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!