Fighting Hunger for Thirty Years

It has been thirty years since Tom Ferraro received a phone call from Thomas’ English Muffins offering him some excess muffins to redistribute to local food pantries.  Tom obliged, and the Genesee Valley Foodbank’now known as Foodlink’was born.  Much has changed about the organization in the past thirty years, but the basic goal of fighting hunger and the growing need throughout the community has remained the same.


After receiving food from manufacturers, grocery stores, farmers, and food drives, Foodlink distributes many products to a network of agencies in the ten counties in the Genesee Valley and Finger Lakes region.  Food pantries, soup kitchens, day cares, and group homes throughout the area depend on Foodlink to provide them with food.  Foodlink distributes over 8.5 million pounds of food each year, maintains Frehswise Farms and manages a full-service kitchen, enabling participation in many innovative programs throughout the year. 


Freshwise Farms, located in Penfield, grows high-quality hydroponic greens year round.  With a steady supply of fresh greens, Freshwise provides produce to farmer’s markets in Rochester throughout the year.  Furthermore, the farm supplies Freshwise Catering with ingredients to fulfill their mission of improving institutional meals for children, by focusing on fresh, nutritious, and local foods for youth programs.  Both Freshwise enterprises ( are central to Foodlink’s goal of moving beyond hunger in the fight against hunger.    


You can help the cause by donating to ‘Check Out Hunger,’ in which participating grocery stores offer their shoppers a way of giving back to the community.  Every two dollar donation allows FoodLink to distribute twenty-five dollars worth of food to agencies in your community.  The money raised is used to fund the handling and distribution of all donated food.  The campaign, now in its 16th year, runs from January 25 until February 28, 2009.


Not everyone has the ability to contribute financially to Foodlink right now.  The economic downturn has certainly impacted everyone, but it has only made the services provided by Foodlink even more essential.  Volunteer opportunities, food drives, and Check Out Hunger are all great ways you can help.  For more information, visit or

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