Volunteer at Foodlink
Out of an abundance of caution, Foodlink’s traditional volunteer opportunities are suspended through April 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 the Rochester Riverside Convention Center or donation sorting at Foodlink’s distribution center. Please review our requirements below BEFORE signing up for a shift.
To ensure the safety of our volunteers, staff, community partners and those whom we serve, we are following guidelines provided by local health officials and the CDC:
– Volunteers should be between the ages of 16-60.
– Volunteers should not have a chronic illness such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease.
– Volunteers MUST practice social distancing measures (no handshakes, wash hands frequently, proper cough/sneezing etiquette, stay six feet apart, etc.)
– Foodlink cannot provide gloves or masks for volunteers. Volunteers should NOT wear gloves during their volunteer shift. Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza has consulted with Foodlink on our various volunteer activities, and firmly discourages wearing gloves, as improper use can increase the spread of the COVID-19 virus. You will be required to wash hands frequently during your volunteer shift.
– According to recent guidelines posted by the Centers for Disease Control, the public is recommended to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Face coverings, however, are NOT a substitute for social distancing and other risk-reduction measures.
– Volunteers should not exhibit any symptoms including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, or have been around anyone with these COVID-19 symptoms.
– Volunteers should not have traveled outside of western New York within the last 14 days.
Additional safety precautions will be taken before, during and after the shift.
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.
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:
- 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 established 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.
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:
Nov. 27, 2019: Foodlink opposes third attempt to make cuts to SNAP
Oct. 18, 2019: Congressman Morelle, Foodlink condemn proposal to cut SNAP
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
- 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