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Freestore Foodbank opens new massive distribution facility in Riverside

The facility has the capacity to double the number of meals served each year
Freestore Foodbank
Freestore Foodbank
Freestore Foodbank
Posted at 12:58 PM, Jun 07, 2023

CINCINNATI — After 3 years in the making, the Freestore Foodbank is opening a new, massive facility in the Riverside neighborhood.

The 225,000 square foot facility will serve as a community resource center as well as a distribution center. The facility is now the hub to distribute food to more than 600 pantries across 20 counties.

The workforce development center features a full-service kitchen for training and meal prep.

President and CEO Kurt Reiber said they’ve also increased the amount of freezer and refrigeration space because of recent efforts to create healthier meals. Now, fresh foods will be more readily available for neighbors. Reiber believes the new facility will give the Freestore Foodbank the ability to go from serving 50 million meals a year to 100 million meals. Reiber also said that the opening comes at a time when the organization is already experiencing an increase in demand.

“Since January of this year, we’ve already seen a 35% increase in families,” Reiber said.

“That’s primarily brought on by two factors: one is, the SNAP enrollment was eliminated at the end of February, but then you also you see grocery prices are also out of this world, he said."

Reiber added that he's hoping to be able to provide additional food to those families to help stabilize them and fill the gaps.

A ribbon cutting happened Wednesday at 11a.m. and the public is welcome to a community open house from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

By late summer or early fall, a market is expected to open at the new location on Rosenthal Avenue. The market will give families a way to shop for groceries in person, similar to other pantries across the Tri-State.

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