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.


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


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

Hunger Action Month (September) is a nationwide awareness campaign spearheaded by the Feeding America network of food banks, and is designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. This annual month-long campaign brings attention to the reality of food insecurity in the United States, which requires greater urgency this year due to the challenges of the pandemic.

In Foodlink’s 10-county service area, food insecurity is projected to rise 45 percent due to the impact of the Conronavirus on households across our region. Statistics showed a steady decline in food insecurity through 2018 (the most recent data available), when approximately 135,000 people lived in food-insecure households across Foodlink’s service area. Now, that number has risen to nearly 200,000. 

This month, we raise our voice to ensure that no child, adult or senior goes to sleep on an empty stomach.

Here are several ways YOU can get involved!

  • Advocate. Act. Educate. Donate. There are many ways you can help Foodlink better serve our neighbors in need during Hunger Action Month:
    • Advocate/Educate. We’ll be posting a series of Zoom interviews our Advocacy Working Group is hosting to discuss root causes of hunger with local community leaders. Be on the lookout for videos this month about employment/wages, housing, racism and health care … and learn ways you can be an advocate for change. 

    • Are you familiar with our Advocacy Agenda? Give it a read and let us know what you think about our current focus areas and policy priorties. 

    • Act. (Volunteer / Wear Orange). Sign up for a volunteer shift! You can also show your support of Hunger Action Month by wearing orange on Sept. 10 – Hunger Action Day. City buildings will be lit orange for the occasion!

    • Donate. Make a monetary donation in support of our mission! We appreciate your support!

Fill the Bus

fill the bus


The 2020 Fill the Bus campaign is cancelled this year. We hope to see you again in 2021!

Foodlink, Wegmans Food Markets, Fidelis Care, and our media sponsors at 13WHAM ABC, WUHF Fox Rochester, and CW Rochester traditionally team up 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 2019-20 school year. Throughout Foodlink’s 10-county service area, more than 45,000 kids are considered food-inscure. 

During our 2019 Fill the Bus campaign, we were able to collect more than 430,000 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 1.6 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

 2019 ……….. 432,416

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.


Fall 2020

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 2020 campaign is scheduled for Oct. 18 through Nov. 28. The 2019 campaign raised a total of $699,375! 

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.


Winter 2020

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

The 2020-21 dates have yet to be announced. 

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. 




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. 11, 2019. Although we won’t all be gathering at the Tops stores in Greece and Henrietta this year, due to health and safety concerns due to COVID-19, we will still be broadcasting remotely on News 8 WROC all day long!

The campaign features “Little Brown Bags of Hope,” which are available for purchase at Tops locations or online. 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. 

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by in the past to support our efforts. We hope you tune in this year to check out the event!

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.


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!




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