The Volunteer Connection April 2017

Mediaon March 31st, 2017Comments Off on The Volunteer Connection April 2017

Together, We Can Solve Hunger!

Together, We Can Solve Hunger!

In April, the Freestore Foodbank along with other agencies across the nation will celebrate National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, 2017.  During this week, we will honor those who inspire, recognize and encourage others to seek out imaginative ways to engage in our community.  National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and demonstrating their collective power to make a difference.  We want to take this opportunity to thank all 10,850+ volunteers who are making a difference in our 20 counties that we serve and in the lives of our hungry neighbors.  We would not be able to make strides in solving hunger without your help!  Thank you!

A Spotlight on just a few of Our Amazing Volunteers

Farzin Sabet, Mayerson Distribution Center VolunteerFarzin Sabet
Mayerson Distribution Center

“I started volunteering with the Freestore Foodbank in the summer of 2016. I have had the privilege of contributing money to the Freestore for many years and I decided that I needed to get to know the organization better, so I started volunteering my time.  While donating money is extremely important, spending time and volunteering in person got me closer to those who benefit from the work of the Freestore Foodbank.  Every volunteering session has been energizing and deeply satisfying and I am always impressed by the energy and dedication of the staff and other volunteers.  Since I work full time, I stick with evening shifts at the Mayerson Distribution Center. I know as I pack Power Packs or sort food, that my work is directly helping to feed others.

Al Coston, Customer Connection Center, Liberty Street Market VolunteerAl Coston
Customer Connection Center
Liberty Street Market Volunteer

Al was born and raised in Cincinnati, and has been a customer and volunteer with the Freestore for years.  He started off volunteering several years ago as a requirement for his SNAP benefits, but once he aged out of the requirement, he continued to volunteer anyways. When asked why he chooses to come down to the Liberty Street Market (almost daily) when he could be anywhere else, he said, “It is for the people. I love the staff and the customers—many I know from the neighborhood.”  Al is such a pleasure to have around, and he is a huge help to us. He takes initiative and knows how and when to step in where needed. He is a part of the Freestore Foodbank family.

Victoria Collins, Mayerson Distribution Center, Student NightsVictoria Collins
Mayerson Distribution Center
Student Nights

“I first started volunteering at the Freestore Foodbank in Spring 2015 with the Student Nights and have continued each spring.  I chose the Freestore because it was reliable and, honestly, I needed the hours. But really, I liked knowing I was giving a positive impact on the students around Cincinnati. I also enjoy meeting and getting to know different students and coordinators. I think the Freestore is doing amazing with its different programs to not only help people get by day-to-day, but to also get them back on their feet!”

Constance Chambers, Customer Connection Center, Communication AssistantConstance Chambers
Customer Connection Center
Communication Assistant

Constance came to the Freestore Foodbank through the Mature Services program in March 2016.  Ever since then, she has been a warm and welcoming presence at the Customer Connection Center’s second floor Communication Desk.   A Freestore staff member remarked, “Constance makes everyone welcome and at ease when they come in to seek assistance.  She is always willing to listen to the customer’s story and connects them to the best services that we can provide. Even on our busiest day, she always has a calm voice, an infectious smile and provides the best customer service around.”   Constance says she loves volunteering because of the people.  “No matter what their life circumstance is, I know that when I meet them here, I can make their days a little better, if only for a few minutes.”

Wyoming Middle School – 6th Grade StudentsWyoming Middle School – 6th Grade Students
Mayerson Distribution Center
Power Packs
As a key component of their study on poverty each year, 6th graders from Wyoming Middle School step out of their classroom to volunteer at the Mayerson Distribution Center to prepare Power Packs for hungry children in the Tri-State.  Two of the students explained why volunteering to help others is an important part of learning about the concerns of their neighbors in need.  Sylvia shared, “Volunteering helped me to understand that over over 80,000 children do not know where their next meal will come from and by helping to pack the Power Packs, I know at least one of those kids will have a meal for a weekend.”  Ava stated, “While packing with my friends is really fun, it really teaches me that we need to not only study about a problem, but we need to be a part of the solution.”

