JSY Healthy Pantry Initiative to be nationally recognized

Exciting news for our Nutrition Education team!

Our Just Say Yes! to Fruits and Vegetables program’s Healthy Pantry Initiative will be recognized by the American Public Health Association and presented at its annual conference in November! The initiative helps local food pantries “nudge” clients to choose healthier options through increased signage, nutrition education and small merchandising improvements.

Congrats to our team from Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables — a statewide SNAP-ED Nutrition Education program. What an honor!

Keeping busy at the Lexington Ave. Urban Farm

This week, Foodlink’s Lexington Avenue Urban Farm welcomed about to 50,000 bees to the farm with help from our friends at Sweet Beez, a local nonprofit.

One rather large family recently joined the 60 existing Rochester families that tend to the land at Foodlink’s Lexington Avenue Urban Farm. 

Tens of thousands of bees — all sisters! — moved into their new digs this week at the farm, which provides local refugee families with a space to grow their own food. The Lexington Avenue Urban Farm also serves as a small commercial growing operation for Foodlink’s kitchen, and its Curbside Market program.

The bees will help pollinate all of the nearby crops, and eventually produce enough honey to sell to our Curbside customers. 

The newest bees at the Lexington Avenue Urband Farm are all sisters.

Local nonprofit Sweet Beez picked up our new bees from Pennslyvania for us and “babysat” them for a few weeks while we prepared a space for them. We ordered three “nucs,” which are essentially small “nuclues colonies,” each coming with several pieces of honeycomb. The bees were transferred to Lexington’s larger hives on July 19.

It’s hard to say how many bees are in the three hives at the moment, but a healthy hive can have about 50,000 each. So it’s possible we’ll have a total population of 150,000.

“They’re now cleaning out their new homes, buzzing around and pollinating crops and we’re looking forward to being able to harvest the honey — probably by next spring — for our Curbside Market,” said Nathaniel Mich, who oversees the farm as Foodlink’s Member Services Programs Coordinator.

The bees live in the back area of the farm adjacent to our new fruit trees. Find out more information about the Lexington Avenue Urban Farm on their Facebook page.    



Summer Meals … on wheels

When it came time make sure the Summer Meals Partnership of Rochester could go mobile, the growth of one Foodlink program helped the growth of another. 

When the Curbside Market added a new vehicle to its fleet, we took one of the older trucks out of the rotation. Perfect timing, it would seem, as the partnership was seeking a way of delivering more meals in neighborhoods that did not have a nearby Summer Meals site. 

The partnership’s mobile initiative took aim at a handful of neighborhoods and found locations where kids naturally gather over the summer. Summer Meals On Wheels was born. Two sites were piloted last summer (local libraries), and now we have seven sites on board (four daily sites and three more that are rotating).

Foodlink hired a driver for the program (Welcome, Silvia!) and retrofitted the Curbside Market vehicle and turned it into our Summer Meals on Wheels mobile vehicle. Now, we’re off and running.

See below for our full mobile schedule. And visit the Summer Meals website for a complete schedule of our regular sites. 

11 – 11:30am – Conkey Corner Park (92 Conkey Ave.)

11:50am – 12:20pm – Rotating schedule*

12:40 – 1:10pm – Lincoln Library (851 Joseph Ave.)

1:30 – 2pm – Arnett Library (310 Arnett Blvd.)

2:20 – 2:50pm Maplewood Library (1111 Dewey Ave.)

* Monday/Wednesday at Lyell Library (956 Lyell Ave.)

Tuesday/Thursday at Phyllis Wheatley Library (33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way)

Friday at Susan B Anthony Park (540 W. Main St.)