Freestore Foodbank opens brand new facility to better serve the hungry population

The Freestore Foodbank now has a new facility.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 6:23 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Freestore Foodbank is cutting the ribbon and a brand new facility Wednesday. Not only is it brand new and state of the art, but it also allows the foodbank to better serve the hundreds of thousands of hungry people here in the Tri-State.

“This will be the main location for our 600 plus pantries to come by and pick up their food,” Freestore Foodbank CEO Kurt Reiber said. “Or we’ll distribute it to them from this location as well.”

This consolidates three of the four locations. The Liberty Street facility will remain open. In the late summer or early fall, the market will open at the Riverside location to allow patrons to shop for their groceries.

“We made the decision to build here on purpose,” Reiber continued. “Because of the fact that we wanted to build up the economy of this location in Sedamsville and Delhi and really try to meet the needs of the family that we’re serving here as well as create jobs in this community.”

Not only is this the main distribution center, it will also house workforce training programs like Cincinnati COOKS and Lift the TriState.

“We also are trying to help our families eat healthier and be healthier,” Reiber explained. “In order to do that we need to have more refrigeration and freezer capacity than we did in our previous locations.”

This new facility took seven years from concept and design to the ribbon cutting. The 225,000 square feet building sits on a 23 acre lot. 43% of the subcontractors were minority owned or women owned business enterprises.

Reiber says despite the pandemic being over, they are seeing increased demand not only because kids are now out of school, but some benefits are ending for people in the Tri-State.

“We’ve seen an increase in demand of about 35% from the beginning of this year to the present time,” Reiber said. “That is brought on by the SNAP benefits and the emergency allotments going away but also by the higher prices that we’re all seeing at the grocery store.”

As always, the foodbank could use volunteers and donations.

The ribbon cutting is Wednesday at 11 a.m. with a community open house at 3 p.m. The address of the new facility is 3401 Rosenthal Way, Cincinnati, OH 45204.

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