Florence and Tri-County were asked to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar to help benefit the Freestore.

Story in Pictures – July 2018

Mediaon July 5th, 2018Comments Off on Story in Pictures – July 2018

June was an outstanding month filled with all the good things that make us who we are!! Class #3 of LIFT the TriState and Class 171 of Cincinnati COOKS! graduated in June. We celebrated the generosity of the law firms in Kentucky who participated in the 2018 Legal Food Frenzy. Kroger donated a huge tractor trailer to us which will help us deliver more food to our neighbors. June was also the Month of the Bengals. The 16th  Annual Taste of the NFL was held on June 13, 2018.


2018 Legal Food Frenzy

We are deeply grateful to the law firms and legal offices in KY who supported us by participating in the 2018 Legal Food Frenzy. Their contributions helped feed thousands of families in Kentucky. Congratulations to the winners from our service area – Frost Brown Todd, DBL Law, The Risk Firm, PLLC and the NKU Chase College of Law. A very special thank you to Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear for his leadership and support in our fight against hunger.

Thank you Kroger!

Thanks to our friends with Kroger for helping us to purchase a new tractor. It pulls a 53-foot trailer and delivers between 100,000 to 140,000 pounds of food each week to some of our largest partner food pantries in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. We are grateful for Kroger’s continued generosity and support as we work to solve hunger

CONGRATULATIONS to Class 171 of Cincinnati COOKS!

CONGRATULATIONS to Class 171 of our outstanding CINCINNATI COOKS! program. We are incredibly proud of you!

Congratulations Class #3 of LIFT the TriState!

We are immensely proud to present the graduates of Class #3 of our LIFT the TriState program. Sincere thanks to our wonderful partners Belflex Staffing Network Gateway Community & Technical College and Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet for their support. We are deeply grateful to KY State Representatives Kim Moser and Addia Wuchner as well as Billy Matthews NKY Field Representative to US Senator Rand Paul for attending the ceremony. It was truly an honor to have you! Thanks also to Tara Johnson-Noem from United Way of Greater Cincinnati for joining us. It was a pleasure to have you!

16th Annual Taste of the NFL

A huge THANK YOU to our guests, sponsors, donors, supporters, volunteers and staff for making the 16th Annual Taste of the NFL a grand success. We are pleased to share that we raised $135,000 at the event. We were proud to host 44 of the top restaurants from the area. We are deeply grateful to the 89 amazing Cincinnati-Bengals players and coaches who attended as well as our presenting sponsor TriHealth and our premier sponsors Fifth Third Bank and Sycamore Capital.

Volunteer Connection – July 2018

Mediaon July 5th, 2018Comments Off on Volunteer Connection – July 2018

Mayerson 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  children in our rural communities. During the school year, students receive food through their free and reduce breakfast and lunch programs.  With school closed for the summer, these food boxes will ensure they have nutritious meals during the summer months. We need at least 30 people each shift in July! This August, we will return to packing Power Packs for the school year.

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.


The 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.

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.


Food 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.


Special Events
Located at various locations throughout the Cincinnati Area.

Check Out Duck:  Mid-July through early September
At select Kroger stores in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
We are gearing up for “Duck Season” at the Freestore Foodbank in preparation of the 24th Annual Rubber Duck Regatta!  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: Check Out Duck Volunteer

Quacky the Mascot:  Mid July through early September
At various locations throughout the community
Rubber Duck Regatta has a mascot? You bet we do! Quacky!  Quacky is a giant lovable duck that sports sunglasses and is liable to pop up anywhere and everywhere around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky! We are rounding up volunteers who are interested in playing Quacky at the height of Duck Season in August! Some appearances are short like 30 minutes and some appearances can be as long as a couple of hours. Quacky’s appearances can happen during a work day, weekend or evening. If you’re interested in honing in on your inner Quacky call Tawanda at 513-482-7557.

Cincinnati Cooks!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!

Healthy 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.


