How We Fight Hunger

Food Bank

These are the programs and initiatives we’ve established to help us fight hunger. Programs that target everyone from school children to families to seniors. Here you can learn more about these programs—and how we’re working to prevent hunger each and every day.

Foodlink provides food to more than 500 partner agencies.  We provide food to emergency food organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.  We also assist non-emergency programs such as group homes and senior centers, helping non-profits agencies save vital dollars on their food budget so their scarce resources can be redirected to their programs.

There’s enough food to go around. Foodlink’s 80,000 sq ft warehouse can hold 5 million pounds of food a day. Our freezer is capable of holidng one million pounds.  Our cooler can hold 400,000 pounds.  Each day, our trucks travel 1,260 miles.  A collaborative effort of Foodlink employees, volunteers and community members work to help ensure that mouths are fed and bellies are full.

BackPack Program™

What is the BackPack Program?

Nearly 78,000 children in our 10-county service area received free or reduced-price lunch at school. But when school is closed during weekends and holidays, many of those children go hungry. The BackPack Program from Foodlink provides children in need with bags of nutritious food they can discreetly take home and easily prepare on their own.

During 2012-2013, we are serving nearly 1,800 children a week in 80 schools.

Good nutrition is critical to good health and success at school. Children who don’t get enough to eat often have:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lower Math and English scores
  • Difficulty interacting with peers
  • Trouble finishing tests in time
  • Lower graduation rates

How you can help

Donate to the program—just $200 feeds one child for an entire school year. That’s just $5 a week! You can choose to sponsor the BackPack Program at many levels: from covering one child for a month all the way up to sponsoring an entire school. 100% of your monetary donations go directly to buying, packing, and distributing food to hungry kids. Contact Laura Sugarwala at (585) 328.3380 x151, for more information.

“I feel happy about the BackPack Program because it makes me and my family feel happy. Thank you for the BackPack Program!”-BackPack Participant

Become a BackPack site and help hungry kids in your school. Thinking about becoming a BackPack site? Some things to consider are: how students in need will be identified, how you will receive and store BackPacks, how they can be distributed discreetly, and who will be in charge of the program. Learn more about starting a program here. Contact Laura Sugarwala at (585) 328.3380 x151 for more information. .

“More and more people are becoming aware of how this small program is making a great impact.  By the growing number of different volunteers from adults to children they are seeing first hand how many kids we are able to help and how the Backpack Program makes a difference for so many of our kids.”-District Coordinator

Mobile Pantry

Our mobile pantry is a market on wheels, filled with nutritious food items, that travels to locations in rural and under-served areas of Foodlink’s 10-county service area. Volunteers from the host sites help setup and serve clients. Our Mobile pantries allow us to engage those most in need and extend our service into harder to reach food deserts.  To find a mobile pantry near you, please call 2-1-1.

For more information contact: Morgan McKenzie at (585)328.3380 x148

$AVE Program

$AVE is designed to increase self-sufficiency by helping individuals stretch their food dollars. Foodlink is able to purchase food items in large quantities at discounted prices and these savings are passed on to customers. Foodlink operates this service with member agencies through mobile pantries in our ten-county service area. There are no income guidelines or restrictions – anyone can participate at any time.

$AVE is focused on providing affordable meats, poultry and seafood because these grocery items tend to have the highest mark up at retail stores.

For more information contact: Morgan McKenzie at (585)328.3380 x148

Freshwise Kitchen

Nourishing kids with good food.

We provide kids with hot, nutritious meals so they can spend their time playing and learning—not worrying about where their next meal will come from.

Kids Cafe

The Kids Cafe Program was established to provide healthy meals for children in a safe after school environment. Currently, Foodlink provides meals to 3,000 children every weekday during the school year at 58 Kids Cafe sites.

Contact us

The 2015-2016 Kids Cafe member application will be available soon. For more information contact Dorthea King-Simpson at (585)254.4423. All applications must include a copy of OCFS licensing.

Summer Meals

Freshwise Kitchen’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP, also known as Summer Meals) provides meals to children who eat free or reduced price lunch during the school year. Over the summer, however, these children are at risk of hunger. For seven years, Freshwise has partnered with the NYS Department of Education to ensure children eat at least one balanced meal every day in summer. Locally, Summer Meals is a collaboration with the City of Rochester, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, Foodlink, the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and the Rochester City School District. There are 66 open sites around Rochester offering free summer meals.  Families can call 2-1-1 or go to find the closest site.

