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This has been a Foodlink goal for a long time – so why now? 01 A-6 R'S ITO Two reasons: First, the community JA N 116 1 need for nutritious meals and food . G REF ININ TR A produced at our kitchen has never 114 been greater, and we must expand ENS WO M 112 our operations in order to meet the ENS 113 WOM to increase growing demand and 113 access to healthy food for all. We believe food is central to community-building and the reduction of poverty, and this kitchen will leverage the incredible power of food to S do just that. MEN 111 Second, it took a long time to find 111 that we are the right location! Now FICE 108 settledOFinto our headquarters at 108

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US S ADJ TION A Yto OUT dramatically expand our value1999 Mt. Read Blvd. and were able A LA LOC MENT A 0 IP 124 3 U EQ to acquire1 an adjacent space at the added processing (VAP) operation — 1 116 same facility, the time was right enabling us to invest in regional 6 6 to2finally move all of our staff and agriculture and offer more locally11 D 6 130 one roof. EA L operations under grown fruits and vegetables to DM N COL DUCTIO PR O underserved individuals and institu124 6 G/ DITIN OLER E When do you expect to be fully tions. P EX G C O GIN TED ST A OCA 125 operational? REL HENThe kitchen also will host a BE TO G KITC VE) IS A 6 LER XISTIN PH culinary Fall 2016. career training program, COO THE E JOSE (THIS ROM ION AT F T A something that has been a goal for C LO Describe some of the benefits of Foodlink for many years. 6 1 125 A having the kitchen move to headWe will 124 be able to save significant 1 S 110 MEN 0 dollars and realize operational 11quarters? First and foremost, we’ll be able Nefficiencies by sharing space betweenTATION S ALIG 1 HING 9B to increase10the amount of healthy our kitchen and distribution center WA S 121 meals we serve to children in the City of Rochester. We’ll also be able KITCHEN, cont. on page 3

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Foodlink’s dream of relocating and expanding its Community Kitchen is finally becoming a reality. With construction now officially underway, Executive Director Julia Tedesco recently sat down to answer a few questions about the scope of this significant project. 'S ME N

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NUTRITION EDUCATION

Sponsored by:

Eating healthy, on a budget

Cooking Matters at the Store offers useful tips to city shoppers “What was your favorite station today?” reading food labels, comparing unit event, with several staffers running “All of them!” prices, buying fruits and vegetables on a between the various stations and The enthusiastic exchange signaled budget and identifying whole grains. helping participants throughout the store. another successful day for the Cooking Shoppers stopped by four stations Representatives from Eat Smart New York Matters at the Store program, which throughout the store: Produce, Protein, and Cornell Cooperative Extension also educates low-income families on how to Dairy and Grains to pick up tips and try led the stations and ensured everything shop for healthy food on a tight budget. a free sample. Recipes included mango was running smoothly. Sponsored by MVP Health Care, salsa, Southwestern black-eyed pea and The program will visit two or three more the March 11 event at the Price stores this year and heads to the WHAT’S NEXT? Rite on Driving Park Avenue in City of Rochester Public Market Next event date: July 9 at Price Rite (375 Driving Park Ave.) Rochester welcomed 121 particithis summer. Pop-up tours also At the Public Market: June 7, July 12 & Aug. 9. pants throughout the day. will be available at various At Curbside Market: “Pop-up” tours throughout the summer. Curbside Market locations. “It’s a good thing going on – very educational,” said first-time For the full schedule and more participant Gwen Powers of Rochester. corn salad and tabbouleh. They finished information, visit our website at www. “Hearing everything they had to say really up by selecting a few healthy items with foodlinkny.org. helped me and now I’m going to make the $5 Challenge and walked out with a Mikaela Bozza, a Cooking Matters better choices.” free reusable grocery bag and recipe book. AmeriCorps member at Foodlink said the Foodlink has been conducting Cooking Marissa Makris of Rochester is a program helps participants “by breaking Matters at the Store tours since 2011. registered nurse already armed with some down the barriers of food budgeting and Tweaking the presentations and program nutrition knowledge, but said she learned managing available food resources. The models in recent years has led to a some new tips throughout the tour. Cooking Matters at the Store program dramatic increase in participants, said “The recipes were amazing, too, and I’ll instills in participants a sense of selfAlyssa Bennett, Foodlink’s Community definitely try to make some of them,” she efficacy that they can call upon to provide Programs Manager. said. healthy, affordable meals for themselves The tour covers four main objectives: Foodlink was well-represented at the and their families.” 2


