Foodlink Career Fellowship welcomes newest class

A new chapter has begun for the Foodlink Career Fellowship.

Andrew, Brandi, Eric, Gerquan, Javia, Jimmy, Jojo, Tyeasha and Wayne began their journey last week toward successful careers in the regional food industry. Orientation was held July 26, when the Fellows learned the basics of the program and got to know one another. On July 27, they began work inside the Foodlink Community Kitchen, preparing meals for the Summer Meals program.

The second class began just about a month after the inaugural class graduated. This new group will go through a similar curriculum, however, this year each participant is considered an apprentice. The program earned recognition in early 2019 as a New York State Registered Apprenticeship Training program.

Funding for the Class of 2020 was made possible by the William and Sheila Konar Foundation, which also awarded Foodlink a significant grant for the launch of the program a year ago. Check out some photos from orientation and the first day on the job!

KaBOOM! Foodlink to expand play space at Lexington Ave. Community Farm

The Lexington Avenue Community Farm received its largest grant in history last month from the KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge.

Foodlink proposed to build off the early phases of its pocket park and play space, and create more opportunities for play in the area surrounding the farm on Lexington Avenue. The space will feature log and boulder-based climbers and steps, labyrinths, public art and wayfinding features.

The total grant award is $54,550.

MORE: Learn more about the award winners

KaBOOM! and the Built to Play initiative, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, have announced the winners for 22 projects totaling $1 million spanning from western New York to Southeast Michigan of the second Play Everywhere Challenge. Other winning projects included one from Healthi Kids in Rochester, Camp Puzzle Peace, Inc. in Wyoming County, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council in Genesee County, and GLOW YMCA in Orleans County.

The Play Everywhere Challenge invited communities to submit creative design ideas that make it easier for families to incorporate play into everyday moments.

The Lexington Avenue Community Farm serves 65 families in northwest Rochester, most of which come from the local refugee population. The farm is a community garden for residents, a space for Foodlink to grow produce for its programs and partners, and a play space for local children.

Wayne County now third in nation in apple growing

Did you know that Wayne County were its own state, it would rank fourth in the NATION in apple growing?

Data from the latest U.S. Agriculture Census (2017) was released this spring, and our neighbors to the east in Wayne County made some impressive gains as the state’s epicenter of apples. There are 23,685 acres of apple farms in Wayne County, which makes it the third-highest apple producing county in the country. That’s an improvement from the last Census, in which they ranked fourth.

Unsurprisingly, Washington leads the country — by a wide margin. New York is next in line, followed by Michigan, Pennsylvania and California. Wayne County accounts for nearly half of all apple farm acreage in New York.

Check out the charts below for the top 5 states and counties for apple farm acreage, as of 2017:


Washington        179,899

New York             50,450

Michigan              38,563

Pennsylvania     22,513

California             13,637


Yakima                  WA         58,670

Grant                    WA         51,093

Wayne                  NY          23,685

Okanogan           WA         15,856

Adams                  PA          13,160