The Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank has been feeding the hungry since 1971. Annually they distribute over 12 million pounds of food throughout 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. To get the job done the Freestore Foodbank operates with volunteers out of several Cincinnati locations. They also partner with a 325 member social service network of soup kitchens, pantries, shelters and other organizations.
Freestore Foodbank Mayerson Distribution Division
The Tennessee Ave. location assists Freestore Foodbank partner agencies in serving their local neighborhoods. As a hub of food distribution, the center takes in donations from grocers, corporate retailers, canned food drives and other resources. Volunteers redistribute collected goods to member agencies. A Mobile Pantry transports over 10,000 pounds of food per month to under served areas.
Freestosre Foodbank Nutritional Programs
Kids Cafe/Power Pack
The Kids Cafe fights childhood hunger with nutritious, after-school snacks for children who might otherwise go hungry after classes end for the day. Power Pack sends children home with nutritious food to carry them through the weekend.
Cincinnati Cooks! Training Program
The Freestore Foodbank’s 10-week culinary program offers preparation, food safety and commercial kitchen operations training. The program educates low income, at-risk adults for employment in the food industry. Students receive placement assistance, career coaching and mentoring.
Cincinnati Cooks Catering For a Cause
This full service catering business operates out of the Freestore Foodbank Rosenthal Community Kitchen. The catering business financially supports the Cincinnati Cooks training program and is one source of employment for program graduates.
Freestore Foodbank Customer Connection Center
The Liberty St. Customer Connection Center distributes emergency food to the homeless, unemployed, working poor and families in crisis. They also provide a wide range of services to help the hungry toward “self reliance.”
Social Services Department
Freestore Foodbank Liberty St. clients can meet with staff who assess their housing, finances, employment, food, clothing, infant care and other personal needs. Staff may also refer clients to agencies specializing in homelessness, disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse and domestic violence issues.
Last year Freestore Foodbank distributed 2.2 million pounds of food to over 117,000 people from their Liberty St. Food Room. The pantry operates like a grocery store, allowing customers to choose the food they need.
Freestore Housing Services helps with affordable housing search and placement, rental assistance and housing subsidies. They also help break the cycle of homelessness by providing budgeting services to help clients manage timely payment of rent.
The Freestore Foodbank helps clients locate and enroll in benefits such as Medicaid, SSI Disability, SSI Jobs, food stamps and housing.
Hamilton County Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities Services, Health Care for the Homeless and other social service organizations refer clients for help in managing their benefits. The Freestore Protective Payee Program staff receives payments on a client’s behalf, then aids with budgeting, banking, rent payment and emergency financial issues.
Freestore Foodbank Partner Agencies