News & Events

Events & Fundraisers

Our dedicated staff, with the help of loyal volunteers, hosts events throughout the year. Each event is unique and engaging – thank you to all who participate!


Hosting an Event or Fundraiser

To get started, please download the Quick Start Guide and Food Drive Application. Filling out the form is mandatory for all food drives, even if you have hosted one before.

For more information, contact Juliana Stefani (585) 413-4077

Upcoming Events and Fundraisers:





October 22

If Music Be the Food

7:30 p.m.

The 9th season of If Music Be the Food, a wonderful concert series that collects non-perishable food and donations for Foodlink, begins Oct. 22 at St. Paul’s Episocal Church (25 Westminster Road, Rochester).

The mission of “If Music Be the Food…” is to increase awareness and support for the issue of hunger and food insecurity through the sharing of great music. Eastman faculty and students, members of the Rochester Philharmonic, other local professional musicians and distinguished international guests donate their time and talents, and all proceeds go directly to Foodlink. In 2016, IMBTF garnered $4,430 and 846 pounds of food for Foodlink. Since its inception in 2009, it has raised more than $25,000 and nearly 7,000 pounds of food. 

IMBTF was founded by former Eastman faculty member, Carol Rodland, and is now headed by Mimi Hwang, who serves on the faculties of Eastman and Nazareth College. Peter DuBois, Director of Music at Third Presbyterian Church and Robert Poovey, Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church are musical and administrative partners in the series.

> Learn more at 

October 28-29

Pick a Peck, Give a Peck at Wickham Farms

10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Wickham Farms has partnered with Foodlink, the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, and the Irondequoit Food Shelf for its “Pick a Peck, Give a Peck” program this fall. Come pick two pecks of apples at the Wickham Farms Orchard for the price of one. Wickham Farms will donate the second peck of apples to your choice of Foodlink, the Penfield Food Shelf, or the Irondequoit Food Shelf to help feed local community members in need. All apple pickers will receive a complimentary hayride tour through the Wickham Farms vegetable fields and orchard.

Wickham Farms’ usual orchard attractions will be open that weekend, too, including the brand new Giant Corn Maze, high-powered Apple Cannons, Right Turn Only Maze, Spider Web play area, and more. 

821 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, Penfield, NY 14526

November 4

East Ave. Grocery Run

8:15-10 a.m.

The East Avenue Grocery Run is about fitness, family fun and feeding the hungry. 100% of all proceeds go to feed the hungry in Rochester! There is a 5K Run/Walk, a 1-mile Run/Walk and a Children’s Fun Run. The MVP Food Drive, in honor of Foodlink founder Tom Ferraro, allows people to drop off non-perishable goods before the race. 

> Learn more and register here.

Ongoing Fundraisers

Red Tail Ridge Winery: Good Karma
Red Tail Ridge Winery is proud to support Foodlink by doing what they do best, making wine. Ten percent of the profits from their Good Karma wine goes to Foodlink.

In late October, the winery announced that more than $25,800 has been donated since the fundraiser began! 

For more information on the wine, the winery and where to purchase Good Karma, click here.

Festival of Food

Thank you!

We owe a huge thank you to all of the attendees, vendors and sponsors that made this event possible. And to the weather, which cooperated nicely! We hope everyone had a fantastic time and hope to see you again next year. 

PHOTOS: Facebook album from the event

Congrats to the vendors that took home the Best Taste awards! We surveyed festivalgoers during and after the event to find out their favorites, and here’s who emerged from that list:

Festival Info

Festival of Food, Foodlink’s annual fundraiser, features more than 100 local restaurants, wineries, breweries, bakeries and specialty food purveyors. It’s the best and biggest food and drink tasting event in the region!


VENDOR MAP: See who’s coming to the festival! (full list below)

Join us Monday, Sept. 18 between 6 and 9 p.m. at the City of Rochester Public Market for Foodlink’s annual fundraiser and celebrate the best food and drink that the Rochester area has to offer.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Purchase online

General admission – $50

VIP experience – $75 (SOLD OUT)

NEW THIS YEAR!! The VIP experience includes a pre-event happy hour at Cure with a complimentary drink and a special tasting from Wegmans and The Foodlink Kitchen. Early entrance to the festival is also included (no waiting in line!), as well as premium parking, and seating during the event. Purchase your VIP tickets (online only) for all this and more!

More: Check out our Facebook page | Twitter


Thank you to our list of 2017 sponsors!

Wegmans (Lead sponsor)


Constellation Brands

GMR Associates
LeChase Construction

Landers Management
Pro-Temp Mechanical, Inc. 
Neutral Mediation Group, LLC
US Foods

Big Apple Deli Products
Gallina Development
The Bonadio Group
Broccoli Associates
DeCarolis Truck Rental
A&G Food Service
Animal Hospital of Pittsford
Seneca Foods
Jay-C Fire Equipment
Conway Beam
Special Touch Bakery


Bryan Nichols

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
M Fellinger Co. 

