News & Events

Events & Fundraisers

Foodlink is blessed to receive an abundance of community support at events throughout the year.

Two fundraisers that Foodlink hosts annually include The Get Together in the spring, and The Festival of Food in the fall.

Recurring third-party events/fundraisers include Forks & Skis (March), Fill the Bus (Aug/Sept.), Check Out Hunger (Nov.) and Food for Families (Dec). Thank you to all of the community partners and sponsors who help organize these yearly events, and to everyone who has donated or taken part in support of our mission.  


Interested in hosting an Event or Fundraiser?

To get started, please download the Event/Food Drive Application. Filling out the form is mandatory for all food drives, even if you have hosted one before.

Contact Marketing & Events Coordinator, Jeffrey Fleming, for additional details (; 585-413-4072)

Ongoing Fundraisers

Red Tail Ridge Winery: Good Karma
Red Tail Ridge Winery is proud to support Foodlink by doing what they do best, making wine. Ten percent of the profits from their Good Karma wine goes to Foodlink.

In March of 2020, the winery announced that more than $40,500 has been donated since the fundraiser began! 

For more information on the wine, the winery and where to purchase Good Karma, click here.


If Music Be the Food
“If Music Be the Food…” is a series of benefit concerts that raise awareness and support for the hungry in the local community through the sharing of great music. Founded by Carol Rodland in 2009 — and now led by Eastman School of Music faculty member Mimi Hwang — its mission also includes teaching music students about the importance of community service via their art. Each concert is a fully grass-roots community event involving professionals, students, and local volunteers in joyful collaboration. 

Learn more about upcoming concerts on the IMBTF website

Can’t make it to a concert? You can pledge your support and donate to Foodlink through its secure, online donation page. Be sure to write “IMBTF” in the Notes field when making your donation!


Festival of Food


2020 event canceled

Our 2020 fall fundraiser — originally scheduled for Sept. 21, 2020 — has been canceled to protect the health and safety of our guests, food and beverage partners and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

We look forward to planning for our 2021 event, and we’ll be announcing plans soon for a new virtual fundraiser this fall.


The Festival of Food, Foodlink’s annual fall fundraiser, features more than 100 local restaurants, wineries, breweries, bakeries and specialty food purveyors. It’s the best and biggest tasting event in the region!

2019 PHOTOS: Facebook album from last year’s event

More: Check out our Facebook page | Twitter | Instagram


We’d like to thank Wegmans Food Markets once again for serving as our lead (Main Course) sponsor for the 2019 Foodlink Festival of Food. If you’d like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities — or any other festival details — contact:

Jeffrey Fleming, Events & Marketing Coordinator or 585-413-4072

Our 2019 sponsors:

Main Course: Wegmans Food Markets
Side Dish: Delta Air Lines | Bonduelle | Constellation Brands
Appetizer: GMR Associates | Barilla | DGA BuildersLiDestri Food and Drink | Passero Associates
Soups & Salads: Big Apple Deli Products | Messner Flooring | Pro Temp Mechanical, Inc. | Insley-McEntee Equipment Company, Inc. | The Bonadio Group | Alsco
Desserts:  | Gallina Development | Conway Beam Leasing | Monroe Veterinary Associates | DeCarolis Trucking | Landers Management | IV4 | Zweigles | Manning & Napier
In Kind: McCarthy Tents & Events | Hamilton AV | Shawn O Photography | City Newspaper | Yelp! | City of Rochester | TinyFish Printing


Feast your eyes on our 2019 vendor list!

MAP: Find out where they’ll be at the market! 

Food Truck Face Off

We once again partnered with 13WHAM for the Food Truck Face Off — a contest to determine Rochester’s best food truck!

The public nominated and voted for their favorite trucks during July and August, and the competition was fierce! Those who nominated OR voted for a truck were automatically entered to win 2 FREE Festival of Food tickets! Congrats to our winners, Calvin Eaton of Rochester and Jan Moss of Gates. 

And now, onto the winner. 

With more than 1,000 of nearly 5,000 votes, the winner is … Waffles R Wild! Congrats on a hard-earned victory! The top 5 included:

  1.   Waffles R Wild
  2.   Chef’s Catering
  3.   Karma’s Cruisin’ Café
  4.   Rob’s Kabobs
  5.   Twist This LLC


Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month (H.A.M.), which is the Feeding America® network’s annual awareness campaign designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. The campaign brings attention to the reality of food insecurity in the United States and promotes ways for individuals to get involved in the movement to help end hunger. Food insecurity affects approximately 40 million Americans in every corner of our nation — and more than 145,000 people (1 out of every 8) in Foodlink’s 10-county service area. This month, we raise our voice to ensure that no child, adult or senior goes to sleep on an empty stomach.

