The holiday season is approaching and it’s one of the busiest times of the year for pantries. This year, it is more expensive for pantries to stock their shelves due to rising food prices. Inflation has also contributed to reducing monetary donations from supporters. These factors made more people rely on pantries like the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati and Be Concerned in Covington.

With neighbors and those organizations in need of help, here are some ways to help both during their busiest season.

Donate items

One way to help is to donate items. Consider hosting a food drive for pantry, personal care, or baby-related items.

The Self-service food bank distributes 37.7 million meals each year to residents of the tri-state area. To help him continue to distribute meals, you can organize a virtual food drive by asking your friends, neighbors and colleagues to donate money via a personalized link. The Freestore Food Bank will buy the items they need with the money you donate.

You can also donate personal care items and drop them off at 112 East Liberty Street, where volunteers will unload the items from your car. Glass objects are not accepted.

Here are some of the personal care items necessary

  • disposable diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Razors and shaving cream
  • Combs

You can also host a pantry, baby shower or personal hygiene campaign for To be concerned, Northern Kentucky’s largest free food program. Donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1100 Pike Street in Covington or 525 Graves Street in Erlanger.

Necessary pantry donations:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably given on Mondays due to their short shelf life)
  • Household cleaning items
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • preserves
  • can openers
  • Pasta
  • Plain flour
  • cooking oils
  • Food for dogs and cats.

See Be Concerned’s suggestions for needs personal and baby hygiene elements. They also accept thrift shop donations.

Saint Vincent de Paul also accepts pantry and thrift store donations. To donate pantry items, email [email protected] or call 513-853-1012. You can also purchase items through St. Vincent de Paul’s Amazon Wishlist. Call 513-421-2273 to schedule a free pickup of items you wish to donate to the thrift store.

Necessary Thrift store donations:

  • Socks
  • Clothes
  • Clean the furniture
  • Small appliances
  • Home decorations
  • Jewelry
  • Cooking tools
  • Tools
  • Sporting goods, bicycles and toys
  • Shoes
  • Books, records, DVDs and CDs
  • Dishes, pots and pans
  • Sheets and blankets
  • Baby products

Other ways to help with the holidays

Many pantries have annual holiday traditions that need supporters.

For over 50 years, the Freestore Foodbank has provided families with boxes of food to prepare a meal for Thanksgiving and the December holidays. You can make a donation money to support the holiday food distribution.

Be Concerned organizes an annual Christmas shop for families to choose toys for their children. In 2021, 721 children received new toys for the holiday season through this annual tradition. Click on here to purchase an item from their Amazon Christmas Wish List.

St. Vincent de Paul also needs people to donate toys for their angel toy collection. Donations of new unboxed toys around $20-25 can be dropped off Monday-Friday 8am-4pm or Saturday 8am-noon. You can drop off your donations at 1146 Bank Street, 45214. The deadline for donating toys is Wednesday, December 7. Register to donate here.

You can also sponsor a family this holiday season. Thanks to Saint-Vincent-de-Paul’s Noël ensemble program, you will be matched with families in need. As a sponsor, you will get the family’s wish list to buy. You can expect to spend $100-150 per person. Click on here register.

See all Saint-Vincent de Paul seasonal vacation programs here.


Volunteering your time can help keep food banks running smoothly, especially during the busy holiday season.

You can volunteer at the Freestore Foodbank helping with programs like holiday food distribution.

Click on here to see all of Be Concerned’s volunteer opportunities, which include helping out with the Christmas store and restocking the pantry.

Saint Vincent de Paul also has many volunteer opportunitieslike helping with the distribution of angel toys.

To give money

Donating money is always a great way to help pantries. Every dollar donated to the Freestore Foodbank can help provide three meals. Here is a link make a donation.

Be Concerned distributes 60 to 70 pounds of food to each family monthly. Your donation will help purchase much-needed pantry items. Click on here make a one-time donation to Be Concerned. If you want to support the Christmas Shop without heading to Amazon, donate here. This donation will be used to purchase Christmas toys from Amazon’s Wish List.

Donating to St. Vincent de Paul will help feed and house those in need. Make a donation here.