If you’d like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities — or any other festival details — contact:

Juliana Stefani,
(585) 413-4077


Thank you to the more than 100 vendors who will take part in the 2017 festival!

Pick up a CITY newspaper on Sept. 13 to view a complete guide to the festival, with descriptions of more than 100 delicious vendors!


Restaurant / CatererBakery / Dessert
Agatina’sAmazing Grains Bread Co.
Amore by WegmansBrian’s Kitchen
Biaggi’sDonna Marie’s Gluten Free Bakery 
Big Tree Inn Get Caked
Burger Bar by WegmansHedonist Artisan Chocolates 
Burgundy BasinHetties Delites
Cooking and Eating Healthy with PhilJon John’s Bakery
CUREJulep Bakery
Daily RefresherMoonlight Creamery 
Erie GrillSmall World Bakery
Everyday Gourmet Café Special Touch
Farmhouse Table  
Foodlink KitchenFarm
French Quarter 
Gray Ghost GourmetKettle Ridge Farm
Grinds Café Kirby’s Farm Market 
HogansWickham Farms 
Hose 22  
James Browns PlaceFood trucks
Jetty at the Port  
Juan and Marias Chef’s Catering
Label 7Effortlessly  Healthy
LentoJimmy Z’s
Livie’s Jamaican Restaurant & Import MarketMarty’s Meats 
Napa Wood Fired Pizzaria and Bistro 
New York Wine & Culinary Center/ Upstairs BistroAlcoholic Beverages
Next Door By Wegmans 
NoshAnthony Road Winery
NoxApple Country Spirits
Orange GloryBlack Button Distillery
Relish Casa Larga Vineyards
Root 31CB Craft Brewers
Salenas Mexican RestaurantEmbark Craft Ciderworks
Sapori Café and CateringFulkerson Winery
Sea Restaurant Genesee Brew House
The Pub by WegmansHeron Hill Winery 
Tuckers Diner/Bakery Honeoye Falls Distillery
Warfields Restaurant JD Wine Cellars 
Wilshire Catering ( The Salad Man)Knucklehead Craft Brewing 
Zoc’s Gourmet Burgers and Shakes Montezuma Winery
 Mullers Cider House
Specialty FoodNaked Dove Brewing Company 
 Nedloh Brewing
Cosimano & Ferrari Olive Oil CompanyNew Belgium Brewing Co.
Evoke Natural FoodsOSB Ciderworks 
F. Olivers Oils and VinegarsRed Tail Ridge Winery
Fare Game Food co.Reinvention Brewing Company 
Florida Nut HouseRoc Brewing Co.
GeulasRohrbach Brewing Co.
Headwater Food Hub/The GOOD FOOD CollectiveRootstock Ciderworks
Mountain Rise OrganicsSwift Water Brewing 
Once Again Nut ButterThree Brothers Winery
Small World FermentaryZugibe Vineyards 
Sugary Delights  
Wegmans Cheese Caves Non-alcoholic beverages
Zweigle’s Inc. 
 Happy Earth Tea
InformationJoe Bean Coffee Roasters
 NC Café
East Ave. Grocery RunUnion Place Coffee
CITY NewsYurbamate Café ft. Hallelujah Tea
Maines Food and Party Warehouse 
Rochester Public Market 


While you’re enjoying all of the food and drink that surrounds you, don’t forget to visit our raffle tent to scope out some unbelieveable prizes. Details below…


Hunger Action Month


September is Hunger Action Month (H.A.M.), which is the Feeding America® network’s annual awareness campaign designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. The campaign brings attention to the reality of food insecurity in the United States and promotes ways for individuals to get involved in the movement to help end hunger. Food insecurity affects more than 48 million Americans in every corner of our nation — and more than 156,000 people (1 out of every 8) in Foodlink’s 10-county service area. This month, we raise our voice to ensure that no child, adult or senior goes to sleep on an empty stomach.

Foodlink’s 2017 Hunger Action Month calendar (click to enlarge and download).

Events are planned throughout the month to raise awareness about our effort to build a healthy, hunger-free community.

    • 30 Ways in 30 Days Calendar: Foodlink’s call-to-action calendar, pictured above, is a great resource on how you can do something about hunger all month long. | Download & print it
    • Volunteer. Donate. Advocate: There are many ways you can help Foodlink better serve our neighbors in need:
    • Government Proclamations: In years past, City Hall and the NYS Senate & Assembly have designated September as Hunger Action Month. We have sent letters to many local leaders once again, asking them to help raise awareness for an issue that affects so many of their constituents. (Update: City Hall and Mayor Lovely Warren have issued a proclamation. View it here.)
    • Lighting of the Library: The Rundell Library in Downtown Rochester will ‘go orange’ for Foodlink by displaying orange lighting September 1-14.
    • Hunger Action Day: Orange is the color of hunger (the first food stamps were orange). On Sept. 14, wear orange to show your support and raise awareness. 

