When Foodlink introduced its “ice cream truck model” of delivering healthy, Summer Meals to Rochester children during the pandemic, families gained easier access to the meals their families needed during a difficult time.
The only component missing was the ice cream.
Now, Foodlink and Adirondack Creamery have partnered together to change that.
Foodlink participates in the Summer Meals Partnership of Rochester, a collaborative effort to ensure that every child in the City of Rochester has access to free and healthy meals. Food insecurity increases during the summer months, when families no longer have access to school meals and face the burden of providing two extra meals per child. The problem is more severe in Rochester, where the child poverty rate is among the highest in the nation.
Throughout the week, Foodlink delivers thousands of meals to established meal site partners and provides grab-and-go meals for kids in various neighborhoods in the City of Rochester where “brick-and-mortar” sites are less common. To make this summer extra sweet and raise awareness about the program, Foodlink has partnered with Adirondack Creamery to provide individual ice cream cups every Friday in August.
“Not knowing where the next meal for your child will come from is an unfathomable thought,” said Paul Nasrani, Founder of Adirondack Creamery. “As a local food producer and as a parent, I believe every child has a fundamental right to healthy meals daily. Adirondack Creamery is proud and privileged to help raise community awareness of Foodlink’s Summer Meals program through ‘ice cream truck Fridays,’ which will enable each child receiving a meal to enjoy a scoop of our ice cream, made with fresh, local dairy products and simple recognizable ingredients.”
Nasrani will be personally delivering his ice cream for the first Friday giveaway on Aug. 5. He will follow one of Foodlink’s mobile Summer Meals vehicles around the city and hand out ice cream to all children who grab a meal. For Friday’s route, Foodlink’s mobile meals van will focus on Rochester’s east side, which includes sites such as: First Street Park, Joseph Avenue, Garson Avenue and Grand Avenue Park.
Foodlink began the summer distributing about 250 meals per day through its self-funded mobile meals initiative, but that total has increased to more than 400 once federal USDA waivers were extended, which made “grab-and-go” meals reimbursable once again. Foodlink will continue with Summer Meals through August, with more ice cream giveaways scheduled for Aug. 12, 19 and 26.
“One silver lining of these challenging past few years has been the innovative way Foodlink’s kitchen has responded to provide more healthy meals to Rochester children,” said Julia Tedesco, President & CEO of Foodlink. “This partnership simply makes sense and is a great way to raise awareness for a program that Foodlink and other members of the partnership are constantly trying to promote and expand.”