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

Join Us for the 14th Annual Hunger Walk & 5K Run

Hunger WalkRegistration is OPEN to volunteer for the Hunger Walk & 5K Run on Monday, May 29 at The Banks in downtown Cincinnati. Volunteers are needed to help “run the 5k” behind the scenes. Registration assistance, setup crews, cheerleaders and many more opportunities are available all Memorial Day Weekend long, in addition to the day of the event.  Here’s your chance to lace up your sneakers and help us make sure the Hunger Walk “runs” smoothly!  Click here to view Hunger Walk & 5K Run volunteer opportunities.

Want to walk or run in the actual Hunger Walk & 5K Run or donate to a team? Click here for more information.

All proceeds support the Freestore Foodbank’s network of 450 partner food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and community centers. Through this network, we are able to provide over 27 million meals each year to hungry children and families in 20 counties in Southwest Ohio, Southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky. One step at a time, one dollar at a time, together we can solve hunger.

Feeding Children during the Summer Months

Feeding Children during the Summer MonthsAre you looking for a group volunteer activity for your team during the summer? Come spend time with us at our Mayerson Distribution Center to assemble Innovative Summer Meal food boxes for children in our rural communities. These food boxes will ensure that children have nutritious meals during the summer months when they are away from school. During the summer, groups up to 40 are invited to participate.  Complete a Group Request form today or call 513-482-7550 to schedule a date.  Groups are needed Tuesday through Saturday with shifts starting at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.  Contact us now to help us feed children!

Volunteers Will Make A Difference at the Giving Fields!

The Giving Fields opens at the end of April!  Don’t miss the opportunity to join us at the farm to plant and prepare the grounds for a fruitful harvest this year!  Last year over 2,400 volunteers were on hand throughout the growing season to cultivate fresh produce for local community partner agencies in Northern Kentucky.  Volunteers of all ages came and planted, weeded and harvested enough fruits and veggies to contribute to more than 110,000 meals.  This would not have been possible without their help!

Volunteers Will Make A Difference at the Giving Fields!

Located in Melbourne, KY, just 15 minutes from Northern Kentucky University, this family friendly volunteer event has something for all ages. No matter how green your thumb is, we have a job for you!  What a great way to learn how to grow produce and give back to the community at the same time!  Come on out and play in the dirt and make a difference for our neighbors in Northern Kentucky!

Click Here for more information on how to register to volunteer.


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 February 2017!
We sincerely appreciate their continued support and contribution of their time.

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

A Children’s Home
Cincinnati Bell
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Clark Montessori
Delta Sigma Theta
Fifth Third
Flip Side Products
Fort Washington Investment Advisors
Franciscans for the Poor
FTB Financial Services / UBS
General Cable
General Electric (GE)
Girlfriend Inc.
Greater Cincinnati Dietetic Assoc.
Jace United
Kerry Automotive
Lakeside Presbyterian
Northern Kentucky University
P & G
Pep Promotions
Redeemer Church
St. Margaret Knights of Columbus
St. Xavier School
The Gathering
The Hillman Group
Tri-State Freethinkers
University of Cincinnati
Western Southern Financial
Wyoming Middle School
Ziegler & Schneider

Liberty Street Market (Liberty Street)

DePaul Cristo Rey
Fifth Third

FeedingWorks: Transformational Teambuilding

Looking for a new way to strengthen your team’s ability to communicate, problem-solve and manage conflict while improving your opportunities to provide successful outcomes? Looking for an opportunity to not only grow stronger as a team internally, but to make an external impact on the community? Consider FeedingWorks, the Freestore Foodbank’s social enterprise.

FeedingWorks is a unique combination of professional leadership development and the transformational experience of a team working together to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. Teams form genuine bonds through this experience which is based on the principle of giving back while developing yourself and your team.

For more information about how your company can benefit from FeedingWorks, please visit