Cincinnati Competition
Aetna Voices of Health Competition

Freestore Foodbank


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Freestore Foodbank

Freestore Foodbank's mission is to improve lives by eliminating hunger in partnership with our community. Our vision is to create a hunger-free, healthy and thriving community by providing nutritious food, connecting to supportive services, and offering a pathway from crisis to stability. We work with 450 partner agencies to support a 20 county tristate region through food and supportive services.

Freestore Foodbank began in 1971 when Frank Gerson, a worker at Cincinnati's incinerator, saw useable items being tossed away. He collected them and distributed to families in need, calling it the "Free Store." He incorporated it as a public charity, quit his job and opened for business in his apartment. In 1979, Free Store became a founding member of Feeding America, evolving into Freestore Foodbank to distribute food to those in need. We work to ensure Food, Connection and Hope, providing not only for the emergency needs of families, but encouraging sustainable change for self-reliance.

Freestore Foodbank is one of the 200 food bank members of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization. We purchase, collect and distribute food to our community partners, including soup kitchens, schools, emergency food pantries and social service centers, supplying 27.3 million meals annually.

Through our Bond Hill and Wilder distribution centers, Freestore Foodbank supplies food assistance to our 450 community partner agencies, helping to serve the 265,000 food insecure individuals in our region.

Our Customer Connection Center houses a choice pantry, which supports the emergency food needs of up to 300 individuals each weekday. This center also provides essential services, including clothing, housing/rent assistance, financial management, public benefits and healthcare enrollment, transportation assistance, as well as referrals for mental and physical health needs.

Freestore Foodbank's signature programs include: offering free workforce development training (LIFT the TriState and Cincinnati COOKS!); providing food assistance to address childhood hunger (Kids Cafe, Power Pack, School Pantry and KIND: Keeping Infants Nourished and Developing); bringing fresh produce to food deserts (Healthy Harvest Mobile Market and Pop Up Produce); distributing supplemental food to our low-income, elderly neighbors (Senior Boxes); and providing wrap-around services to build stability and self-sufficiency (Stabilization Program and Customer Connection Center).

More than 80,000 children in our region are food insecure, meaning they may not know where to find their next meal. For many students, the vast majority of their nutrition is found at school through free and reduced meal programs. After school, during weekends and particularly during holidays and breaks, this often means young students are going without the most basic of needs; food. This impacts not only their ability to learn, but their ability to develop and thrive.

Students living in poverty are often taking on financial responsibilities at far too early of an age. School Pantry gives families the resources they need to ensure no one has to choose between food and other basic needs like utilities, transportation, rent and medicine.

School Pantry is a versatile program model, providing shelf-stable, fresh and frozen foods to students and families, allowing each school to order the foods that are most needed by their students. While younger children may need easy to prepare snacks, older students can receive full meal prep items, ensuring the nutritional needs of the region are met in a familiar place for local families. Please help us expand this amazing resource to two new schools!

Our contact info:

Freestore Foodbank

Phone: 513-482-4500
Address: 1141 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (administrative office); 112 East Liberty Street Cincinnati, OH 45202 (for services)