Events are planned throughout the month to raise awareness about our effort to build a healthy, hunger-free community. Here are four ways YOU can get involved!


  • Fill the Bus: Our annual campaign and food drive that supports our BackPack Program began on August 25, and continues through the first week of September! 

  • Hunger Action Day: Orange is the color of hunger relief (the first food stamps were orange). On Sept. 12, wear orange to show your support and help us raise awareness! Many of the downtown Rochester buildings will light up orange to mark the day!

  • Festival of Food: Our annual fundraiser is Sept. 16 at the City of Rochester Public Market (6-9 p.m.). More than 100 restaurants, wineries, breweries and more will offer samples of the best food and drink from the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. Proceeds benefit Foodlink. | TICKETS ON SALE NOW

  • Advocacy Listening Tour: Foodlink is launching its Advocacy Listening Tour on Sept. 18! Staff members will visit a handful of member agencies throughout our service area to conduct focus groups with food pantry clients about issues that are important to them. We look forward to launching this initiative Sept. 18 at Memorial AME Zion Church on Clarissa Street. 
  • Social Media: Connect with us all month long on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Tag #hungeractionmonth and mention @foodlinkny to show us how you’re taking action in September!

Hunger facts & stats

  • According to Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap report, 145,760 people in Foodlink’s 10-county service area are considered food insecure, which means they have limited or uncertain access to enough food for everyone in their household. Of those, 48,420 are children. 
  • In the City of Rochester, three zip codes are among the state’s highest food-insecure communities. In 14608, 40.6 percent of residents are food-insecure — second highest in the state behind the 13202 zip code in downtown Syracuse. Two other Rochester zip codes cracked the top 10, with 14605 measuring at 34.8% and 14611 measuring at 34.3% — fifth and seventh, respectively.
  • According to a recent hunger study, among the clients who visit food pantries, meal programs and other emergency food providers in Foodlink’s service area, 50% of them reported having to choose between food and medical care in the last year. 
  • Foodlink is one of 200 food banks nationwide as part of the Feeding America network, and one of 10 in New York State.
  • Did you know that the nation’s very first food stamps were issued right here in Rochester? On May 16, 1939, thousands of people at what is today City Hall, received orange (and blue) food stamps as part of a pilot program that would eventually roll out in other cities across the country. This is why orange is the official color of hunger relief. 

Fill the Bus

fill the bus

The 2019 Fill the Bus campaign is scheduled for August 25 through September 7.

Foodlink, Wegmans Food Markets, Fidelis Care, and our media sponsors at 13WHAM ABC, WUHF Fox Rochester, and CW Rochester will team up again for the “Fill the Bus” food drive to benefit our BackPack program, which alleviates child hunger on weekends and school breaks. Each Friday or before a holiday, a child who is at risk of food insecurity is given a bag in their backpack filled with enough healthy, kid-friendly meals to last all weekend. Children who are properly nourished are more attentive in class, can concentrate better on exams, and have a better chance of graduating. 

Foodlink operates the BackPack program at more than 80 area schools, and reached more than 3,000 children during the 2018-19 school year. Throughout Foodlink’s 10-county service area, more than 45,000 kids are considered food-inscure. 

During our 2018 Fill the Bus campaign, we were able to collect 286,311 pounds of food!

During the upcoming 2019 campaign, shoppers can visit their local Wegmans and  purchase bags of kid-friendly food ranging from $3 to $10 filled with the most-needed items. All donations stay in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.

The Rochester community has responded graciously to this annual campaign. Since 2013, approximately 1.2 million pounds of food have been collected for the BackPack Program! 

Learn more about ways to support the BackPack program

Year ………. Pounds

2013 ………. 50,410

2014 ………. 138,637

2015 ………. 197,852

2016 ………. 247,883

2017 ………. 305,073

2018 ………. 286,311

Total ………. 1,226,166





Check Out Hunger

Check Out Hunger is a point-of-sale campaign at local partnering grocers — held twice annually at participating stores. Every time you are grocery shopping, say ‘YES’ when your cashier asks if you would like to Check Out Hunger! The money raised from this campaign directly supports Foodlink programs that help end hunger and build healthier communities.


Winter 2020

Tops Friendly Markets and other local grocers held their Check Out Hunger campaign with Foodlink and other regional food banks every winter.

Thank you for raising nearly $60,000 for Foodlink this year!