Foodlink’s annual Hunger Action Day family photo on its front lawn (Sept. 14, 2017)

  • “On an empty stomach …”: The theme for this year’s Hunger Action Month is that Americans who suffer from hunger cannot reach their full potential. YOU can bring awareness to this devastating feeling by participating in a quick exercise on social media. | Print me out, share with the world  




  • Social Media: Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and InstagramChange your Facebook and Twitter profile and cover pics to orange. Then post pictures online and tag #hungeractionmonth and mention @foodlinkny.
  • Food drives: This year, Constellation Brands is holding a food drive at dozens of area restaurants and wine stores. Check out where you can drop off non-perishable food items on our blog
  • Foodlink’s front lawn: This year, we wanted to provide the public with a visualization of the impact that food security has on our 10-county region. Each orange plate on Foodlink’s front lawn represents 1,000 people. There are 156 plates, for the 156,000 people in our region who often don’t know when or where they’ll be getting their next meal. Stop by our headquarters at 1999 Mt. Read Blvd. if you’re interested in checking it out. 
  • Festival of Food: Our annual fundraiser is Sept. 18. 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. | Purchase tickets
  • Fill the Bus: Our annual campaign to urge the public to donate food for our BackPack Program, which we coordinate with Wegmans, 13WHAM ABC, WUHF Fox Rochester, and CW Rochester, begins Sept. 8. Look out for details soon regarding a kickoff event!
  • Take our Hunger Action Month quiz

Read up! Interested in the topic of hunger and food insecurity? Wondering how to talk to your kids about it? Check out our Hunger Action Month reading list for some suggested books.

Watch a film: We’ve supplied a list of some enlightening films that tackle the subject of hunger. Check it out and set aside some time to sit down and watch one during Hunger Action Month. 

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

Fill the Bus

fill the bus


UPDATE: Thank you, Wegmans shoppers! Because of your generosity once again, were were able to collect more than 292,000 pounds of food through this year’s Fill the Bus campaign!!! 

Until next year …


Fill the bus and help fill the bellies of hungry children in the Rochester region.

Foodlink, Wegmans, 13WHAM ABC, WUHF Fox Rochester, and CW Rochester will team up once again for a two-week food drive, “Fill the Bus,” to benefit Foodlink’s BackPack program, which alleviates child hunger on weekends and school breaks. Each Friday or before a holiday, a child who is at risk of food insecurity is given a bag in their backpack filled with enough healthy, kid-friendly meals to last all weekend. Children who are properly nourished are more attentive in class, can concentrate better on exams, and have a better chance of graduating. 

Our 2017 Fill the Bus campaign runs from Sept. 8-23. 

Shoppers can visit their local Wegmans stores and donate suggested items for the BackPack program at checkout. Each store has wishlists posted as well as suggested items for sale. Shoppers also could purchase bags ranging from $5 to $20 filled with the most-needed items. All donations stay in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.

Foodlink operates the BackPack program at more than 80 area schools, and reached more than 4,000 children during the 2016-17 school year. 

A “Fill the Bus” bin at the Calkins Road Wegmans in 2016.

The Rochester community has responded graciously to this annual campaign, and each year, donations have increased. Since 2013, approximately 925,000 pounds of food have been collected for the BackPack Program! 

Year ………. Pounds

2013 ………. 50,410

2014 ………. 138,637

2015 ………. 197,852

2016 ………. 247,883

2017 ………. 292,046

Wegmans volunteers sort Fill the Bus food items at Foodlink on Sept. 30.

Wegmans volunteers sort Fill the Bus food items at Foodlink on Sept. 30, 2016.

Other important info:

  • 1 in 5 children in our area are considered food insecure – which essentially means they do not know where their next meal is coming from.
  • Suggested items included healthy, kid-friendly food such as: healthy cereal, oatmeal cups, applesauce cups, granola bars, macaroni and cheese, juice boxes (100% fruit), boxed raisins, peanut butter, canned tuna or chicken, canned fruit and vegetables (pop-tops preferred)
  • Learn more about ways to support the BackPack program

Check Out Hunger


Check Out Hunger is a point-of-sale campaign at local partnering grocers. Donation slips 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 end hunger and build a healthier community.

This year’s Check Out Hunger campaign with Wegmans runs from October 29 through December 2. 

This funding is critical to many of the food-related programs at Foodlink. Last year, Wegmans shoppers collectively donated $680,816.62! Thank you in advance for your support!