Interested in becoming a summer meals site?  Fill out this application.  For more information, contact Dorthea King-Simpson at 585.254.4423 or

Value-Added Processing

During the summer of 2012, we began a new initiative by implementing a value-added processing (VAP) program to extend the shelf life of local agricultural products.  Our VAP program will include workforce development training, as we teach individuals valuable skills in the preparing, processing, packaging, and marketing of raw local products.  The final products of this program—a trained workforce and shelf-stable products—will benefit both producers and consumers in our regional food system.

For more information call (585)254.4423.

Food Access Programs

Doing our part to provide healthy and affordable food to all.  We’re not just fighting hunger.  We’re building self-sustainability through improved food access.


Community Store Initiative

Bringing new life to the neighborhood corner store, Foodlink unveiled a newly-remodeled “community store” on Tuesday, January 20th. Part of the food bank’s Community Store Initiative, Stop One Meat Market’s redesign focuses on fresh, affordable and nutritious foods. 

Stop One Meat Market, located at 352 Jay Street, was the first Community Store awarded funding through a competitive grant process. Foodlink oversaw several critical transformations in StopOne, including: completion of SNAP and WIC certifications, internal renovations, addition of new equipment, and a strategic marketing campaign aimed at making residents’ aware of the increased availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in their neighborhood. StopOne is now prepared to be a store that is an asset to the community health in the JOSANA neighborhood.

This initiative would not have been possible without the funding and support from several agencies.  The project was jumpstarted thanks to the support of Citizens Bank Foundation.  Additional funding came from the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund via the Low Income Investment Fund.

The second store awarded funding through the Community Store Initiative is T&K Deli and Minimart is located at 479 Carter Street.  The redesign at T&K is set to be completed this spring.

Curbside Market

The Curbside Market is our farm stand on wheels.  During the summer and fall months, two trucks are on the road, thanks to a grant from the Citizens Bank Growing Communities Initiative .  The 18 foot truck visited 50 locations throughout Rochester and surrounding areas. The idea is to bring fresh affordable produce to areas of Rochester where finding fresh fruits and vegetables is not easily accessible.  Cash, debit, EBT and WIC are all accepted.

Thanks to continued success at many of our sites, we are implementing a new winter schedule starting January 5. With a revised route, one truck will visit 15 sites weekly throughout the City of Rochester, returning to selected senior centers, health clinics, and housing facilities with affordable, fresh produce.

Offerings include local winter squash, potatoes, eggs, and nonlocal produce like oranges, grapefruit, and grapes. The Curbside Market accepts cash, debit, WIC, and SNAP. See the schedule below and follow the Curbside Market on Twitter for daily updates.

Curbside Winter Schedule


Urban Farm Stands

Access to fresh produce is key to fostering a healthy community. This summer, Foodlink is assisting with 10 farm stands throughout the City of Rochester. Local fruits and vegetables are available for purchase at affordable prices.  Recipe cards are also available to plan meals.  Produce can be purchased with cash, debit or EBT.   Due to our seasonal weather, Urban Farm Stands only run during the months of July to October.

Garden Project

At Foodlink, we are always working to increase and expand access to fresh, wholesome, and nutritious foods throughout our service area. We run many projects to achieve this goal, including the Garden Project, which links community gardens to the emergency food network, our series of urban farm stands, and our preliminary work on making corner stores healthier. The Garden Project also makes it possible for emergency food relief organizations to grow their own garden so that they can produce fresh fruits and vegetables to be used for emergency food recipients.

In addition, Foodlink helps facilitate an urban farm on Lexington Avenue.  The farm currently servies 36 households from the Nepalese refugee community in Rochester. There is a 60-foot hoophouse in the space where we grow crops for Curbside Market as well as incubating plants for the Garden Project.

In 2015, we are grateful to receive over $560 worth of seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds Charitable Giving Committee.

Partner agencies in 2014:

Baden St. Settlement House
Northwest Neighborhood Outreach Center
Charles Settlement House
Salvation Army Southwest
St. George’s Episcopal Church/Hilton-Parma Foodshelf
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church/Southwest Episcopal Ministries 
Cameron Community Ministries
Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
St. Mark’s and St. John’s Episcopal Church 
Mission Share, Inc.

