A grocery store inside a food bank

Produce on display at Foodlink’s redesigned Shop-Thru space.

In an effort to provide a more welcoming atmosphere for partnering agencies that visit Foodlink, a portion of its distribution center is starting to look less like a warehouse, and more like a grocery store. The first phase of renovations is complete for Foodlink’s “Shop-Thru,” the area designated for local agency representatives to pick up food for their programs. 

For years, Foodlink has given agency representatives the opportunity to access free food items — typically perishable goods with a shorter shelf life — while visiting Foodlink to pick up their regular food orders. The accommodations, however, were not ideal. “Shoppers” entered the warehouse and could pick and choose food from several large totes of goods that rested on various pallets scattered near the doorway.

It was, and still is, known as the “Shop-Thru.” But now, Foodlink is providing a better environment in which to shop. 

Non-perishable goods are sold for 49c/lb at Foodlink’s Shop-Thru.

“Our agencies are able to access a wide variety of healthy foods through our online ordering system, however when most people shop, they like to see and feel the food they’re purchasing,” said Partnership Development Manager Phil Daniel, who oversaw the improvements made to the Shop-Thru area. “This space gives agency representatives the opportunity to access other items – such as fresh produce – at little or no cost in a more comfortable space designed to mimic a grocery store setting.”

Daniel wants local agencies to be aware of the newly organized space, which will eventually expand and relocate to a different area of the distribution center. For now, though, agencies should know a couple basics:

  • Most perishable goods are FREE. That includes all produce, bread and dairy on display.
  • Non-perishable goods, and non-food items, are priced at 49 cents per pound.
  • Protein items (chicken, pork, etc.), which are stored in Foodlink’s walk-in freezer but will be on display in the Shop-Thru, will be available for 49 cents per pound, as well. 
  • The Shop-Thru area is open between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is only available to representatives from Foodlink’s network of partner agencies. 
  • In order to access Shop Thru, agencies must send a representative to one of our monthly Shopper Orientation sessions. These occur on the third Tuesday of every month. Please contact Bryan Stephan at (585) 413-4057 (or bstephan@foodlinkny.org) for information about how to sign up.
  • Shopping is permitted by appointment only. To make one, log-in online through the PWW system, or contact Bryan.

The first phase of this renovation was made possible through generous support from the Kraft Heinz Company Foundation through Feeding America. A portion of the funding from our $15,000 award allowed us to purchase much of the shelving and display units seen in the new space. 

Phase II of our Shop-Thru renovation will happen next, thanks to funding from the state’s Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority

Thank you to all the agencies that help us serve those in need, and share our mission of ending hunger and building healthier communities!

Bread is free at Foodlink’s Shop-Thru.

Non-food items are also available for 49c/lb.

Produce bins give shoppers the opportunity to pick up some free produce.

Funding from the Kraft Heinz Company Foundation allowed us to purchase new displays!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *