News & Events
Festival of Food
Foodlink will host its 10th annual Festival of Food on Monday, September 15, 2014 at the Rochester Public Market. The Festival of Food featured over 100 local restaurants, wineries, breweries, bakeries and farms sampling the best food and drink in the region. It is the best and biggest food and drink tasting event in the region! All proceeds benefit Foodlink.
TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE! Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. The ticketed admission includes unlimited food and drink all evening long.
Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are still available.
Sponsorship information available here.
Vendor information available here.
Tote Bag Sponsor:
Tasting Plate Sponsor:
Friends of the Festival:
Events & Fundraisers
Our dedicated staff, with the help of loyal volunteers, host events throughout the year. Each event is unique and engaging – thank you to all who participate!
Hosting an Event/Fundraiser
If you are interested in hosting an event or fundraiser on behalf of Food please submit an Event Proposal by email or fax (both can be found on the application)
Please contact Community Relations Manager, Terra Keller at email@example.com or (585)328.3380 x131
City Dining Cards
City Dining Cards are a deck of 52 cards with $10 discounts to all locally owned Rochester restaurants and bars. A deck costs $20 dollars and there is over $500 dollars in savings. If you were to only use 2 cards, you would break even! The best part? 5% of every purchase goes to Foodlink! If you purchase the cards using promo-code: Foodlinkny, Foodlink receives 55% of your purchase. Dine local and fight hunger!
For lists of participating restaurants and to purchase the cards click here. Cards can also be purchased directly at Foodlink. Call Terra Keller, Event Manager at (585)328.3380 x131.
Red Tail Ridge Winery: Good Karma
Red Tail Ridge Winery is proud to support Foodlink doing what they do best, making wine. 10% of the profits from their Good Karma wine goes to Foodlink. For more information on the wine, the winery and where to purchase Good Karma click here.
The app, foodtweeks is working to help people eat better in a sustainable way, and to fight hunger in America.
For every calorie our users “tweek” from their food, foodtweeks™ makes a donation to
a local food bank so they can distribute the same number of nutritious calories to feed a hungry child and their family. There’s no cost of any kind to the foodtweeks™ user.
By following these two simple steps, you can support Foodlink for free.
To learn more: go to http://www.foodtweeks.com/fb/Foodlink
Venison Donation Coalition is a non-profit organization that brings in donated venison, processes the meat, then donates it to Foodlink and other food banks around New York State. The organization brings in more than 37 tons of venison each year, helping secure about 300,000 meals across the state. Foodlink distributes its donated venison to area food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Hunters interested in donating deer should call 1-866-862-DEER or go to www.venisiondonation.com.
Newsletters & Press
Recent Press Releases
- Day of Caring at Foodlink
- ESL Charitable Foundation Donates $100,000 to Foodlink
- PrepareAthon Day of Action
- Volunteer Appreciation Week
- Cooking Matters at the Store Tour
- Foodlink Celebrates Healthy Meals for Children
- Foodlink Receives Major Award
- Foodlink’s Holiday Baskets
- Rosa Wims Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner
- “Fill the Bus” Brings in 50,000 lbs of Food
- New Grant Positions Foodlink for the Future
- Hunger Action Month
- Summer Meals Kick-off
- Map the Meal Gap Study
- Finger Lakes Wineries Donate More than $15,000 to Area Food Banks
Former Foodlink Employee Dedicates National Award to Tom Ferraro
On May 28, the United States Conference of Bishops announced that Bethany Welch, a Rochester native, is the recipient of the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award. The national award recognizes a Catholic who is a leader in fighting poverty through community-based solutions. Welch is a former Foodlink employee who is now founding director of the Aquinas Center in Philadelphia, PA. She is dedicating her award to Foodlink’s late founder, Tom Ferraro. “My time at Foodlink rerouted my entire life trajectory,” Welch told me. “I can’t say enough about how I was changed by being part of the Foodlink team.” Here is more of my interview with Welch, her experiences at Foodlink and working with Tom, and what this award means to her.
Tell us a bit about your background and what you did while at Foodlink?
Welch: I started at Foodlink as a summer intern in 1999 while I was studying graphic design and communication at Roberts Wesleyan College. That first summer position led to a full time job after I graduated in the summer of 2000. I worked mainly on public relations and development at first, then moved into managing volunteers, and eventually policy and advocacy work, such as coordinating the regional portion of the Hunger in America study in 2001 and working with different legislators to get language in the Farm Bill for support for flash freezing. I went to grad school at University of Rochester and then on to Philadelphia to be an AmeriCorpsVISTA, but kept doing special projects for Tom part time. For example, I designed the first Freshlink logo and worked on the Farm to Fork initiative with Senator Clinton’s staff early on in the project.
What did you learn from your experiences at Foodlink and working with Tom Ferraro?
Welch: Tom was so passionate about finding creative, action oriented solutions to society’s most pressing issues. He didn’t simply sit around and talk about big ideas; he pursued change with a determination that sometimes overwhelmed those around him. Tom taught me so much about being a leader, about modeling what you expected from your team. I never wanted to let him down or to be found wanting. I attempted every challenge he gave me, even when I lacked the confidence or experience for the task at hand. As a result, I quickly became aware of how much one person could do to change broken systems. I consider Tom to be my first professional mentor. He gave me opportunities, believed in me even when I doubted my potential, and affirmed my desire to unite faith with action and to join scholarship with practice.
Describe the Aquinas Center and the work you are doing today?
Welch: Aquinas Center is located in a diverse, multilingual, multicultural community in a very densely populated inner city neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA. The center started as a conversation about an empty building. A priest, whom I had worked with on many community development projects on and off over nine years, called me in the summer of 2012 to come and see a former convent that was sitting largely vacant on the grounds of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Msgr Shields knew that I was passionate about the responsibility the Church has to be good stewards of the real estate they have in the inner city. I had done my dissertation research on the potential for adaptive reuse of church property to further community development in blighted areas. We looked at the old convent and talked about what the community wanted and needed. I went home that night and didn’t sleep. I ended up typing about five pages of ideas of what could be possible in the 8,500 square foot building. Later that summer I went to present these ideas to the parish finance council and left the meeting with the job of creating what is now Aquinas Center where our mission is to: Build unity in diversity, support learning, and inspire thoughtful action. We live this out through the values of hospitality, responsiveness, solidarity, and transformation.
Aquinas Center offers a wide range of programs that empower and benefit the local immigrant community as well as urban immersion experiences that invite youth and adults to come join neighbors in working to revitalize the neighborhood. This adaptive re-use of a former convent represents the kind of creativity and stewardship of church property that we need to combat the effects of poverty, blight, and discrimination. Shared meals, collaborative work projects, and intentional dialogue put people of different backgrounds side by side creating what Pope Francis calls a culture of encounter. All service and volunteer groups work side by side with community residents in order to try to break the cycle of poverty tourism or the belief that people need to be saved. Everyone has dignity. Everyone has gifts to share. Leadership training and organizing efforts increase the capacity of immigrants and allies to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform at the city, state, and federal levels.
What does the award mean to you?
Welch: The award is named for Cardinal Joseph Bernardin who died in 1996. He demonstrated tremendous leadership on behalf of the poor and worked to build bridges across ethnic, class, and age barriers. Cardinal Bernardin began his ministry at a young age and was ordained a bishop while still in his thirties. His example is inspiring to me. I am so humbled and honored to be selected as someone who might strive to live like he did. Aquinas Center is sitting at the intersection of the very same issues he confronted. Every day we welcome neighbors and guests who come from incredibly different backgrounds and experiences, yet desire to be in relationship with one another.
Why did you decide to dedicate the award in Tom Ferraro’s memory?
Welch: The conference of bishops say about Cardinal Bernardin that his gift was a vision to build consensus “that doesn’t just settle for what already exists, but moves us ahead to what is possible.” Doesn’t that sound exactly like Tom Ferraro? How many times did he dream up an idea that started with trays of English muffins, an empty building, an empty truck, or a vacant lot? How often did he see beyond what was already being done in order to cast a vision for what could be? Moreover, when the committee notified me about winning the award, they expressed that I demonstrated, “a great understanding of how to integrate faith into her work—to make her life, her work and her faith cohesive.” That is something I think Tom did every single day without even pausing to think about it and I wanted this award to celebrate that way of living.
