Foodlink was the recent recipient of three grants from various restaurant chains and food companies that have offered support to the Feeding America network to help the nation’s food banks cope with a rise in food insecurity due to COVID-19.
Food insecurity has risen sharply in the past year due to job losses, school closures and the overall economic impact of the pandemic on communities across the nation. In the Rochester region, food insecurity has risen 45 percent — which translates to approximately 65,000 additional people who are now living in households that don’t have reliable access to enough healthy food.
The Darden Foundation, the Kraft Heinz Foundation, and Chick-fil-A Foundation combined to donate more than $50,000 to Foodlink in recent months. The Darden and Chick-fil-A grants support Foodlink’s COVID-19 response efforts, while the Kraft Heinz grant includes general support, as well as specific funding for the BackPack Program and Foodlink’s anti-hunger efforts in Livingston County — home of the local Kraft Heinz plant, which is one of the main employers in the county.
Darden Restaurants include six Olive Gardens and Longhorn Steakhouses in the Rochester area. Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, has two local locations in Henrietta and Greece.