CINCINNATI -- The Freestore Foodbank provided Thanksgiving meals for nearly 22,000 hungry children and their families last year and expects to serve about 10 percent more in 2016.
Households receive a turkey or chicken for Thursday's feast from the food bank's customer connection center at 112 E. Liberty St. in Over-the-Rhine. The Freestore Foodbank will also provide each household with a holiday box containing canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned cranberry or pumpkin, stuffing or rice, onions, potatoes, apples, macaroni and cheese, and brownie mix or another dessert.
"When you come down, we’re happy to help you. We’re happy to bring you the holiday fixings for your holiday meal," said Kurt Reiber, CEO of the Freestore Foodbank.
Reiber said those picking up meals should bring identification for any member of the family receiving food and a bill or invoice that proves where they live. They will also need to self-declare income level.
Meal pickup lasts from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday. Although a line started forming by 5 a.m. Monday, Reiber says that's not necessary.
"They don’t need to wait in line, we’re not going to run out of food," Reiber said.
In addition to the Freestore Foodbank, St. Vincent de Paul will distribute 1,200 Thanksgiving meals to local families in need. People will begin lining up hours in advance outside St. Vincent de Paul Liz Carter Outreach Center in the West End (1125 Bank St.), before the distribution begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The food distribution is open to anyone in need of a Thanksgiving meal. A photo I.D. is required; limit one meal basket per family. Each basket will contain everything needed to make a complete meal including a turkey, roasting pan, fresh produce and all the fixings.
Local high schools including LaSalle, St. Xavier, St. Ursula and Moeller conducted food drives on behalf of St. Vincent de Paul and volunteered to help prepare for the distribution. Crossroads Church, Everdry Waterproofing, Kroger and other local organizations have made donations to make the distribution possible.
More than 100 community volunteers will give their time to help neighbors in need including students from LaSalle High School. Groups from DMR/Interactive, LPK, POSSIBLE, Principle Solutions Group and Protective Life will also be part of the distribution.
To make a donation or host a drive, visit the website here, call 513-421-HOPE (4673) or visit your neighborhood Kroger store and look for the food donation barrels.