What do you see doing in the future?
Welch: Right now I am focused on what we are doing in South Philly on one city block! I have ten bright eyed, enthusiastic college interns arriving in the next few days to spend the summer at Aquinas Center. Each one of them could have been me showing up at the Exchange Street building in May 1999. I want to share with them that legacy of engagement that Tom preached through actions. I want to help them realize their potential to fight for justice, one block at a time. In the more distant future, I’m hoping to work with other parishes and dioceses to broaden the vision of what could be! There are so many ways that these old buildings can become the foundation of a stronger urban communities.
Hunger Action Month
Hunger Action Month is an initiative to mobilize the public about hunger-related issues. Foodlink, along with other Feeding America food banks, are shining a national spotlight on hunger during the month of September. Events are planned throughout the month to raise awareness about the effort to build a hunger free community.
- Rochester Proclamation: City Hall is designating September as Hunger Action Month. City Hall will turn its lights orange in commemoration.
- Lighting of the Library: The Rundell Library in Downtown Rochester will ‘go orange’ for Foodlink by displaying orange lighting in the evenings from September 9-16
- Go Orange for Hunger: Orange is the color of hunger (the first food stamps were orange). On September 5th, wear orange to show your support and raise awareness. Change your Facebook and Twitter profile and cover pics to orange. Then post pictures online and tag #hungeaction.
- Social Media: Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram
- 30 Ways in 30 Days Calendar: A call to action calendar about hunger will be on display at Rochester libraries and recreation centers, as well as several faith-based organizations in the Rochester region. The calendar has easy ways to take action against hunger. Download a calendar today!
- Festival of Food: The 10th annual tasting event is September 16th from 6-9pm atthe Rochester Public Market. More than 100 restaurants, wineries and breweries will offer samples of the best food and drink from the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. Proceeds benefit Foodlink. Buy your tickets now.
- SNAP Challenge: Foodlink and other food banks are calling on individuals in the community to try to live on the budget of a SNAP recipient – $4.50 a day- for one week. Participants, including one here at Foodlink, are blogging about their experiences and they will be shared through social media.
Hunger Action Month is about action. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Do what you can to help end hunger is this community.
More resources are available at hungeractionmonth.org.
Thank you to all the participants of the 2nd annual Muxy Ski-Off to Benefit Foodlink. The March 7th event at Bristol Mountain raised more than $30,000!. The charity ski event is named for Gary Muxworthy, a ski pioneer and benefactor who passed away in 2013.
All proceeds benefit Foodlink, the regional food bank and its hunger-related programs.
The Polisseni Foundation
Dual Race Sponsor:
First Federal Plaza
Poker Run Sponsor:
Flaum Management Company
Delmonte Hotel Group
Remax First Commerical
The Ski Company
American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc
Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP
Woods Oviatt Gilman
Dawn Aprile Real Estate Developer
Irondequoit Lawn and Landscape
Canandaigua National Bank
Converse and Morell
Costanza Family Foundation
Friends of Gary:
Neil, Lynn, Jill Keaton, Muxyworthy
Every year generous members of our community support Foodlink through a variety of fundraising campaigns. Fundraising campaigns raise funds, awareness, and longtime friends for Foodlink.
Check Out Hunger
Check Out Hunger is a point of sale campaign at local partnering grocers. Coupons for $2, $3, and $5 are placed at all registers. Every time you are grocery shopping, say ‘YES’ when your cashier asks if you would like to Check Out Hunger! The money raised from this campaign directly supports programs that help provide hunger relief, eliminate the root causes of hunger, improve health and promote economic development.
Wegmans participated in the fall of 2013.
Participating Retailers January 19, 2014 – February 15th:
Tops Friendly Markets (January 26-February 15)
Abundance Cooperative Market
Big M Clifton Springs
Breen’s Market (Williamson, Palmyra)
Lori’s Natural Foods
Perry Food Market
Wade’s Market Center
West’s Shurfine (Honeoye, Livonia)