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

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

Advanced Testing Laboratory
Ameriprise Financial
Bank of America
Bunge Friends
Chase Bank
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Cincinnati Woman’s Club
Cincom Systems Inc.
Citi
Citizens Bank
Davis/Rebello Team
Duke Energy
Fidelity Investments
Fifth Third
Fort Washington Investment Advisors
FOX Sports Ohio
Fund Evaluation Group
General Cable
General Electric
Give Back for Dawn’s 50th
Hillman Group
Kellogg Company
Ken Anderson Alliance
Kenwood Baptist Church
Kroger
Marcus & Millichap
Mercy Health Group
Morgan Stanley
MUC Holdings
New Richmond Schools
Nielsen
Passion Community Church
PNC Bank
Redeemer Church
Sam’s Club
Schimberg Financial Group
St. Christopher Church
St. Margaret Knights of Columbus
St. Rita School for the Deaf
The Gathering
Toyota Boshoku America
Tri – State Thinkers
Turner Construction
Ultimate Software
United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Vadlamani Family
Western Southern Financial
YouthBuild NKY

Food Room (Customer Connection Center - Liberty Street)

Abbvie
Anchor Point Technology
Franciscans for the Poor
Fifth Third
General Electric
Indian Hills High School
St. Xavier High School

Giving Fields

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Ameriprise Financial
ASI Signage
BDO USA Accounting
Emerge Technologies
Empire Marketing Strategies
Fifth Third
Florence United Methodist Church
General Electric
Girl Scouts
Hillman Group
Katz Teller
Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler Accounting Firm
Kroger
Procter and Gamble
Salesforce
The Presbyterian Church of Hamilton
The Dance Girls
Webster United Methodist Church

Making a Difference One Family at a Time

Mediaon July 5th, 2018Comments Off on Making a Difference One Family at a Time

Tom Kahle’s introduction to Freestore Foodbank came when Bob Edwards invited him to join the inaugural Rubber Duck Regatta planning committee in 1994. Soon, Kahle joined the Board of Trustees where he served for many years in a number of roles, including as Board Chair and as part of a committee that established the Freestore Foodbank Foundation, an endowment to secure the organization’s future. In 2009, Tom transitioned from the governing board to the Foundation board, where he continues to serve. Kathy supported Tom’s work with Freestore Foodbank and shared his interest in the mission and vision of the organization.

“I believe very strongly that no one deserves to be hungry; no matter what their circumstances in life or how they came to them,” Tom said. “If you’re hungry you can’t do anything else. Kids can’t learn. People can’t work. Social relationships are strained. Hunger is unacceptable.”

Once Tom and Kathy’s three daughters left home and started their own lives, the couple began drawing up their estate plans. Freestore Foodbank is one of four charities that will receive a bequest from their estate. “All our planned giving donations are going to purposes and institutions where we think our contribution will make a difference in people’s lives.” Although most of the Kahle bequest to Freestore Foodbank will be an unrestricted donation to the Foundation, they are also including a specific allocation to the Bob Edwards Feed a Child Fund to support efforts to solve childhood hunger.

“Freestore Foodbank has always been at the top of our list,” said Kathy. “Cincinnati COOKS! is a brilliant idea: giving people job training while feeding kids. It seems like it should be obvious, but it wasn’t until COOKS! started. I think it’s a great use of resources.”

Tom’s efforts to support Freestore Foodbank extend beyond donations and board service. His colleagues at BakerHostetler volunteer assembling Power Packs at the distribution center and support the Rubber Duck Regatta through the corporate sales program.

Tom and Kathy’s philanthropy is essential to ensuring Freestore Foodbank has the resources to fulfill its mission. Their gift will provide critical emergency food resources and reduce the number of people needing assistance by offering stability-building programs, including workforce development, benefits enrollment and wrap-around services.

“I appreciate that Freestore Foodbank is not trying to solve world hunger. You are making a meaningful difference in the life of one family at a time and having an effect on the future of the entire family.”

The Kahle’s legacy gift will allow Freestore Foodbank to continue to help those in need build self-sufficiency while ensuring they do not face hunger. To learn more about how you can include Freestore Foodbank in your estate planning, please visit us at freestorefoodbank.org/legacygiving or contact Mindy Hammer, mhammer@freestorefoodbank.org or 513 482-7099.

Clinic Pantries – A New Wave in Healthcare

Mediaon July 5th, 2018Comments Off on Clinic Pantries – A New Wave in Healthcare

Susan Brumm is the Inpatient Diabetes Nurse Practitioner at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati. A little over a year ago the VA and the Department of Defense started to include food insecurity among their criteria to screen patients. Having observed the devastating effect of food insecurity on diabetic patients, Susan was eager to come up with some form of assistance. She joined a Listserv hosted by Dr. Thomas O’Toole, Director of the National Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Initiative for the Department of Veterans Affair, regularly posting questions about food insecurity among veterans. One day, quite unexpectedly, she got a message saying that the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington DC was considering the possibility of opening pantries in different VA Medical Centers around the country to better serve their patients. Interested hospitals were required to apply immediately. Not wanting to wait another minute, Susan filled out an application. A few weeks later, as a result of a collaborative agreement between the Freestore Foodbank, the VA Medical Center and Feeding America, the VA Medical Center mobile pantry in Cincinnati came into being.

