Our mission is to leverage the power of food to end hunger and build healthier communities.
We believe that the fight against hunger and the fight against poverty are one and the same. We envision a future in which food is recognized as a human right and every person is able to feed themselves and their families in dignity. Together, we work to create a more nourished, prosperous region.
Foodlink is a Rochester-based nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger and building healthier communities by addressing both the symptoms and root causes of food insecurity. We serve as the hub of the emergency food system across a 10-county service area. As a leading public health organization, Foodlink administers many programs and initiatives that aim to build the health and wealth of communities.
We provide food assistance through the safe storage and distribution of emergency food to our network of food bank members and community partners. We build healthier communities through innovative programs that create new access points to nutritious foods and empower people to make healthy choices. We drive change through bold career empowerment initiatives and advocacy for a more just, equitable food system.
Learn more about how we are transforming lives and creating healthy futures for every community we serve at www.FoodlinkNY.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @foodlinkny.
Foodlink’s impact on the community is measured daily through the people who can put food on the table – and through long-term outcomes achieved by helping others secure employment, or develop healthier habits.
Each quarter, Foodlink’s staff reflects on a series of metrics that measure various outputs from our food bank and many food-related programs, all of which fall under four key result areas: Put People First, Improve Community Health, Tell Our Story, and Operate with Excellence. We measure how much we did, how well we did it, so we can answer the ultimate question: Are people better off?
While food banks often measure “success” in pounds distributed – we take a different approach. Our ultimate success will only come when we eradicate poverty in our region.
Households served through Foodlink’s drive-thru, no-touch food distributions since March of 2020.
Healthy Meals served by the Foodlink Community Kitchen since RCSD schools closed in March of 2020.
Curbside Market sites in the Rochester region helping vulnerable populations access healthier foods.
Our Core Values
The desire to serve and to build kinship with others is fundamental to Foodlink. We work tirelessly to identify and meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in this community, especially those suffering from poverty and food insecurity. We treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Our passion for transforming Foodlink’s vision into reality calls us to say “Yes” to new ideas and opportunities. We are not complacent; we persist even when new approaches create discomfort and require a departure from the norm. We are willing to risk failure in order to succeed at ending hunger.
We work in close partnership with hundreds of community-based organizations to accomplish our mission. We create meaningful relationships with our colleagues, partners, supporters and community members in order to build a shared vision, overcome obstacles and maximize resources.
The injustice of hunger demands an urgent response. We pride ourselves on our ability to respond to the ever-changing needs of our community. We do not fear change. Our solid foundation–including our infrastructure, people and values–enable us to quickly adapt to shifts in our environment with the Foodlink mission serving as our North Star.
We have an aversion to waste. This applies equally to both the food generously donated to us and the dollars entrusted to us by our funders and donors. We work to maximize the impact of every dollar, donation and asset. We aim to make wise use of all of our resources to ensure Foodlink’s future vitality and impact.
Food insecurity is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food-insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.
Feeding America’s annual “Map the Meal Gap” study provides county-level data for food insecurity each year. Within Foodlink’s 10-county service area, the study showed a 10.9% food-insecurity rate, which affects more than 136,000 people.
However, Feeding America projected that food insecurity would rise by 45% (causing the rate to spike to 15.7%) due to the pandemic, affecting nearly 200,000 people.
projected rise in food insecurity due to the pandemic
people living in food-insecure homes
children living in food-insecure homes
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, Feeding America provides meals to more than 40 million people each year.
Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.