On Wednesday morning, September 12, seniors at Oak Hills High School had the unique opportunity to hear from President and CEO of the Freestore Foodbank, Kurt Reiber. Reiber
shared an inspirational video with students detailing the work of the Freestore, presented background information on the foodbank and answered questions.
While the rest of the OHHS student body was testing, seniors were divided into two groups. One group attended Reiber’s presentation and the other half discussed career and college readiness with principals Jeff Brandt and John Stoddard.
Reiber’s session covered three major points: facing poverty in Greater Cincinnati, the role of the Freestore Foodbank and opportunities to volunteer for students. He shared how students can do things like donate birthday money to the Freestore to help the hungry, purchase a duck during the annual Labor Day Rubber Duck Regatta and volunteer at the Foodbank.
Reiber explained that the majority of individuals and families who benefit from the Freestore are considered ‘the working poor,’ meaning they are employed in full-time jobs. They come to the Freestore an average of five times a year for emergency assistance when they can’t make ends meet to supplement their income. Most of them are living paycheck to paycheck.
In 2011 students at C.O. Harrison, under the direction of Sherry Fuller, raised $370 for the Freestore Foodbank’s Kids Café program. The art department received a great from the Oak Hills Educational Foundation to have families create ceramic bowls to benefit the hungry in the community. Sixty bowls were created and sold with soup on March 9.
Kurt Reiber received his BA (Economics & Finance) from Baldwin Wallace College and his MBA and JD from the University of Toledo’s Colleges of Business & Law, respectively. Kurt chaired United Way’s Financial Stability Impact Council, was President of the Forest Hills Foundation for Education and is a Board Member for Hamilton County’s JFS Planning Committee, and serves on the Boards of the OH, KY & IN Associations of Foodbanks. Kurt lives in Wyoming with his wife, Karen, who is the Media Specialist & Technologist for Wyoming Middle School and enjoys reading, music and golf. They have three children.