Throughout its first year, the mobile pantry was organized in the hospital auditorium once a month. Patients who were identified as needing help by the medical staff were invited to visit the pantry. The goal was to reach as many individuals as possible, provide nutrition to those who truly needed it and raise awareness about healthy eating.

A year later, the pantry has done extraordinary work providing nutritious food to hundreds of veterans and their families. “The results have been dramatic,” comments Susan. “Many of our patients face poverty and they get in the habit of skipping meals as they get to the end of the month in order to save money. This really affects their health. The mobile pantry has initiated conversations about nutrition and made our patients more aware about the connection between health and food.” At the end of the first year one thing is clear:  having a pantry that is located within the hospital is a great idea and there are hundreds of patients who need assistance.

With this realization, the VA Medical Center is moving to a new model.  In July 2018, the mobile pantry will transition to a permanent pantry that will be housed in a room close to the primary care clinic within the hospital. It will carry non-perishable foods such as rice, pasta, canned veggies, canned meat, etc. and will be open every day of the week. The food will still be provided by the Freestore Foodbank and the pantry will continue to be supported by Feeding America. “The greatest advantage to this approach is that the pantry will be open daily and we will be able to meet the need of patients immediately at the time of their medical appointment,” says Linda Larison, Clinical Dietitian at the VA Medical Center.

Joseph Baldwin is a patient of the VA Medical Center who is thankful for the pantry. Joseph was drafted into the United States Army in 1966 when he was 18 years old. He served as a security guard in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Upon returning home to Cincinnati, he worked for several years in the Maintenance Department at General Electric. In 1990 Joseph had an automobile accident which made it difficult for him to work and put him on disability. Joseph’s wife has chronic arthritis and is wheelchair bound.  He also has custody of two young grandchildren. By the end of the month Joseph very often does not have enough money to buy food or pay for gas. When he visited the VA Diabetes Clinic a few weeks ago, his nurse noticed that he had lost weight, and that his blood pressure was high. “It was because of lack of food and high stress,” he says.  The nurse referred him to the VA mobile pantry to get food. “I am so thankful to have this option,” Joseph comments. “It gives me extraordinary comfort to know that there is a place I can go to get food and that my family will never be hungry again.” “The fact that they will not have to worry about food as much will bring peace of mind to their already stressful lives and I view that as a huge benefit,”says Shari Altum, Psychologist and Health Behavior Coordinator at the VA Medical Center who has been closely involved in the lives of the patients who visit the pantry.

Veterans have been through experiences in life that most of us cannot even comprehend. Many of them still carry physical and psychological burdens as remnants of their experiences on the battlefield. Despite the huge sacrifices they have made, many veterans and their families also struggle with food insecurity, poverty and homelessness. The Freestore Foodbank is proud to partner with the V.A. Medical Center in Cincinnati and we are honored to be able to provide assistance to veterans in the tristate region.

Dinner with Our Friends

Mediaon July 5th, 2018Comments Off on Dinner with Our Friends

Barbie Stern is seated in a large, comfortable armchair in her living room.  Sunlight streams into the room through open windows, leaving huge golden blobs on the floor. A large black cat lounges on the rug in the center; books and papers are scattered; and a laptop is perched precariously on Barbie’s lap. It’s clearly a busy morning as Barbie juggles multiple assignments and phone calls related to publishing a beautiful cookbook in the next few weeks with the express purpose of raising money to feed children.

Barbie’s family had been in the food service equipment business since the 1890’s –  so it made sense that she grew up working in restaurants.  Thanks to the guidance of the Comisar brothers, Lee and Michael J., she would ultimately learn to cook at the Maisonette as an intern under the watchful eye of Executive Chef, George Haidon.  She’d just completed her freshman year at the Cornell Hotel School and when she graduated a few years later, many of her classmates went on to become chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers around the world.  After working in hotel and restaurant operations for a few years, she accepted a position with Procter and Gamble working in Marketing, Sales, B2B and Retail. Over time she would work with a specialized team building new businesses and business models.

