South Side Roots provides nutritious food to the community while helping to foster the positive impact that fresh food has on the physical and mental health of our neighbors. Our model is an innovative concept in foodbanking that creates a mixed income dining and shopping experience within the Reeb Avenue Center – a single site with multiple nonprofit organizations focused on holistically serving the diverse needs of the South Side. We welcome all who wish to spend time in our space, which is designed to be a warm gathering place that builds community while offering quality, fresh, affordable foods.
South Side Roots is owned and operated by Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The program includes a pay-what-you-can cafe, 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.
While this concept is a new undertaking for Mid-Ohio Foodbank, it aligns with our mission to co-create sustainable communities where everyone thrives. South Side Roots also shares in the broader mission of the Reeb Avenue Center in that we aim to holistically address resident needs, providing opportunities that will empower them in their lives. This will come through intentional work with the other non-profits at Reeb in order to collectively impact the neighborhood beyond what is possible to achieve on our own. In this same vein, we are committed to staying rooted in the surrounding community. Our location inside Reeb Ave Center physically connects us to the history of the South Side because the building, once Reeb Elementary School, has been a point of pride in the neighborhood since 1904. Engaging community members in South Side Roots as it grows and changes will also ground us in the neighborhood, informing our practices and revealing the desires of those who live here so that we can more fully support everyone in reaching prosperity.