Canandaigua Churches In Action/Zion Fellowship

Food for the Needy/Penn Yan Community Garden

Newark Rotary/Wayne County Catholic Charities

Genesee/Orleans CAP

This project is open to Foodlink member agencies. For more information, contact Nathaniel Mich at (585) 328-3380 x145 or


Washington Square Farmers Market

Foodlink, in partnership with 8 local vendors, hosted its Farmers Market at Washington Square Park in downtown Rochester every Wednesday this summer.  Customers enjoyed delicious produce from local farms.  Other market favorites included baked goods, nuts, maple syrup and eggs.  The farmer’s market is closed for the season.


Nutrition Education

Teaching nutritious eating for a lifetime of healthy habits.

Individuals in our community who have difficulty accessing an adequate amount and variety of safe foods are at the highest risk for negative health outcomes like obesity and diabetes. Children and adults who do not have enough healthy food can also suffer from inability to focus and may perform poorly in academic settings.

Foodlink is committed not only to providing food, but helping individuals learn more about what they are eating so that they can take control over their own health and wellness.  Foodlink uses the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and My Plate in sourcing, stocking, and distributing food, as well as in nutrition education classes.

Here our clients learn to grocery shop, cook, and eat healthfully—skills that can last a lifetime. 

Cooking Matters™

Foodlink is proud to be a Lead Partner of Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters. Cooking Matters is nationally program that works to make sure all kids have the healthy food they need every day.

Cooking Matters empowers families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge and confidence to make healthy and affordable meals. Alongside volunteer culinary and nutrition experts, course participants learn to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients, and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible to their families.

Click here to read the Cooking Matters Annual Report and the impact it has on the community.

Courses available through Foodlink include:

  • Cooking Matters for Adults
  • Cooking Matters for Kids
  • Cooking Matters for Families
  • Cooking Matters for Teens
  • Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals

If you are interested in hosting a class series, please download and submit a host site application to Foodlink

Cooking Matters now offers programming in Wayne and Ontario counties! Contact us to learn more.

Volunteer for Cooking Matters

Chef Instructors provide leadership for course curriculum. Volunteers must have background in the culinary arts and/or restaurant experience.

Nutrition Educators help facilitate and guide the group. Registered dietitians, those with a nutrition or food science background, and dietetic interns are encouraged to apply.

Class Assistants provide support and organizational assistance throughout the 6-week course.

Interpreters and Translators are a key source of connection between the course instructors and participants who are non-English speaking and/or from the deaf community.

Photo and Video Journalists will attend 2-3 Cooking Matters classes and produce high quality images and/or a video segment for marketing use.

If you are interested in volunteering, please send us a volunteer application.


Cooking Matters at the Store

Cooking Matters at the Store is an interactive grocery store tour that teaches low-income families to shop for healthy, affordable food. Participants learn to find whole grains, buy fruits and vegetables on a tight budget, compare unit prices, and read food labels. Tours are offered in English and Spanish throughout our 10 county service area to groups of low income adults. Participants receive a booklet of tips and recipes, a reusable grocery bag, and $10 in healthy groceries after the tour.

Click here for a list of upcoming store tours.

Contact us

To learn more about becoming a host site, volunteer opportunities, or signing up for classes, contact Alyssa Bennett, Nutrition Education Coordinator at (585) 328-3380 X 123 or email her at

For more information about Share Our Strength’s National Program, visit or

Popular Cooking Matters Recipes:
Southwestern Black Eyed Pea Corn Salad
Turkey Tacos
Sweet Potato Fries

Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY)

Foodlink offers the Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY) Program to emergency agencies. The JSY Program began in New York in 1997 in order to provide nutrition education and obesity prevention programming to low-income clients of the emergency food network. It is funded through the state Department of Health and USDA’s SNAP-Ed Project. SNAP-Ed supports nutrition education for people eligible for SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).

The mission of JSY is to work together with organizations that serve food insecure populations to improve the health and nutritional status of SNAP-eligible populations in New York State. We do this through promoting fruit and vegetable consumption and empowering clients to make healthy choices.

