Getting to Know: Community Plates in Columbus, Ohio


Facts & Figures

  • 1,323,680 meals rescued

  • Year Founded: 2012

  • 64 food runners

  • 74 food donors


What Our Columbus, Ohio Volunteers Have to Say

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Tracy Elzy, Columbus, Ohio Volunteer

Through volunteering with Community Plates, I can be a part of the change that I wish to see in the world in a very real and tangible way.

– Tracy Elzy, Columbus Volunteer Food Runner

I love rescuing food because I know that if my life circumstances had been a little bit different, I could have been the one in need.

Kevin Mullins, Community Plates Executive Director

It’s like I am a vigilante for a lot of hungry people. I take the surplus food and then give give to the needy- one run at a time.

– Joshua Rider, Columbus Volunteer Food Runner


Meet 3 Columbus Food Donors

Hot Chicken Takeover

Hot Chicken Takeover

Hot Chicken Takeover

In addition to serving perfectly fried chicken rubbed with a cayenne-infused paste, the mission of the company is a beacon of social impact. According to their mission: “It’s about our people. Beyond an amazing community of customers, HCT provides supportive jobs to men and women who need a second chance at work. Be it homelessness, previous incarceration, or another barrier to employment, HCT employees are wildly ambitious and have set their sights on what’s next.” They even mentioned us in their 2015 year in review!

Whole Foods: Easton, Ohio

We’re so lucky to have relationships with Whole Foods across the country, and this fantastic new Easton location is no exception.

Worthington Farmers Market

The Worthington Farmers Market is Central Ohio’s largest farmers market, boasting more than 70 vendors from Columbus and the surrounding areas. The market includes locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, locally produced cheeses, jams, jellies, honey and maple syrup, high quality cuts of meat from carefully raised farm animals, eggs from pastured chickens, flowers, herbs, plants, homemade soaps, and foodstuffs. The market is a year-round tradition that is held in the heart of Worthington.


Meet Susan Keiser Smith, Columbus Site Director

Susan Keiser-Smith

Susan Keiser-Smith

Hometown/Current City:
Troy, OH

What do you like to do in your free time?
Travel, play soccer, spend time with family, kayak, hike

How did you first become inspired around issues of food insecurity?
Through Community Plates. One of my neighbors started CP in Columbus. I did a few runs and the rest is history.

Who or what inspires you most?
The strong women in my family. I really miss my grandmas, one had dementia and was an inspiration even in her darkest days. The other lived to be 103 and lived at home until the last few months of her life. My mom and sister are my rocks.

If there is one thing we should do to help eradicate food insecurity in our communities, what would it be, and how can we get involved?
Finding new runners. Once someone signs up for their first run and realizes how easy and rewarding it is, they are hooked.