KITCHEN, cont. from cover — we’ll order, receive, store and redistribute millions of pounds of food from one main location, instead of two. And finally, culture, culture, culture! Having all of our dedicated employees working from the same location will enable us to strengthen our organizational culture and build stronger commitment to Foodlink’s vision of a hunger-free community. I understand Foodlink is getting a bunch of new equipment. Without getting too technical, can you explain? Currently, we are working with equipment (ovens, kettles, etc.) that is decades old and in disrepair. We’ve upgraded to state-ofthe-art, efficient commercial food production equipment that will help us produce more meals, in a healthier way, at a lower cost, in less time — while ensuring we meet all food safety standards. These include “combi” ovens that can bake, roast, and steam; commercial kettles and braising pans that can cook hundreds of meals at a time; blast freezer/ chiller systems that are designed to rapidly and uniformly decrease the temperature of hot foods; new prep tables and sinks — the list goes on and on. How will this affect your VAP sliced apple operations? Dramatically. Today, we manually wash, slice and bag apples at rate of about 2 cases per hour, at best. With our new facility and equipment, we’ll be able to produce 24-30 cases per hour. Right now, we can’t keep up with the demand from local distributors who sell our apples to school districts. The new kitchen will change that. Besides the kitchen itself, are you making any other capital improvements? Yes! We’ll be renovating our staff kitchen and transforming it into an educational space that can host our nutrition classes/ demonstrations. We’ll be making part of our distribution center more accessible to clients, specifically those with

developmental disabilities. And we’ll be upgrading a small portion of our office space to include a new, larger conference room (our current conference space is not large enough to hold all of our board members!). All combined, these additional improvements are only about 3-5% of the total project cost. If you’re talking about tripling output from the kitchen – where are all of those extra meals going? One of Foodlink’s primary goals is to ensure no child in our region lacks access to nutritious meals— or is ever in a position in which they must skip a meal. We deliver 4,000 meals to City of Rochester R Centers, afterschool programs, and school lunch programs daily. As charter schools continue to expand and extended-day programs become more prevalent for school-age children, Foodlink has an opportunity to serve more children healthy meals each day. We also currently serve thousands of meals per day during the summer months at sites across Rochester — but there are still many children not accessing these free meals. Foodlink is a key part of the Summer Meals Partnership of Rochester (led by the Community Foundation) – a collaborative initiative with the goal increasing summer meal participation in the City of Rochester among children 18 and under. Foodlink’s new kitchen will ensure meals are available for every eligible child. Who’s been instrumental in this process? So many individuals, public officials, foundations and corporations have been instrumental in making this project a reality. Our lead supporters are Empire State Development, the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, The Wegman Family Charitable Foundation and the ESL Charitable Foundation. We also have to thank LeChase Construction for their guidance on the design and build of our new kitchen.

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT To volunteer, sign up at foodlinkny.org

Every April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and we asked volunteers of all ages to tell us why volunteering is important to them. Here’s some of what they had to say:

“Because everyone struggles at one point and we need to help one another.” “Because helping others is what matters most.” “I volunteer because it is nice for the community. Also, because it is EXTREMELY fun!” “You have one hand to help yourself and one hand to help others.” “I volunteer because I want to help the human race.” “I wanted to help people who do not have food. And I want to learn what it is like to work like a grown-up.” “Because everyone should have enough to eat, and we can make that possible!” 3


1999 Mt. Read Blvd. Rochester, NY 14615

KIDS EAT FREE

Summer Meals offers kids and teens 18 and under a fresh, healthy, and free meal. Call 2-1-1 or visit summermealsroc.org Call 2-1-1 to find a Summer Meals site near you!

SAVE THE DATE Sponsored by

Our annual celebration of local food and beverage is set for Monday, September 19!

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: COMMUNITY GARDENS

AGENCY SPOTLIGHT

As the weather warms, our fall-planted garlic and spinach are poking up above the soil once more. There are lots of exciting things growing in our gardens this spring, especially at the Lexington Avenue Urban Farm. Thanks to generous support from the Rochester Area Community Gardeners tend to Lexington Avenue Urban Farm. PHOTO BY ERICH CAMPING Foundation’s Green City Program, we’ll be planting 20 fruit trees and installing five bee hives to supply fruit and honey for Foodlink’s Curbside Market. The orchard will be an outdoor classroom, where Nepali and Burmese families can learn how to tend the hives and trees. In addition, we’ve made major improvements to our irrigation and composting, and will be giving the hoop house new skin. The rest of the Garden Project is growing, too! Last year, our 26 gardens yielded more than 14,000 pounds of food in seven counties. This year, we’re increasing to 30 locations, pairing with Foodlink member agencies in eight counties, and are expecting to grow more than 17,000 pounds of fresh produce for those who need it most. Foodlink also is a member of the Urban Agriculture Working Group, a citizen-led effort to make it easier for any Rochestarian to grow their own food and improve their neighborhood. To learn more about these programs, arrange a tour of Lexington or to volunteer, please e-mail Nathaniel Mich at nmich@foodlinkny.org. 4

Key members of Foodlink’s executive team spent the last couple months on a “Listening Tour” of member agencies throughout our 10-county, 7,000-square-mile service area. They visited food pantries, shelters and other locations where Foodlink provides an integral service to those in need. These excursions allowed Foodlink to gather invaluable feedback to improve and tailor services moving forward. “We greatly value our agency partners, some of whom we’ve worked with for decades,” said Laura Sugarwala, Member Relations Manager at Foodlink. “They work every day to provide food and services, often with few resources of their own. This tour has given us the opportunity to learn about how we may better work with them and provide much-needed services.”

South Seneca Ecumenical Food Pantry in Ovid, NY.

2016 foodlink spring newsletter  

Foodlink's spring newsletter takes a closer look at our new Community Kitchen building project, nutrition education programs, volunteer appr...

2016 foodlink spring newsletter  

Foodlink's spring newsletter takes a closer look at our new Community Kitchen building project, nutrition education programs, volunteer appr...

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