Foodlink offers JSY classes to our emergency agencies, like food pantries and soup kitchens. Each class includes a nutrition lesson and activity, a cooking demonstration, and healthy recipes to taste. To request a class, contact Gretchen Adams, JSY Nutritionist, at (585)328.3380 x164. To learn more, visit

JSY at the Market

Each summer, Foodlink brings the “JSY at the Market” program to the Rochester Public Market. A nutritionist offers free cooking demonstrations at the Public Market every Thursday and Saturday. Nearly 1,000 people participated in the workshops this summer! The cooking demos provided accessible uses for all the delicious fruits and vegetables available at the market and are targeted to individuals and families who utilize SNAP.  JSY at the Market will be back in June 2015.  For more information, contact Larkin Podsiedlik at (585) 328-3380 ext 154.

Check out our blog for popular JSY recipes.

Kids CAN & Customizable Nutrition Education

Foodlink now offers fully customizable nutrition education, tailored to meet the needs of your organization and your clients. A trained Foodlink nutrition educator will come to your site to offer hands-on nutrition activities, cooking and healthy snack making, and food budgeting tips for your group.

Nutrition education can be customized for any age group, skill level, or topic. Some favorite topics include:

  • Eat Your Colors!
  • MyPlate & Basic Nutrition
  • Sugar and Healthy Drinks
  • Food Marketing & Fast Food
  • Food Budgeting & Shopping
  • Reading the Nutrition Facts Panel
  • Food Origins & Food Miles
  • Basic Cooking

The cost of the program includes staff time, travel within Rochester, food, equipment, and materials to plan and bring nutrition education programming right to your organization. All you need to provide is a clean space with electricity, hot running water, and willing participants!



Cooking + Nutrition

Nutrition Only

Cost per 45-90 minute session*



10% discount for Foodlink member agencies



Scholarships may be available on a limited basis for organizations that cannot pay for nutrition education. Call the Community Nutrition department for more information.

*Longer sessions may incur additional costs

Looking for inspiration? Here are some of our recommended workshops:

For Kids: Eat Your Colors! + Food Origins

Where does food come from? Why are fruits and vegetables healthy, and can they really taste good? Children will learn about plant and animal sources of food and taste a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Nutrition Educators teach children that different colored fruits and vegetables have different benefits for healthy bodies! Recipes may include smoothies, veggies and dip, or fruit salad.

For Teens: Food Marketing + Food Labels

How do you decipher a food label? What are all of those ingredients? How do food companies trick us into buying their products? Teens learn to locate the important information on food labels, and how to navigate the complex world of food advertising to make healthy, informed decisions about the food they eat. Recipes may include healthy “soda,” trail mix, or chips and salsa.

For Adults: Food Budgeting +Healthy Meals

How do I get the best deal at the grocery store? What are some quick, healthy recipes for my family? Adults will learn the basic nutrition skills needed to plan healthy meals for themselves or their families; budgeting tips and basic cooking skills are covered. Recipes include black bean and corn salad, vegetable stir fry, or beans and greens.

For Seniors: Cooking for One

How do I cook for just myself? What are the best foods for me to buy? Recognizing that seniors have different nutrient needs, a Foodlink nutrition educator will teach adults how to prepare meals for one or freeze meals for later. Topics may include special nutrient needs for older adults and physical activity. Recipes include smoothies, soup, or Pad Thai.

Train the Trainer: Providing Nutrition Education

Foodlink’s Nutrition Education team can provide your staff with the skills and tools to bring nutrition education to your clients or community. Topics covered include nutrition education best practices, curricula and activities, food safety, and basic cooking skills. $150 flat fee includes curriculum and activities to keep.

To schedule a class, or request more information, contact
Larkin Kimmerer (585) 328-3380 x15 or complete the  Nutrition Education Request Form and submit it via email to or fax to (585) 328-9951.

 Healthy Eating Tips

o help keep the cost of food lower, try these shopping tips:

 Before you shop…

  • Decide to make healthy substitutions in classic recipes. Try replacing up to 75% of the oil in baked goods with applesauce or banana puree. Or try replacing up to 100% of the butter, margarine, or oil in baked goods with bean purees.
  • Plan on beans and legumes. Meat is the most expensive part of the meal. Cut down on your total meal cost by using non-meat protein instead.
  • Make a menu. Plan to use ingredients that spoil more quickly first. Other foods, like squash and potatoes, will stay good longer.

 While you’re shopping….

Stretch your dollar

  • Try buying in bulk. Compare unit prices. Often larger sizes also cost less.
  • Make foods from scratch. Cut out the middle man and cut down the cost! Great items to make from scratch are bread, soup, jam, hummus, salad dressing, and salsa.
  • Look for sales. Check the bakery for half-off specials on “day old” items at the end of the day. Check the meat section for discounted prices on meat that is soon to expire- then freeze it. It will stay good for at least one month.

