The cbusfoodbloggers headed to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank last month to check out their facility and learn more about how the organization is contributing to the fight against hunger in this region.  The sprawling facility is a LEED Gold certified building, a certification that was earned because the building was designed and constructed in a sustainable manner that minimizes the Foodbank’s impact on the environment.

IMG_3498The foodbank’s mission is to end hunger one nourishing meal at a time while co-creating communities where everyone thrives.  Last year, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank distributed approximately 70 million pounds of food across 20 counties in Ohio.  That’s about 155,000 meals a day!  These sorts of numbers are hard to wrap your head around; hunger is a major concern in our area. IMG_3523Of those receiving food:

  • 35% are children under 18 years. 8% are 5 years and under.
  • 71% have finished high school and 23% have some college or a 2-year degree. 5% have completed college or beyond.
  • 1 out of 5 are homeowners. Just 5% are homeless.
  • The average household size is 2.8 people.
  • The average household income during the previous month was $1,000*
  • 76% of adult clients under 65 years are currently unemployed. 18% have been in managerial or professional jobs, demonstrating that hunger has spread across new demographic groups.

*The 2009 poverty level for a family of 3 was $1,526/month.



While at the foodbank, we had the chance to sample some catering menu items from South Side Roots, a cafe and catering business owned and operated by Mid-Ohio Foodbank.  South Side Roots offers a pay-what-you-can cafe, an affordable fresh foods market, a weekly community meal, and a Kids Cafe meal program for students at South Side Learning & Development Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Columbus.


South Side Roots is located in the Reeb Avenue Center, which houses many nonprofit organizations under one roof.  The cafe is open to the public, and patrons have the opportunity to pay it forward by pre-paying for meals for those who cannot afford them.

Some favorites from the South Side Roots catering menu included chimichurri shrimp with grilled polenta:


Strawberry basil tartlets:


Milk and cookie parfaits:


And buffalo cauliflower:


We were also joined by Fat Head’s Brewery!  The folks from Fat Head’s are regular volunteers with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and joined us on the tour of the facility.


After the meal, we checked out the Foodbank warehouse facility and learned more about volunteer opportunities, many of which involve sorting and/or packing goods that are donated to the foodbank.


This was my first time behind the scenes at a foodbank and I was awed by the intricate logistics required to run this massive warehouse and distribution operation.


Touring the foodbank was eye opening!  There are so many people in our region that are going hungry.  Every little bit helps, whether it’s a few hours of your time or a few dollars you can spare to donate.  If you are interested in volunteering with the foodbank, check out their volunteer FAQ and the volunteer hub website.


Mid-Ohio Foodbank

3960 Brookham Drive
Grove City, Ohio 43123
614-277-FOOD (3663)

South Side Roots

280 Reeb Avenue
Columbus, OH 43207


To donate:

To volunteer:


Blog Post and Photos by:  
Mary Cowx, Fervent Foodie

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