Programs

While we are known to many as the regional food bank, we are also acutely aware that the collection and distribution of food will not solve hunger. In the past decade, we have spent a considerable amount of time and energy developing innovative programs that address the root causes of hunger.

Food Access. Food Literacy. Career Empowerment. Our mission is to end hunger, but our overarching goal isn’t to “feed the need” in our communities. We aim to “shorten the line” with upstream approaches to address food insecurity. Learn more about the many programs we offer that help drive change and build healthier communities, which complement the work we do as a food bank to ensure no one goes hungry. 

Impact

A FEW NOTABLE STATisticS ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS ...

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pounds of produce harvested by Foodlink at the Lexington Ave. Community Farm! Despite the challenges of 2020, the farm had its strongest commercial growing season in its history!

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meals and snacks provided to RCSD students on April 23, 2020. It was our highest daily output when COVID-19 shut down schools this past spring. 

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percent of families who participate in the BackPack Program would highly recommend it to others.

Curbside Market

Foodlink’s mobile market links communities in Rochester and the surrounding area to fresh, affordable food. 

FOODLINK CAREER FELLOWSHIP

The Foodlink Career Fellowship is a one-of-a-kind culinary training program that creates a pathway to prosperity for individuals with barriers to sustainable employment. Fellows accepted into the program go through an intensive, yearlong curriculum that includes both classroom and hands-on training within Foodlink’s state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, and will graduate into middle-skills careers in the regional food industry.

LEXINGTON AVENUE COMMUNITY FARM

The Lexington Avenue Community Farm is a 1.33-acre urban agriculture campus located between the Edgerton and Lyell-Otis neighborhoods of northwest Rochester. The farm consists of a large community garden for many resettled refugees, a commercial growing operation, and public pocket park and play area. 

NUTRITION EDUCATION

Foodlink is a trusted community resource for nutrition education, which includes workshops and educational opportunities designed to be accessible and engaging. Participants are empowered with the tools and knowledge to make healthy choices and  useful for participants seeking to make healthier choices and improve their culinary skills.

HEALTHY MEALS

The Foodlink Community Kitchen prepares thousands of healthy meals each day for Rochester students, day cares and other community-based programs. We pride ourselves on an innovative, 6-week menu that exceeds all federal nutrition guidelines. 

SLICED APPLES

This social enterprise supports our local agricultural economy, and provides healthy snack options for children … a win-win! Foodlink’s Community Kitchen includes a Value-Added Processing Center that purchases locally grown apples and slices them for distribution to schools and other institutions across the state. Revenue from this venture helps support many of our other food banking and community kitchen programs. 

The BackPack Program provides healthy foods to children when they no longer have access to school meals. We rely on volunteers to pack bags with 8-10 items (representing all 5 food groups under the MyPlate guidelines), so that children can have additional access to foods on weekends, during holidays, or while learning remotely. 

MOBILE PANTRY

Foodlink’s Mobile Pantry program is suspended until further notice due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. In its place, Foodlink is organizing drive-thru, no-touch food distributions throughout our 10-county service area. Visit our “Find Food” page to learn more.