Freestore Foodbank expands annual holiday food distribution due to pandemic

Freestore Foodbank expands annual Holiday Food Distribution due to pandemic

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Freestore Foodbank has expanded its annual holiday food distribution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically, the charity distributes food just a few days before Thanksgiving but this year the Freestore Foodbank has been distributing holiday food items for the entire month of November.

“We started preparing months ago for the exact same scenario, so we could have people come into our customer connection center, shop, and we could keep social distancing practices, make sure everyone is wearing masks and you can get holiday items the entire month,” Freestore Foodbank Chief Development Officer Trish Rayner said.

She says 300 people received boxes from the Liberty Street Market location.

Rayner adds that if customers don’t feel safe going into Freestore Foodbank’s connection center to shop, the Freestore Foodbank will drop off food boxes to customers when they pull up to the location on Liberty Street.

“We’ve been in the office every day since this began, and there’s so many stories of people in need, and our need has doubled during this time. We’ll be at drive through distributions and we’ll see thank you notes held up to the window, we’ll see thumbs up or children crying in the background like, we’re so excited to get something today. We’ve seen a wide variety of people come through, from veterans to teachers to restaurant workers who have never had to use us before, so I think what gets me up every day is we do it with dignity and respect,” Rayner said. “We talk to people and ask what their needs are and show up in spaces where people are the most comfortable to come and get help when they’ve never had to have help before. We’re so thankful to share those stories of families, and veterans and kids who haven’t needed the help before. To give them that one thing that they don’t want to have to think about, that one meal on the table,”

The distribution continues through Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

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