More than 150 Tops markets across New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont participated in Check Out Hunger, which has raised nearly $4 million since 2006. Foodlink and eight other food banks benefit from the campaign. Other grocers that also participated this year include: Lori’s Natural Foods, Perry Market Place, Breen’s Shop ‘n Save (Williamson), Breen’s Market (Palmyra), Caledonia Marketplace, and Gates Big M. 


Fall 2019

Wegmans Food Markets holds its Check Out Hunger campaign each fall, and the dollars raised through the generous support of shoppers goes a long way toward helping Foodlink operate numerous anti-hunger programs. 

The 2019 campaign was held Oct. 27 through Nov. 30 and raised a total of $699,375! Thank you to Wegmans and everyone who helped us surpass last year’s total! 

During Check Out Hunger, Wegmans cashiers ask shoppers if they would like to donate $2, $3 or $5 to Foodlink. Shoppers can also choose to round up their grocery bill, or donate whatever amount they choose.  

Funding from Check Out Hunger enables Foodlink to distribute over 18 million pounds of food each year to its local network of hundreds of member organizations throughout our 10-county service area. These community partners include hot meal programs, shelters, and food pantries that are working on the front lines of hunger every day.

The 2018 campaign collected $684,797.49.







Food for Families


We’re excited to once again partner with Tops Friendly Markets, WROC-TV, Citizens Bank & WCMF Radio for the annual Food for Families campaign this year!

The main Food for Families event is scheduled for Dec. 13, 2019.

Last year, we were able to collect more than 88,000 pounds of food to help our neighbors in need. The event also raised more than $35,000. Combined, we were able to provide more than 180,000 meals!

The campaign features “Little Brown Bags of Hope,” which are available for purchase at Tops locations starting on Nov. 24. Shoppers have the option of purchasing a bag for $5, $10 or $20 (breakfast, lunch or dinner) at the register when they check out, or donate any food or money they wish. 

On Dec. 13, Tops will host an all-day celebration that will be broadcast live by WROC-TV and on WCMF Radio at two Tops locations in Greece (3507 Mt. Read Blvd.) and Henrietta (1225 Jefferson Road). 

ANCHOR CHALLENGE: Support the sunrise and evening news teams at News 8 as they compete to see which group can raise the most funds for Foodlink!

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by in the past to support our efforts. We hope to see you again this year! 

Forks & Skis



Forks and Skis, presented by Delta Air Lines, is an annual event for anyone interested in hitting the slopes while helping Foodlink fulfill its mission of ending hunger and building healthier communities.


The event, held at Hunt Hollow Ski Club in Naples, includes a day of skiing, lunch, Après Ski, live musical entertainment and multiple raffle items! Thank you to Delta Air Lines for supporting this great event!

EVENT PAGE: Forks & Skis 2020 

The event was previously named the Muxy Ski-Off in honor of the late Gary Muxworthy, a sports enthusiast who devoted much of his life to raising money for charities through exciting sporting events.

Please check out the Forks & Skis Facebook page with a gallery of photos from past events.

For further information about the event and sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Jeffrey Fleming, Events & Marketing Coordinator or 585-413-4072

Non-sponsorship ticket prices:

$100 – Skier (if you DON’T already own a Hunt Hollow pass)
$50 – Skier (if you DO already own a Hunt Hollow pass)
$50 – Non-skier

Tickets include:

  • Lift Pass at Hunt Hollow Ski Club
  • Lunch 
  • Admission in to the NASTAR Open Timing Race (optional)
  • One free drink at our Apres Ski party!  The Apres Ski party will feature a cash bar, awards presentation for the ‘Dash for Cash’, and live entertainment. 


The Get Together



Our 2020 spring fundraiser — originally scheduled for May 16, 2020 — has been canceled to protect the health and safety of our guests and our staff during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

We look forward to planning for our 2021 event, and we’ll be announcing plans soon for a fall fundraiser. We are grateful to the event committee for their leadership and support this year.

About the event …

Something amazing happens when we come together over great food. We don’t just eat — we tell stories, exchange ideas, grow closer, and create lasting memories. This second annual event will be an unforgettable evening with all proceeds going toward Foodlink’s programs and initiatives to end hunger and build healthier communities.

The inaugural Get Together raised more than $90,000 in support of Foodlink’s mission! Thank you to all of our guests, and everyone who made our 2019 spring celebration a success!

Sponsorship & Table Opportunities

To support our mission and help make The Get Together a success, contact Jeffrey Fleming at or 585.413.4072.

Thank you to Constellation Brands for serving as our title sponsor!


Questions? Contact Jeffrey Fleming at or 585.413.4072.

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