On March 15, 2020, Foodlink stood alongside some of the region’s top leaders on a Sunday morning as uncertainty swirled about the pandemic. Schools were now officially closed, and children needed to be fed.
On that day, after the announcement of more than a dozen student meal sites opening up across Rochester, the Foodlink Community Kitchen mobilized to prepare nearly 6,000 meals that would be ready to go on Monday morning. In the weeks and months that followed, staff members took on new roles, a second distribution center opened up (at three separate locations), new partnerships and distribution methods were created, and food left our facility at a record pace.
Foodlink’s core values — Agility, Collaboration, Compassion, Innovation and Stewardship — guided a response to address an unprecedented rise in food insecurity … a response that will continue well past the public health crisis is under control.
Below, President & CEO Julia Tedesco reflects on the 1-year milestone, and how this community came together to put food on the table, and provide hope for thousands of our neighbors.
In January, 9 months into our response, Foodlink held a virtual fundraiser called Nourishing Lives and created a series of videos to help tell the story of the past year.
Here are two of the videos, which capture Foodlink’s overall response to providing emergency food and meals to the community, and how two of its community health programs — Curbside Market and Nutrition Education — adapted to the changing times.
Below, some photos from March 2020, during the first week our response …