Freestore Foodbank helps more than 25,000 with holiday meals

CINCINNATI - More than 25,000 people in the Tri-State will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal thanks to the efforts of the Freestore Foodbank and a bevy of volunteers.

The Freestore's three-day distribution of holiday food boxes, which occurred Monday-Wednesday, resulted in more than 8,500 households getting some holiday food this year.

Numerous donors contributed food and money to the Freestore, and more than 1,000 volunteers helped pack and distribute the food to needy families and individuals.

Another food distribution, this time for Christmas, will be held Dec. 19-21.

Every dollar donated to the Freestore provides about four meals, a spokesperson said.

Frank Gerson, a worker at Cincinnati's city dump who collected discarded items to help the needy, founded the Freestore in 1971. Since then, it has grown to become one of Ohio's largest food banks.

The Freestore provides food to about 450 pantries in a 20-county area in the Tri-State, ranging from rural Indiana to Portsmouth, Ohio.

Facilities that receive the food include pantries operated by churches, battered women's shelters and group homes.

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