By Staff –
According to officials, the food bank’s new 28,000-square-foot facility also includes a new state-of-the-art kitchen which has been designed to accomplish the following three initiatives:
- Improving health outcomes among Rochester children by preparing thousands of nutritious meals for school lunch and after-school programs;
- Supporting the state’s agricultural economy by distributing more local produce through its processing center;
- and lifting people out of poverty by training hard-to-place workers for middle-skills careers in the food service industry.
“Our founder, Tom Ferraro, would be so proud of this day, and this amazing facility,” Foodlink executive director Julia Tedesco stated. “The Foodlink Kitchen truly represents our commitment to building the health and wealth of this community, and is a tribute to Tom’s innovative spirit, and vision for ending hunger in our region.”
Additionally, “There is an ancient proverb that says: ‘If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime,’” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “By creating The Foodlink Kitchen, the people at Foodlink are proving that they can do both. An organization with a long history in the fight against hunger is now expanding the scope of that fight by helping our citizens emerge from poverty by learning to work in the food industry. Foodlink is a valued partner in our community, and I am grateful for all they do for our citizens. They are helping us create jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”
More than 225 people, including donors, stakeholders, and public officials attended the ceremony, taking self-guided tours through the organization’s new kitchen.
The Wegman Family Foundation has also donated an additional $200,000 to the $4.9 million project, which means the project is now fully-funded, Tedesco stated.
Approximately 20 Foodlink kitchen employees transitioned from the old facility on Joseph Ave. to the expanded kitchen at Foodlink headquarters in early December, where the staff continued to prepare and deliver approximately 4,000 meals per day to dozens of after-school program sites across Rochester.
Foodlink also plans to begin welcoming 16 new participants every 12 weeks into a new workforce development program at the facility this year.
Visit www.foodlinkny.org for additional information regarding the Foodlink kitchen, or call (585) 328-3380 to arrange a tour.