ROCHESTER, NY – The Rochester City School District, City of Rochester, Foodlink, United Way, 211 and Common Ground Health are working together to ensure that between now and the end of the school year, all children have access to nutritious food in and out of the school setting.
Since the pandemic first began impacting our schools and families, the RCSD, City of Rochester and Foodlink have been working together to provide grab-and-go meals at City R-Centers as well as 14 RCSD school sites. This is in addition to the meals currently provided to the students who have been learning in-person at RCSD school buildings since January of 2021. In total, more than 2.3 million meals have been prepared for families in the City of Rochester in the past 14 months.
Thanks to the generous support of partners such as United Way, and countless community members, Foodlink has also provided food to tens of thousands of households through more than 100 drive-thru food distributions held within the City of Rochester this past year. Six of these locations were RCSD schools, where 2,000 families benefited from approximately 40,000 pounds of food and 28,000 gallons of milk. The food bank will continue to supply food and resources to the local emergency food network of community-based food pantries and meal programs. Anyone in the community can call 2-1-1 or go to FoodlinkNY.org/findfood
to find a nearby emergency food provider.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, “This partnership to feed and nourish our children throughout the pandemic and into the future is truly an example of our community at its best. I am grateful to all of the partners and our employees who have come together to ensure healthy meals for our children and families.”
Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small said, “A nutritious meal feeds not only the body but also a student’s mind. We are grateful to all of our community partners for their support of Rochester students, as these efforts will help our scholars be better prepared for learning.”
Additional collaborative efforts between the City of Rochester, RCSD, and nonprofit partners will continue to ensure Rochester’s children are properly nourished this school year, as they continue to face increased challenges due to the pandemic:
- The RCSD and Foodlink have recently partnered to provide a wider array of lunch options for the District’s in-person students. Some of the fresh meal components prepared at the Foodlink Community Kitchen include a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Taco Salad, and veggies with dip.
- School-based food pantries have played a significant role in serving food to families and children. Foodlink has provided over 25,000 pounds of food to stock pantries at 11 RCSD schools. RCSD is currently seeking ways to expand the capacity of these pantries, and open new school-based pantries, for the 2021- 22 school year.
- Foodlink and the RCSD are working on an initiative to provide packs of food to the RCSD's Central Kitchen. These "weekend" food bags are an evolution of Foodlink's BackPack Program, which traditionally provides meals to students on weekends and school breaks.
As summer nears, these partners will work together to find innovative ways to offer nutritious, accessible meals to children:
- The Summer Meals Partnership of Rochester will continue to run campaigns aimed at increasing participation in the Summer Meals program and work with partners to measure satisfaction with meals as part of continuous improvement. Sites that will serve healthy meals to students starting in late June will be announced via SummerMealsROC.org.
- Foodlink is exploring ways to expand its Mobile Meals initiatives, building upon last year’s successful summer pilot with the Regional Transit Service. This “ice cream truck”-style model served more than 40,000 meals to students last year in 5 harder-to-reach Rochester neighborhoods. Similar partnerships are currently being designed with the Urban League and the Boys & Girls Club.
“Giving children the nourishment they need to reach their true potential is central to our mission,” said Julia Tedesco, President & CEO of Foodlink. “We’d like to thank RCSD, the City, our fellow nonprofits and all of our community partners that help us do this critical work.”
Information about food resources throughout Rochester can be found by calling 2-1-1 (text 898-211) or visiting the “Find Food” map on Foodlink’s newly designed website: www.FoodlinkNY.org.
As a reminder to parents, RCSD will continue to operate meal sites at 14 of its schools where grab-and-go breakfast and lunch is served for students who are not in session for in-person learning. Meals are served between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following locations:
- John Williams School No. 5 (555 Plymouth Avenue, 14608)
- Virgil I. Grissom School No. 7 (31 Bryan Street, 14613)
- Roberto Clemente School No. 8 (1180 St. Paul Street, 14621)
- Enrico Fermi School No. 17 (158 Orchard Street, 14611)
- Charles T. Lunsford School No. 19 (465 Seward Street, 14608)
- Henry Hudson School No. 28 (450 Humboldt Street, 14610)
- Abelard Reynolds School No. 42 (3330 Lake Avenue, 14612)
- Mary McLeod Bethune School No. 45 (1445 Clifford Avenue, 14621)
- Helen Barrett Montgomery School No. 50 (301 Seneca Avenue, 14621)
- Dr. Freddie Thomas Campus (625 Scio Street, 14605)
- Rochester International Academy/Jefferson Campus (1 Edgerton Park, 14608)
- Wilson Foundation Academy (200 Genesee Street, 14611)
- Franklin Campus (950 Norton Street, 14621)
- Monroe High School (164 Alexander Street, 14607)
The City of Rochester R-Centers continue to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following locations:
- Adams Street R-Center (85 Adams St.)
- Avenue D R-Center (200 Avenue D)
- Carter Street R-Center (500 Carter St.)
- Frederick Douglass R-Center (999 South Ave.)
- Edgerton R-Center (41 Backus St.)
- David F. Gantt R-Center (700 North St.)
- Trenton and Pamela Jackson R-Center (485 N. Clinton Ave.)
- Thomas P. Ryan R-Center (530 Webster Ave.)
- Tyshaun Cauldwell Center for Hope (524 Campbell St.)