With the downturn of our economy, retail sales are not the only thing decreasing.
Food banks across Cincinnati are being forced to decrease portions and even close their doors because they simply are not getting enough donations. When you can eat lunch for two days on the cost of just one gallon of gas, you know there are families having to decide between feeding themselves or their cars!
Food banks get their supplies from one of three places: individuals, corporations with a surplus and government agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
But while donations from all sources have decreased, Congress passed the Farm Bill on June 18 which will give $290 billion to food programs and agricultural subsidies — two-thirds of the funds going to national food programs and food stamps.
With all these sad numbers in mind, here is a list of local food pantries that need our help. You can donate anything from a can of chicken noodle soup to a few hours of your time.
Freestore Food Bank
Probably one of the most well-known local food banks, the Freestore Foodbank, is part of America’s Second Harvest, America’s food bank network. It feeds more than 37,000 people at Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. But beyond just the holidays, the Foodbank helps umemployed people or those who have lost their home to disaster find work and clothing, feeds children through the Kids Café and distributes food to 450 non-profit agencies in 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Almost 46,000 volunteers help distribute more than nine million pounds of food each year. If you want to help out a large area all at one time, the Freestore Foodbank can help make it happen!
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul
This little food bank assists more than 500 families monthly with donations from individuals, businesses and food drives. St. Vincent de Paul is ran solely by volunteers, so if you are interested in helping out at a food bank, this may be for you.
LIFE: Loveland Interfaith Effort
The Loveland Interfaith Effort provides emergency assistance to Loveland about 115 families each month. Individuals from local churches teamed up with the Symmes Township food pantry to start the effort that has grown to include nine area churches, the Loveland schools, local businesses and individuals.
Tri-State Food Bank
This food bank is asking for help right now to assist families displaced by flooding. The Tri-State food bank is requesting non-perishable food and cleaning supplies. The Tri-State Food Bank takes donations and distributes them to hundreds of charities in the area.
Manna Food Pantry
This agency supplies food and emergency assistance to families in the Price Hill area. Food and supply donations are always needed, along with volunteers to help inventory, coordinate deliveries and complete paperwork.