Barbie also had a passion for philanthropy. Her relationship with the Freestore Foodbank started years ago when in 2001 she became closely involved in the establishment of Cincinnati COOKS! . When she retired from P&G in 2007 Barbie resolved to find ways to raise money to help others. “I had always wanted to work for a foundation of some sort.  I wanted to create something that would quietly make a difference helping others.  I wanted to do something that made sense in the market.” she observes.  Her involvement with the Freestore Foodbank drew her to the problem of childhood hunger.

In the fall of 2011, Barbie was having dinner with Hotel School friends in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.  As she watched her friends, Bob and Michele, cooking dinner for friends who were coming over that night, Barbie was struck by the thought that her friends in the culinary world who all shared a passion for food, might be able to pool their resources and build something of value to sell on an ongoing basis, providing funds that could be used to feed hungry kids. And the more she thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense.

Upon returning home to Cincinnati, Barbie got to work on her plan almost immediately. She called her old friends from Cornell and started to compile their favorite recipes. “I asked for recipes of dishes they cooked at home,” she explained.  “You never serve at home what you cook in your restaurants. So, this was supposed to include something guests would possibly want to know about their favorite restaurants –  what’s for dinner when the owners and chefs go home. I wanted the book to be personalized and intimate – meant for people who like to cook and find enjoyment in trying out new recipes.”  The idea was an instantaneous hit with her friends. “I would start telling them about the idea,” Barbie remembers. “And about two sentences in, they’d say they’re committed and promise to do whatever it took to make our mission successful.” The singular goal of the project is to provide a sustainable revenue stream to feed kids through Feeding America’s  programs such as the Freestore Foodbank’s Power Pack program. The urgency of the mission drew people to the project.

Dinner With Our Friends wouldn’t be where it is today without the two friends Barbie enlisted to help her – Dennis Coskie and Steve Nechemias.  By trade, Dennis is an industrial engineer. But he is also an accomplished cook and skilled manager. Dennis was the founding Director of Cincinnati COOKS! and both developed and managed the program for the first ten years. He launched a Catering Company within Cincinnati COOKS! called Cincinnati Cooks Catering and a more advanced culinary course called Second Course for COOKS! graduates so that students can come back and build their skills so that they are prepared for greater responsibilities and higher wages. Steve Nechemias is a recently retired member of the Tax Department of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.  Together, the friends founded a non-profit organization called Dinner With Our Friends, a 501 (c)(3) with Barbie as President and Founder, Dennis as Secretary and Steve as Treasurer. T.J. Vissing, President of OMS Photography joined the group and he brought the book to life with gorgeous pictures.  Mike Gompf did all the graphic design work to transform Dinner With Our Friends from an idea to a reality.

The book Dinner with our Friends, a magical project that has drawn support from all quarters, is scheduled to be released in mid-October, 2018. It will be a high resolution, “coffee table” style book featuring a collection of delectable recipes from talented chefs across the nation. The hope is that every book sold will provide Power Packs for five children in the tristate region who would otherwise go hungry over the weekend. The book will sell for $35.00 with all funds from the sale after payment of expenses going directly towards Feeding America programs geared towards feeding children such as the Freestore Foodbank’s Power Pack program.  We are excited and honored to be part of this wonderful project. To learn more about Dinner with our Friends go to https://bit.ly/2ze3qdp

Kroger Foundation Gives Freestore Foodbank New Tractor

Mediaon June 21st, 2018Comments Off on Kroger Foundation Gives Freestore Foodbank New Tractor

Freestore Foodbank VP and Chief Development Officer Trish Rayner, Kroger Corporate Affairs Manager Erin Rolfes, Freestore Foodbank President and CEO Kurt Reiber, and Kroger Foundation Manager Sunny Parr

The Freestore Foodbank unveiled a new tractor on Thursday, June 21, 2018 which was made possible by a gift from the Kroger Foundation. The unveiling took place at the Freestore Foodbank’s Mayerson Distribution Center in Bond Hill.

Kroger donated $100,000 to help the Freestore Foodbank purchase the tractor. It pulls a 53-foot trailer and delivers between 100,000 to 140,000 pounds of food each week to some of the Freestore Foodbank’s largest partner food pantries in the tri-state. The tractor replaces equipment that was beginning to break down.

 

Story in Pictures – June 2018

Mediaon June 4th, 2018Comments Off on Story in Pictures – June 2018

May was an amazingly productive month as we made huge strides in our work with advocacy and community partnerships. We worked with Ohio Governor John Kasich to open a pantry at the Pike County YMCA in Ohio to help children whose families have been affected by the opioid crisis. We hosted a listening session with U. S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s staff and our own staff and clients to discuss the 2018 Farm Bill and the effect of proposed cuts to SNAP. Walmart Corporation generously donated a refrigerated truck to us. We held our 15th Annual Hunger Walk on May 28 and also hosted U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown at our Customer Connection Center last week. Here are pictures of the highlights.


