This week, The Dish is on a mission to make sure local families have food for Thanksgiving. Because of the flailing economy and lost jobs, local food banks are experiencing severe shortages, and some of our neighbors might be without Thanksgiving dinner this year.
While Kathy Greenberg of the Freestore Food Bank says the store used to primarily serve the working poor, it is now seeing more middle-class and dual-income families than ever in need of food. In fact, the number of local families that need help has increased 55 percent in the last two years. Meanwhile, St. Vincent de Paul Society’s food pantry says it will serve at least 150-200 more families this year, setting a record.
So, if you’re lucky enough to be gainfully employed these days, consider dropping off food or donating online. The Dish has made it as easy as possible. Just refer to the list below for needs, locations and contact information.
Freestore Food Bank, Downtown
Needs: Turkeys, chickens and non-perishable frozen or canned Thanksgiving dinner food. Basically, anything you would like to eat on Thanksgiving is welcome. This might include cranberry sauce, frozen mashed potatoes and canned vegetables or whole turkeys and chickens.
They also need desserts, such as brownie and cake mixes. Greenberg asks that you don’t just open your pantry and grab something, but that you go to the store and shop. This makes it a more meaningful experience for you and those you’re helping out. It’s also good for kids to come along and see their parents giving back.
How to Donate: Freestore’s goal is to raise $1.5 million for its holiday food drive that runs until the end of January. Donate online at www.freestorefoodbank.org or drop off food at 112 E. Liberty St. in Over-the-Rhine. Donations accepted 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. All donations appreciated. 513-482-4500.
St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Food Pantry, West End
Needs: Turkeys, chickens and non-perishable frozen or canned Thanksgiving dinner food.
How to Donate: Donate online at www.svdpcincinnati.org or send a check to 1125 Banks St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45214. Or drop off food at the same address. Donations accepted 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and the third Saturday of each month from 9:30 a.m.-noon. 513-562- 8841.
Shared Harvest Foodbank, Fairfield
Needs: Ongoing food needs such as cereal, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, as well as basics such as toilet paper, deodorant and other toiletries. Shared Harvest made it clear that it needs food as much in June as in November. But Thanksgiving needs include turkeys, chickens and non-perishable canned and frozen Thanksgiving favorites.
How to Donate: Drop food off at 5901 Dixie Hwy., half a mile south of Jungle Jim’s International Market. Donations accepted 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. 513-874-0114.
Manna Outreach, Price Hill
Needs: Call for current needs.
How to Donate: Donate online at mannaoutreach.org or go to the basement of BLOC Ministries, on the corner of McPherson and Van Vey avenues. Donations accepted 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday and the third and fourth Saturdays of each month from noon-1 p.m. 513-921- 5344.
CONTACT HEATHER SMITH: firstname.lastname@example.org