Use produce

  • Compare prices of fresh, frozen, and canned. At different times during the year, each of these may be the more affordable choice. Frozen fruits and vegetables are flash frozen at the peak of freshness, for the best quality. Canned products can often be rinsed to reduce salt.
  • Shop locally.  Farmers’ markets offer variety and the chance to get to know the person who grew the food!

 From: Good Food on a Tight Budget

 Cook safely

CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often
SEPARATE: Separate raw meats from other foods   
COOK: Cook to the right temperature      
CHILL: Refrigerate food promptly

 Remember to cook all turkey and chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit

For more food safety information:

Food Hub

The Foodlink Food Hub


The United States Department of Agriculture defines a Food Hub as “a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution and/or marketing of locally produced food products.”  Most existing Food Hubs focus on helping small and mid-sized farmers access new markets to increase their profitability. Foodlink’s work maintains many of the same goals as the USDA Food Hubs, as we purchase and redistribute nearly two million pounds of local produce every year.  The Foodlink Food Hub is unique, however, because our primary goal is to help underserved individuals and institutions access fresh, healthy, and affordable foods.

The core of our Food Hub is our warehouse facility at 1999 Mt. Read Blvd., where we have the capacity to distribute over 18 million pounds of food annually.  Ancillary assets include industrial sized freezers and coolers, a fleet of trucks, and a commercial kitchen.  This capacity allows us to purchase high-volumes of local product and redistribute to the 500 agencies in our network.

By being good stewards of our assets and resources, we can go “beyond food banking” and do more than redistribute food.  This is how Foodlink has gone from Food Bank to Food Hub.  Our consumer-driven food hub starts with food distribution, but it includes several programs and resources that increase food access and food literacy.  They include

  • Cooperative Purchasing
  • Food Access Programs
  • Farm to Institution Initiatives
  • Farm to School (sliced apples)
  • Value-Added Processing
  • Prepared Meals
  • SNAP outreach and education
  • Nutrition Education
  • Food Budgeting
  • Menu-planning for agencies

Foodlink is using our assets and resources to be the regional Food Hub. We are using our strong partnerships with farmers to gather and distribute product throughout our 10-county service area. We are supporting farmers by purchasing surplus, unsold, and unharvested product. We are making this a hassle-free experience to ensure that quality local product reaches as many people as possible.

In addition, the Foodlink organization has remarkable assets and resources, such as:

936 Exchange Street:

  • 100,000 square feet of space with:
  • 32,000 cubic foot freezer with 210 pallet positions
  • 40,000 cubic foot cooler with 170 pallet positions
  • Thousands of cubic feet of dry storage space
  • 5 loading docks
  • Pallet jacks and forklifts
  • Ample office space and
  • Conference rooms
  • Parking lot with 50 spaces

138 Joseph Avenue:

  • 60,000 square feet of space
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Producing 3,500 meals per day for various organizations
  • Also houses a private company dedicated to recycling food waste to Ethanol.

1999 Mt. Read Blvd:

  • 80,000 square foot warehouse
  • 3,700 square foot cooler
  • 5,200 square foot freezer
  • This building operates as our distribution center where we move 13 million pounds of food annually.

Transportation Assets:

  • 53-foot refrigerated tractor trailer
  • Three 26-foot refrigerated straight trucks
  • Four 22-foot refrigerated straight trucks
  • One 14-foot refrigerated straight truck
  • Two non-refrigerated pickup trucks
  • Two non-refrigerated vans

Operational Assets:

  • Foodlink is the food bank for 10 counties in western and central New York: Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming,Yates

Within our 10-county service area we partner with 500 human service agencies to move 16 million pounds of food annually. This requires sophisticated software and internal bandwidth for:

  • Inventory
  • Deliveries/Pick-ups
  • Accounting and billing

Programmatic assets:

Foodlink emphasizes the importance of workforce development throughout all activities. A Food Hub allows Foodlink to continue to train workers and create jobs in several different parts of the food system.

SNAP Outreach

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal nutrition program that helps you fill the gaps in your grocery budget, stretch your food dollars and buy healthy foods. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, some farmers’ markets and co-op food programs, and at Foodlink’s Curbside Market and Urban Farm Stands.

