Freestore Foodbank puts healthy foods in Tri-State homes

About a month ago, a donation from Green BEAN Delivery to the Freestore Foodbank brought a recently unemployed young woman and mother of three to tears when she went to pick up food for her family. 

“She knew the importance of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables for her kids, and typically, her meal money and her food money doesn’t go that far,” says Kurt Reiber, president and CEO of the FSFB. 

Reiber says people often try to “stretch their resources,” which often means buying food that is affordable but also unhealthy. 

Because of FSFB’s efforts to put healthy foods on the tables of about 300,000 food-insecure individuals throughout the region—110,000 of whom are children—fresh produce and healthy eating habits are increasingly becoming more ingrained in the lifestyles of our neighbors in need. 

As a result of a longtime partnership with Green BEAN Delivery, FSFB recently received 2,200 pounds of fresh produce to distribute to local pantries and food banks, which Reiber says will go a long way for the families FSFB supports. 

“These are people who really don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Reiber says. “They’re coming because the car broke down or one of their children has gotten sick or their utility bills are out of whack and they spent the money they otherwise would have spent on food on those bills, so when I talk about paycheck to paycheck, that’s really it.” 

Most of the recipients of FSFB’s donations visit the food banks or pantries just five times a year, according to Reiber. “It’s the community supporting the neighbors that are just down the street,” he says. “Most of them are going to church with them, or their kids see them at school.” 

Reiber is appreciative of the Green BEAN Delivery’s donation because he says it has helped to provide healthy foods during a time of the year when the nonprofit is particularly in need. 

In November and December and throughout the holiday season, he says, people recognize the problem of hunger, and donations come in with an abundance; but hunger is a problem that doesn’t go away. “The reality is that the following week, when we turn the page on the calendar, we’re still looking at folks out there that are hungry and don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Reiber says. 

Because of partnerships with community organizations and individuals, FSFB ensures that 35 to 40 percent of its food distribution is composed of fresh fruits and vegetables. Through its community farming program, The Giving Fields, FSFB was able to provide 175,000 pounds of fresh produce to 12 food pantries in Northern Kentucky last year; and that number, according to Reiber, will continue to grow. 

“Our goal is to have it so that 50 percent of all the food we distribute will be fresh, nutritious produce and fruits, and that’s something we’re going to continue to strive to get to.” 

Do Good: 

Support the Freestore Foodbank by making a donation.

• Start a virtual food drive and encourage your family and friends to partcipate. 

• Spread the word about hunger by liking and sharing Freestore Foodbank's Facebook page.

By Brittany York

Brittany York is a professor of English composition at the University of Cincinnati and a teacher at the Regional Institute of Torah and Secular Studies. She also edits the For Good section of SoapboxMedia.
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