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Freestore Food Bank Suffers Blow To Donations Amidst Rising Need

Freestore food banks along with the other food banks in the U.S. are experiencing a decline in donations due to rising food prices.

March 3, 2024

The food bank which helps people to fight hunger is experiencing a crisis of its own this year. During the last quarter of 2023, the Freestore food bank saw a decline in donations, and that too at a time when food prices were rising which in turn pushed the nonprofit into a $3.5 Million deficit.

The Freestore food bank is not alone as plenty of food banks in the United States have reported lower donations and a greater need for food among families.

CEO of Freestore Food Bank Kurt Reiber said, “People are still reeling. They have spent their reserves and they are now confronted with higher prices at the grocery stores, higher prices at the gas station, and general inflation. And they don’t have any cushion to fall back on.”

The food bank experienced a significant decline in donations, exacerbated by the deaths of four major donors last year, according to Reiber. Furthermore, the Freestore faced a loss of $350,000 in human services funding and was impacted by rising prices.

Despite these challenges, the food bank’s board of directors has reinforced its commitment to its mission, choosing to “double down” on efforts to feed the region.

Keeping in mind the loss of $1.5 Million because of the drop in donations, increased food prices, and loss of funding, the food bank has expanded its plan to $3.5 Million.

The plan won’t work for a longer period of time but the food bank is on its way to exceed its distribution to 42 Million pounds of food from 40 Million pounds of food.

The food bank distributes food to nearby food pantries out of which 70 are school-based pantries, five college campuses, and a dozen at health clinics. Besides this, the food bank serves at senior centers, delivering around 38 Million meals to hungry people.

The food pantries such as the Liberty Street Market in Over-the-Rhine and the Bea Taylor Market in Riverside witnessed a 42% increase in costs from the last two months. The records revealed that the agency spent $300,000 in November and December and $425,000 in 2023.

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Demio Terry. “People are still reeling.’ Freestore Foodbank suffers blow to donations amid greater need”. Cincinnati, March 3, 2024,
Freestore Foodbank sees donations drop amid hunger, rise in food cost (cincinnati.com)

Last Updated: September 20, 2021