Get Involved

Volunteer at Foodlink

Out of an abundance of caution, Foodlink’s traditional volunteer opportunities and its community service (court-mandated) volunteer program are suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. We will continue to assess this policy to determine when our traditional volunteer shifts will reopen to the public.

Foodlink’s COVID-19 Volunteer Response Team

As we respond to the growing needs of our communities, we have partnered with the United Way of Greater Rochester, to accept healthy volunteers to assist with packing emergency food supply boxes at our offsite facilty on Manitou Road, or donation sorting at Foodlink’s distribution center. Please review our requirements below BEFORE signing up for a shift. Please also note that due to limited space and social-distancing guidelines, we are not accepting GROUP reservations. 

— Sign up to volunteer through the United Way:

Join Foodlink’s volunteer waiting list

Volunteer Requirements

Foodlink is following all safety guidelines provided by local health officials and the CDC. Beginning June 1, volunteers, staff, and visitors are required to undergo a Health Screen Test and temperature check before entering Foodlink or its satellite location. Additional safety precautions will take place before, during, and after each shift. In addition, individuals must meet Foodlink’s volunteer requirements below to be eligible for our volunteer opportunities:

  • Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Volunteers should not exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath) or other forms of illnesses.
  • Volunteers should not be awaiting COVID-19 test results.
  • Volunteers should not have been in close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
  • Volunteers should not have traveled — in the past 14 days — to any states that are considered “hot spots” for recent COVID-19 outbreaks. The full listing can be found on NYS’s travel advisory page.  

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

• Face masks are required for this volunteer activity. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to bring and wear their own mask.
• Gloves are NOT recommended for this volunteer activity, according to Monroe County Health Department officials, as improper use increases the risk of spreading the Coronavirus.

Volunteers are essential!

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order that mandates “non-essential” workers stay home exempts food banks, food pantries, other emergency programs and their volunteers.






Board of Directors

Foodlink’s Board of Directors comprises community leaders who are passionate about our mission and committed to using their unique skill sets to help us reach our goals. The principal responsibility of our board of directors is three-fold:

  • To give Foodlink direction, establishing its vision, mission and values.
  • To provide oversight, especially in financial matters, to ensure accountability.
  • To ensure Foodlink has the resources it needs to do its work.

>> See who’s currently on our Board

If you are interested in joining Foodlink’s Board, we recommend that you first serve as a volunteer on one of our board committees.  As a committee member, individuals have a chance to get to know the organization better, and to develop relationships with board members and key staff. After serving on a committee for a year or two, individuals are more equipped to understand the commitment of board service and the leadership culture.


The role of Foodlink board committees is to ensure best practices in the activities, or the major function, that the committee is assigned to.  Foodlink committees allow volunteers and potential board members to apply their existing expertise or build knowledge in an interest area. Currently, the Foodlink board has committees for:

  • Finance 
  • Marketing and Events 



A stronger organization with a bolder voice

Advocacy is critical to building a more equitable food system and reducing food insecurity in our region. Being an advocate means communicating with your legislators about issues that affect those who struggle to put food on the table. It can also simply mean talking with friends and family, and raising awareness about the need for a long-term solution to hunger.
We encourage you to join us as a hunger-relief advocate. Look below for our current initiatives and get involved in fighting hunger in our community, in New York, and across America.

Foodlink’s Advocacy Agenda

In 2018, Foodlink launched its first Advocacy Working Group — an internal group of employees tasked with developing the organization’s advocacy agenda and policy priorities for the years ahead. The working group has met monthly for over a year to establish the organization’s first Advocacy Agenda. This document was drafted in collaboration with our member agencies, our staff, and through focus groups with the food-insecure people whom we serve. Although our 2020 Advocacy Agenda has been finalized, it remains a living document that will evolve to meet the changing needs and address the pertinent issues that impact our communities. 

READ: Foodlink’s 2020 Advocacy Agenda


Foodlink’s public statements

Here are links to recent statements Foodlink has made in response to legislation, proposals or other issues impacting food-insecure residents in our service area:

June 8, 2020: Foodlink signs on to support removal of armed RPD officers from RCSD

May 29, 2020: Foodlink endorses BAG declaration of ‘Racism is a Public Health Crisis’

May 15, 2020: Foodlink supports the HEROES Act

May 8, 2020: Strengthening SNAP important for ending hunger, and saving the economy

Jan. 31, 2020: Foodlink, other orgs support NYS proposed ban on styrofoam containers

Dec. 6, 2019: Foodlink’s statement in response to SNAP rule change for ABAWDs

Nov. 27, 2019: Foodlink opposes third attempt to make cuts to SNAP

Oct. 18, 2019: Congressman Morelle, Foodlink condemn proposal to cut SNAP

Oct. 10, 2019: Testimony from the public hearing in Rochester concering the New York Health Act.  

Sept. 12, 2019: Letter to Gov. Cuomo regarding the state’s welfare sanctions appeal process

August 26, 2019: USDA’s proposed rule change for SNAP eligibility

May 13, 2019: Tenant protections and housing affordability

April 2, 2019: SNAP requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents

Dec. 13, 2018: The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill

Sept. 28, 2018: DHS ‘Public Charge’ proposed rule change


Identify your local reps

Not sure who your representatives are? Visit the NYS Board of Elections website and enter your address to find out your rep for the NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, U.S. House & U.S. Senate.

On the federal level, four Congressional districts span Foodlink’s 10-county service area. Members of Congress who represent the clients who benefit from Foodlink’s services include: Tom Reed (R, 23rd District), John Katko (R, 24th District), and Joe Morelle (D, 25th District). The 27th District, formerly represented by Rep. Chris Collins, is currently vacant.

Local office #s for:

Rep. Tom Reed’s Geneva office: (315) 759-5229
Rep. John Katko’s Lyons office: (315) 253-4068 
Rep. Joe Morelle’s Rochester office: (585) 232-4850

New York’s two senators are: Charles Schumer (D), who is currently the Senate Minority Leader, and Kirsten Gillibrand (D), who serves a vital role on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Local office #s for:

Sen. Charles Schumer’s Rochester office: (585) 263-5866
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Rochester office: (585) 263-6250

Advocates with multiple food banks and anti-hunger groups in New York State met with Sen. Charles Schumer on March 3, 2020.

Useful links

  • The Feeding America network relies on community members to take action, and speak up about ending hunger in the United States. | How to fight hunger
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has several useful explainers, articles and studies about federal food assistance programs. | Visit their website
  • Hunger Solutions NY has a wealth of resources about how anti-hunger policies affect New York State. | Visit the website 
  • The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is one of leading nonprofit anti-hunger advocates in the nation. | Visit FRAC’s website