Pike County Food Pantry
We were proud to partner with the Pike County YMCA and the Office of Governor John Kasich in launching a food pantry at the YMCA to help children whose families have been affected by the opioid crisis. This is an important milestone in our efforts to fight poverty and hunger in rural Ohio

Fifth Third Day
Thanks to the more than 200 Fifth Third Bank employees, COO Lars Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer/past Freestore Board Member Teresa Tanner and Wealth Management Advisor/Freestore Board Member Ramon Rodriguez for volunteering their time with us to help support our efforts in the fight against child hunger. We appreciate their continued support.

Farm Bill Listening Session
We were honored to have Sarah Benzing, Chief of Staff and Alea Brown, SW Ohio Regional Director to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown visit us. It was great to give them a tour of our Customer Connection Center on Liberty St., share our work with them, introduce them to our staff and clients and engage them in a conversation about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), its importance to the communities we serve and the impact of potential cuts to this program. We thank them for their support and we look forward to continuing this conversation in the upcoming months.

Thank you Walmart for Your Generous Support!
Thanks to our friends at Walmart and the Walmart Foundation for helping us purchase a 26-foot refrigerated truck. It will help us to distribute more fresh fruits and vegetables to our partner food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, community centers and program sites in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Stamp Out Hunger
Thank you to everyone who supported the 2018 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, hosted by our letter carriers. Local donations currently stand at the equivalent of more than 50,300 meals for our hungry neighbors, with additional Stamp Out Hunger donations coming into the Freestore Foodbank throughout the next few weeks. We truly appreciate your generosity.

Thank you Kroger for Partnering With Us!
THANK YOU Kroger for the opportunity to partner with you on the ZERO HUNGER ZERO WASTE initiative. It was an honor to be a part of your All Associates Meeting yesterday and we were thrilled to pack 2,000 “breakfast on the go” kits with you!! We appreciate your support!

Congressman Wenstrup Helped Us Out!
Thank you U.S. Congressman Brad Wenstrup from volunteering at our 2018 Hunger Walk. We appreciate your support very much!

Hunger Walk 2018
Thanks to the 4,000+ walkers and runners, all of our sponsors, staff and volunteers who helped make our 2018 Hunger Walk & 5K Run possible. Congratulations to Greg Ballman, who was the first male to cross the finish line and 14-year-old Olivia Thomas was the first female to cross the finish line.\

U.S Senator Sherrod Brown Visited our Customer Connection Center
We were deeply honored to have U. S. Senator Sherrod Brown visit our Customer Connection Center to discuss the 2018 Farm Bill and proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Senator met with community leaders and a diverse group of clients who currently receive SNAP benefits. We are very grateful to him for making time to visit us, listening to the concerns of those who will be most affected by changes and fighting to protect the interests of our neighbors. Thank you Senator for your support! We appreciate it very much!

Volunteer Connection – June 2018

Mediaon June 4th, 2018Comments Off on Volunteer Connection – June 2018

Summer Fun at the Freestore Foodbank

Are you looking for a unique way to take a break this summer that will not only bring you great joy but also make an impact on your community?  Take a break from your daily routine and join us for one or many of our volunteer opportunities this summer.  Vacations require lots of planning, packing and travel, but at the Freestore you can escape your everyday  routine for a day and make a huge impact on the lives of others without any of the fuss.  Check out these opportunities!

Mayerson 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! During the school year, students receive food through their free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs.  With school closed for the summer, our food boxes will ensure they have nutritious meals during the summer months. We need at least 30 people each shift in June and July!

Family Nights This Summer at the warehouse
Thursday, July 5th and Thursday, July 19th from 5:00 p.m. to 7pm
Normally, the age requirement at the warehouse is 13, but this summer we are trying something new and have created a special event for younger children to join us.  Bring your family and help us feed our neighbors.  Activities include possible packing of summer food boxes and food sorting!  Volunteers must be at least 8 years old to participate and need to be accompanied by an adult.  Click here for more information:  Family Nights at the Warehouse!

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.


The 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.

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.


Food 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.  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

Special Events
Located at various locations throughout the Cincinnati Area.

VA Produce Distribution Event at the Cincinnati Veteran Stand Down: Wednesday, June 20th
Freestore Foodbank is teaming up with Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio and Cincinnati Veteran Stand Down in partnership with the Cincinnati VA Medical Center to provide fresh produce this summer. This event will feature information from local veteran agencies, giveaway items, free lunch and much more. The Freestore Foodbank will be there to distribute fresh produce to veterans and their families who attend the event.  Volunteers are needed to assist with setup, produce distribution and breakdown of produce area.

The Freestore Foodbank announces the winners of the 22nd Annual Rubber Duck Regatta, which sent more than 165,000 ducks into the Ohio River.Check Out Duck:  Mid-July through early September
At select Kroger stores in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
We will be gearing up for “Duck Season” at the Freestore Foodbank in preparation for the 24th Annual Rubber Duck Regatta shortly!  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 coming campaign next 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. Mark your calendar now for this upcoming special event opportunity.  Details will be posted on the website by mid-June.

A Huge Hunger Walk Thank You!
While thousands of people walked to help raise funds to solve hunger on Memorial Day, a dedicated crew of over 100 volunteers helped the staff to run the event and made the 2018 Hunger Walk 5K a huge success!  Each step taken helped the Freestore Foodbank to finish strong. The Hunger Walk raised funds that support many of community partner agencies who are on the front lines distributing food and supplies to the over 280,000 families and individuals in the tristate region who face food insecurities each year. Whether you ran, walked or helped the Freestore to “run” the event, we want to thank you for your efforts!  Together, we can solve hunger!

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.


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

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

De Paul Cristo Rey High School
Kiwanis Cincinnati
Kiwanis – Green Hills Forest Park
Tri-State Freethinkers
Bank of America
CareSource Hamilton County
Cengage
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Emerge technologies
Fifth Third Bank
First Group
General Electric
Health Carousel
Humana
Huron Consulting Group
Interstate Warehousing
KeyBank
KeySource Medical
Kroger Co.
Michelman
Pep Promotions
Procter and Gamble
QC Industries
Western Southern Financial
Redeemer Church
The Gathering
Delavan Christian School
St. Columbian School
Xavier University

Food Room (Customer Connection Center - Liberty Street)

Cincinnati Bell
Fifth Third
Tri-State Freethinkers
Veidt Family

Giving Fields

American Heritage Girls
Colgate-Palmolive
Delavan Christian School
Fidelity Investments
Fifth Third
Michelman
Vantiv
Venture Award Community
Celanese
Gap
Heat Transfer Warehouse
Seven Hills High School
Smucker
Turner Construction

The Consistent Giver

Mediaon June 4th, 2018Comments Off on The Consistent Giver

Pam McDonel Hutton is an interior designer and one of the owners of BHDP Architects, a nationally recognized design firm providing services throughout the United States and overseas. Pam has worked at the firm for over 26 years. She is a loyal supporter of the Freestore Foodbank.

“My children grew up and moved away,” says Hutton. “All of a sudden, I found that our grocery bill dropped dramatically. I decided to give the extra cash to charity and could not think of a more deserving organization than the Freestore Foodbank.”

Pam is passionate about helping the community that she lives in. “I think that as Cincinnatians we should all work together to make sure that our neighbors are healthy and have enough to eat,” she says. Pam’s support for the Freestore Foodbank stems from her desire to help families in the tristate region – especially those with children. “In the summer, I always make sure I give a little extra to help children when they are out of school,” she adds.

Pam’s family shares her passion to help others. “My son likes to cook and he is generous about sharing food with others,” she says. Pam’s family especially appreciates the Freestore Foodbank’s workforce development programs. “We think it’s important to teach people skills that will help them find employment and eventually make them self-sufficient,” she comments. The Huttons especially love the Freestore Foodbank’s Cincinnati COOKS! program which is a culinary training program for under- and unemployed individuals.

BHDP is a long-time supporter of the Freestore Foodbank and regularly participates in Canstruction, a community service project and competition in which giant-sized structures are built from cans of food. “The firm is happy to support an event that will help feed more people in the community,” Pam says.  The event has contributed over 800,000 pounds of food annually to the Freestore Foodbank.

The Freestore Foodbank is grateful to donors like Pam who make a contribution every month. “Every dollar helps and a consistent giving pattern is absolutely the best form of support that we can hope for. We also appreciate the fact that Ms. Hutton allows us to use the money wherever we see fit. We appreciate her trust and confidence in the organization,” comments Maureen Gregory, Development Officer at the Freestore Foodbank.

To make a contribution to support the Freestore Foodbank click here.