The Freestore Foodbank began in 1971. Its early beginnings come with a story – a man with a heart to help others. Frank Gerson, a worker at Cincinnati’s incinerator, saw useable household items being tossed away. He began collecting those items and distributing them to disadvantaged families.
Gerson named his practice the Free Store. He incorporated it as a public charity, quit his job, and opened for business in his apartment.
In 1979, the Free Store became a founding member of Feeding America, evolving into the Freestore Foodbank, and began distributing food to our hungry neighbors.
Today the Freestore Foodbank is one of over 200 food banks within the Feeding America network serving communities across the nation.
Now under the leadership of Kurt Reiber, the Freestore Foodbank is one of Ohio’s largest food banks, distributing 37.7 million meals annually through a network of 250 community partner agencies serving 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. This includes food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, community centers, program sites, senior centers and daycare facilities.