For a split second, I lost my tour guide.
While I fiddled with my phone, he walked through a doorway, around a corner and was gone. It was brief and it was uneventful, but it was also telling of recent progress made in Foodlink’s Community Kitchen.
Yes, if you’re looking for a pretty clear indicator of how much our 28,000-square-foot space has transformed in the last month, it’s the fact that one could, potentially, get lost in it. What was once the worst hide-and-seek venue around, is now a maze of hallways, doorways and rooms.
Even better, we’re starting to get a sneak peek at some of the fancy equipment that will help our staff serve up even more nutritious meals and slice more local apples for Rochester’s children. The automated apple-slicing line, simply put, is massive. Although it is still sitting in our distribution center in pieces, one colleague told me it looked like a dinosaur, while another compared it to a dragon. It’s a sight to behold.
And speaking of big, a crane visited Foodlink on Aug. 4 to lift vital pieces of kitchen equipment onto our rooftop. Refrigerator condensers, HVAC systems and other mechanical equipment are now ready to go.
Other new developments include:
- The construction of our various coolers and freezers, for which 70 percent of the panels have been installed.
- Most of the walls have been framed, dry-walled and insulated. The last step is what is called “fiberglass-reinforced plastic” (FRP) panels, which are often installed in facilities with a high demand for hygiene and durability.
- Massive kitchen hoods, which provide proper ventilation, are in place.
- Ninety percent of all duct work is complete and nearly all of the electrical wiring is done.
Foodlink’s Community Kitchen is starting to look like a kitchen. It’s a project that will do amazing things for Foodlink, Rochester, and our neighbors in need. As Chief Program Officer Mitch Gruber put it, “there’s nothing that is more impactful than a kitchen that can serve healthy meals to kids in low-income households and employ people to do that very work.”
Watching the Community Kitchen transform month by month since our groundbreaking is a privilege. Even if it means getting lost once in a while.
The first in our series of video shorts about our Community Kitchen as construction enters the home stretch … pic.twitter.com/lNICv0MB14— Foodlink (@FoodlinkNY) August 25, 2016