Feeding the mind and body: Roots Café and Generation Rx partner to teach medication safety to local residents

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Walking into the Roots Café located inside the Reeb Center on Columbus’ south side, guests are greeted by staff in a welcoming environment. This innovative dining experience, owned and operated by the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, offers a pay-what-you-can café, a weekly community meal, and a Kids Café meal program for students at South Side Learning & Development Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Columbus. The Café, along with the Boys & Girls Club and the South Side Learning & Development Center are part of a larger collective of many organizations housed within the Reeb Center that help bring a wholistic approach to the well-being of area residents. 

This summer, Generation Rx, a national prescription drug misuse prevention program housed at The Ohio State University, partnered with Roots Café to bring medication safety programming to children and adults who visited the café in order to have a fun and interactive experience while picking up their meal. 

The medication safety programming collaboration was brought about when Nicole DeLozier, manager of external partnerships for the Mid-Ohio Food Collaborative, reached out to Cynthia Sloan, a program coordinator with OSU Extension and one of the newest members of the Generation Rx team.  

“I was excited when Nicole reached out to me about possible programming,” said Sloan. “I let her know about Generation Rx and its medication safety messaging, and it seemed like a great fit.” 

Joining Sloan was Ohio State professional student, Chase Egner, who was eager to assist with the project and helping kids learn about medication safety. 

“This educational nature of this project appealed to me,” said Egner. “I got to interact with kids and help them with the foundation of safe medication-taking practices. This sets them up for a healthy future with their medication safety knowledge.” 

For this collaboration, Generation Rx materials were used such as the Elementary and Adult Toolkits which contain games and other useful resources that can be used to interact with guests. 

Egmer was also able to use her recent training from Generation Rx Ambassadors, an online training program for facilitators, to help with her interactions and promotions of safe medication-taking practices. 

The Roots Café also provides catering and other opportunities. Due to COVID-19, some programming is on hold or looks different, but it is also an opportunity for interested parties to volunteer as the organization transitions out of the pandemic protocols. 

The Generation Rx programming at the Reeb Center will continue through the end of the summer. 

Sloan is excited to share her knowledge and the Generation Rx message. “We are here every Wednesday,” said Sloan.  “If you have questions or want to participate in programming, please come in or contact us. We are here to share our knowledge and have some fun!” 


For more information on Generation Rx, visit www.GenerationRx.org

For more information on the Roots Café, visit https://southsideroots.org/ or volunteer at https://mofb.volunteerhub.com/lp/southsideroots.  

Cynthia Sloan and Chase Egmer engaging children with an activity from the Generation Rx Elementary Toolkit