Introducing Ro’s Kitchen

Local Matters and Columbus Food Rescue welcomed friends, family, and community leaders and partners from Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis to the opening of Ro’s Kitchen on May 1.

What is Ro’s Kitchen? Named in honor of Roshelle Pate and located at the ECDI Food Fort, Ro’s Kitchen transforms food donated by the greater Columbus community into healthy, fresh, and tasty meals. The food is prepared under the guidance of Chef Terence Zheng and delivered by a wide network of volunteers to community sites.

Why is this work important? In 2023, Columbus Food Rescue saved 1.1 million pounds of food from area landfills. While most of that food was distributed to partner agencies, there was sometimes food that exceeded storage and/or staff capacity at those sites. Many agencies lack access to kitchens/food preparation spaces. Ro’s Kitchen helps to fill that gap and allows said partner agencies to devote more of their time and resources to their work.

Ro’s Impact (March – April 2024)

  • Total amount of food transformed: +2,620 pounds 
  • Total number of meals created: +2,180 meals
  • Number of locations receiving meals: 15 locations
    • Four serve clients with substance abuse disorder; three support people in trafficking situations; five focus on new arrivals and/or recent immigrants to the US (Ramadan meals went to three different locations); six serve large numbers of unhoused people
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