Tops Friendly Markets and several other local grocers also hold a Check Out Hunger campaign with us every winter. Thank you to Tops and all of the stores that participated in early 2017! 

Participating stores:

Tops Friendly Markets – 30+ Rochester-area stores
Abundance Cooperative Market, 62 Marshall St., Rochester
Breen’s Market – 611 E Main St., Palmyra
Breen’s Shop’n Save, 4090 Pearsall St., Williamson
Caledonia Marketplace – 3136 Main St., Caledonia
Gates Big M,1520 Spencerport Road, Rochester
Hegedorn’s Market – 964 Ridge Road, Webster
Herrema’s Food Market – 125 Pattonwood Dr., Rochester
Lori’s Natural Foods – 900 Jefferson Road, Rochester
Mullers Cider House – 1344 University Ave., Rochester
Perry Food Market – 121 N Center St., Perry
West’s Shurfine Food Market – 8565 Main St., Honeoye
West’s Shurfine – 1 Main St., Livonia

Food for Families

FINAL TOTALS: We surpassed last year’s total! Together, we raised 61,122 POUNDS of food at our 2016 event! We also raised more than $12,000.

Thank you to all who donated!


Food for Families is one of the largest food and funds drives for Foodlink, and a collaboration with Tops Friendly Markets and WROC-TV.  

We celebrated the 10th annual event on Dec. 9, 2016!

WROC-TV reported live throughout the day, with a heavy presence at the Greece location (3507 Mt. Read Blvd.), as Tops shoppers made donations or dropped off “Little Brown Bags of Hope” filled with food. Other stores in Henrietta (1225 Jefferson Road), Irondequoit (999 East Ridge Road) and Penfield (1601 Penfield Road) also featured Foodlink staff members or representatives from some of our partner agencies promoting the event and our mission to end hunger. There were great holiday gift ideas at the Food For Families eBay auction AND News 8’s Thad Brown and Stacey Pensgen squared off in the Anchor Challenge to see who could raise the most funds through Foodlink’s online donation page. Stacey won by the slimmest of margins!  

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by in the past to support our efforts to end hunger and leverage the power of food to build a healthier community. We hope to see you again for another great year in 2017.  

A stack of

A stack of “Little Brown Bags of Hope” in 2015.

Forks & Skis



Forks and Skis is a ski event at Bristol Mountain open to the public for those interested in hitting the slopes while helping Foodlink fulfill its mission of a healthy, hunger-free community. In five years, the event has raised more than $100,000!

The event was previously named the Muxy Ski-Off in honor of the late Gary Muxworthy, a sports enthusiast who devoted much of his life to raising money for charities through exciting sporting events.

Please check out the Forks & Skis Facebook page with a gallery of photos from the past events. Sponsorships are available by contacting Juliana Stefani (585-413-4077, and visiting our secure online donation page and choosing “Forks & Skis” from the dropdown menu. 

Tickets include:

  • Bristol Mountain Lift Pass
  • Lunch in the Bristol Mountain Ski Lodge
  • Admission in to the NASTAR Open Timing Race (optional)
  • ‘Dash for Cash’ (top 8 Mens and Women from the Open Timing Race are eligible)
  • One free drink at our Apres Ski party!  The Apres Ski party will feature a cash bar, awards presentation for the ‘Dash for Cash’, and music by the WillBillys!


Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors …

Head of the class

Key Bank
Harris Beach

Naming sponsor

Ely & Leene Agency / Mead-Maloy Agency, Inc. 
AP Enterprises
Power Management
Flaum Management
Wegmans Food Markets
Haley & Aldrich
Five Star Improvements

Gold Level

FL Gorman
Gallina Development Corp.
HB Cornerstone
Sermar Management
AM Stern
Rainaldi Brothers Inc. 
Ribeiro Group
LaBella Associates
PICS Telecom and Sandstone Technologies
Royal Oak Realty Trust
Leo J Roth
Woods Oviatt

Silver Level

Donovan Real Estate Services
Aprile Ventures, LLC
Bytronics Inc. 
Sign and Lighting Services LLC
House Digital
Jeff & Patrice Pierce
Passero Associates
Hunt Real Estate
Sandy & Courtney Williams

Bronze Level

RE/Max Realty Group
Cardwell Construction
Aloi Materials Handling
Costanza Enterprises
Ryco Management
Wayne Cooperative Insurance Company
FSB Realty
Jackie Hopkinson (Woodbury Management)
Rochester Homebuilders


Whaleback Preserve Club
Cornell’s Jewelers
Jason Pierce
Webster Properties
The Men’s Room
Flip Wehrheim
Iron Smoke Whiskey
Park Ave. Bike Shop
Liberty Skis

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