Local Departments of Human Services follow Department of Agriculture rules for determining SNAP eligibility based off of household size, income, and some expenses (including child care for working adults and students, and medical expenses for seniors and people with disabilities). The amount of SNAP you are eligible for is based off of the difference between 30 percent of your net income and what the USDA calls the Thrifty Food Plan amount for your family size. The Thrifty Food Plan is recognized as the most inexpensive grocery budget needed to afford a well balanced diet for the month.

Important Changes:

New Monthly Gross Income Guidelines

Household Size

Level 1: 130% of Poverty Gross Income (Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents)

Level 2: 200% of Poverty Gross Income (Households with seniors 60+, people with disabilities, and/or childcare costs incurred during work or school)

























Changes to Minimum and Maximum Monthly SNAP Allotment

Nov. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014

Oct 1, 2014 – Sept 30, 2015



 Changes to Maximum Monthly SNAP Allotments


Household Size

Nov 1, 2013 – Sept 30, 2014 (Old)

Oct 1, 2014 – Sept 30, 2015 (New)


























The SNAP Outreach Program


Starting January 2015, Foodlink is asking our agencies and community partners to directly refer families in need of SNAP assistance to their respective county Nutrition Outreach and Assistance Program Coordinators (NOEP). The change will enable clients to receive in-person SNAP assistance more quickly, and will support State SNAP outreach efforts. If your program is in a county that has a NOEP, you can contact your county NOEP Coordinator for SNAP outreach material with their contact information.

For counties that do not have a NOEP Coordinator (Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming and Yates county), there are several Foodlink trained SNAP outreach advocates in your county. Their contact information is also listed below:



Cattaraugus Community Action

Joye Mott



Food for All

Kay Brion



Law NY

Sue Segelman



Law NY

Pamela Johnson



Law NY

Virginia Tourrella

315-781-1465 x1023


Law NY

Edna Reid

315-781-1465 x1008


Law NY

Tami Sprague

315-781-1465 x1018


Perry Emergency Food Pantry

Douglass Spencer



Zion Hill

Rachel Bender


Jerome Nathaniel | | (585) 328-3380 x 150

Use Your SNAP Dollars at the Farmers Markets

It is easy to use your EBT card at your local farmers market to buy fresh produce, meats/fish, dairy, grains/breads/bakery items, honey/syrup, and plants/seeds that produce food.  Find the EBT market near you!

Monroe County Farmers Markets that accept EBT

Farmers Markets in Outlying Counties that accept EBT

Workforce Development

Helping people get back to work.

Great things happen when people find jobs—they also find confidence, income, and the sustainable means to put food on the table.

Foodlink launched a job training program through our Value Added Processing initiative during the second shift at Freshwise Kitchen. Six participants have recently completed the four week training cycle and are preparing for job placement at one of the many food processing companies in our region. We are preparing to enroll six more participants for another cycle. This is one example of how Foodlink can lend the excess capacity of our resources to job training and work force development.

 Foodlink also works with individuals through the Work Experience Program (WEP) every day in our food bank. The rerouting of the RTA bus line to include multiple stops at Foodlink’s Mt Read location has been instrumental in ensuring that Foodlink is an accessible partner in workforce development. Our WEP placement helps impart skills such as communication, timeliness, sense of urgency, and food industry standards. WEP participants are an important part of our day-to-day food banking and help us move over 6 million pounds of donated food each year.

Green Initiatives

We believe in helping not just the people we serve but the environment as well.  Through several green iniatives, Foodlink is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and raising awareness on self-sustainability.


Green Living Technologies

Green Living Technologies (GLT) manufactures, designs, and installs vegetative green roofs and walls, and their patented technology for vertical growing and rooftop gardens is providing new horizons for our urban agriculture initiatives. Our partnership with GLT has enabled the installation of green walls at our facility on Joseph Avenue and Exchange Street. Click here to learn more about Green Living Technologies.

Sweet Beez

Foodlink is proud to partner with Sweet Beez, which utilizes Rochester’s abundant natural resources to save the declining honeybee population while simultaneously advancing the economic stability of the community.  Sweet Beez’s mission is to create a vibrant urban community, empower community members, expand local economic development and protect the health and well-being of honeybees.  This is done through outreach, community action and advocacy efforts.  Sweet Beez is also focused on creating jobs through the local production of raw honey and development of agricultural skills.  Click
here to learn more.