Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Foodlink

July 13, 2020 - 3:41pm

Press release:

The Salvation Army in partnership with The United Way, City Church, Byron-Bergen Central School District, Oakfield-Alabama Central School District and Foodlink would like to announce the schedule for the upcoming drive-thru food distributions.

When participating in this distribution please have your trunk/hatch/backseat cleared out to receive three to four boxes of food. Volunteers are not permitted to move your property due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Should you need to pick up for a friend or neighbor you may do so by providing their photo ID showing a separate address. Please wear a mask. 

You will remain in your car and volunteers will load the food.

Should you have any questions about a specific distribution contact that organization directly.

JULY

July 15 at 9 a.m. -- Northgate Free Methodist Church -- 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia (585) 343-6284

July 22 at 9 a.m. -- Oakfield-Alabama CSD -- 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield (585) 948-5211

July 29 at 3 p.m. -- Byron-Bergen High School -- 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen (585) 343-6284

AUGUST

Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. -- City Church (St. Anthony’s)— 14 Liberty St., Batavia, (585) 343-6895

Aug. 12 at 9 a.m. -- Oakfield-Alabama CSD -- 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield (585) 948-5211

Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. -- Byron-Bergen High School -- 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen (585) 343-6284

Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. -- Northgate Free Methodist Church -- 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia (585) 343-6284

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 2 at 9 a.m. -- City Church (St. Anthony’s)— 114 Liberty St., Batavia (585) 343-6895

June 5, 2020 - 11:47am

Northgate Pastor John Keller gets some grooming.

Submitted photos and press release:

Beginning in October of 2019, Northgate Pastor John Keller began a process many of our readers can relate to. He grew a beard. After an eight-month progression and the absence of winter temperatures, Pastor Keller made the decision to potentially lose a part of him which he had grown fondly of.

As a member of the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army in Batavia, Keller put a wager on the community and Northgate congregants through Facebook to raise money in exchange for a fresh shave.  

The original post asked for the community to donate $500 to The Salvation Army of Batavia. Unbeknownst to him, the community rallied around his fundraising efforts and raised that amount in only an hour and a half.

Quick on his feet, Keller amended the goal to $1,000, saying that if he reached the new amount, he would let his three daughters shave his beard. Once again, the congregants and community spoke. Three hours after the original post, the total had surpassed $1,000.

Over the course of the five-day fundraiser, 53 people donated for a combined total of $2,215.  

This financial fundraiser will remain local and will help to fight food scarcity in Genesee County.

Keller said “Truthfully, a beard that long with a mask and the higher temperatures just wasn’t comfortable. So, I was probably going to shave it anyway, but I thought we could have a little fun with it and raise some money for a great cause. I had no idea that people would respond in such an awesome way! Our local Salvation Army is so well run and does such an incredible job loving and serving our community. I’m so glad to have been able to have a part in helping them do that great work!” 

Northgate church continues to partner with The Salvation Army of Batavia, as they have for years. During the COVID-19 closures, they have hosted local food collections each Monday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at their North Campus (8160 Bank Street Road).

They have also teamed up with The Salvation Army and Foodlink to conduct drive-thru food distributions every other Wednesday. This past Wednesday, they were able to distribute food to 413 vehicles that passed through their parking lot.

If you are interested in assisting the local community, food deliveries can be delivered during the hours listed above, or directly to The Salvation Army during their hours of operation.

Below, Pastor Keller before and after.

Bottom, photo from this Wednesday's food giveaway at Northgate church featuring featuring fresh meat, produce and dairy products.

May 27, 2020 - 7:47pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, New York Forward, genesee county legislature, Foodlink.

Thirty-nine Genesee County businesses have prepared New York State-mandated reopening plans that address physical distancing, protective equipment, cleaning, communication and screening as they look to move into Phase Two on Friday.

County Manager Jay Gsell said at tonight’s Genesee County Legislature meeting that those businesses have “attested to having their reopening plans in place.”

“They don’t submit them anywhere, but they’ve attested to the fact that they’ve done that and that list is maintained and updated every day (by state officials),” he said.

Gsell said he expects to see a detailed listing of the business categories permitted to open in Phase Two -- professional services, retail, administrative support, real estate and rental and leasing – and also hopes that the next phase will include some parts of county government.

“There will be some guidances coming along … in the next 12 to 24 to 48 hours,” he said. “It’s not something that anyone can answer at this point.”

Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, who serves in the Finger Lakes Region “control room” with Gsell and officials from other counties, said that as of Monday, campgrounds and tent camping were able to open.

She also reported that the Finger Lakes Region is on track for the Phase Two opening in two days, and that she will be seeking more information about the open meeting executive order that expires tomorrow.

Gsell also advised that a bilingual (English/Spanish) list of all the food pantries in Genesee County is being put together and that a Foodlink food pantry is scheduled for next Wednesday at Northgate Free Methodist Church on Bank Street Road.

He said fresh produce and meat will be included in the food distributed to those who are part of what he believes will be a long line of vehicles.

In other action, the legislature recognized the county’s Emergency Management Services on National EMS Week (May 17-23) with a proclamation read by Legislator John Deleo.

EMS Coordinator Timothy Yaeger said he “truly appreciates” the recognition on behalf of the dedicated, hard-working volunteer fire and EMS departments in Genesee County – Mercy EMS, Mercy Flight, City of Batavia, Le Roy Ambulance and Darien Ambulance.

May 26, 2020 - 1:48pm

Submitted photos: Jonathan Tretter (top left), treasurer, and Robert Conrad (top right), president of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia, present a $2,000 donation to Foodlink Director of Development Julie Burke. The donation will be used to fund food charities in Genesee County.

Press release:

Kiwanis Club of Batavia has donated $2,000 to Foodlink to help feed children and families in Genesee County. The Club has been serving the children of our community and beyond since 1923.

"Foodlink is proud to serve the residents of Genesee County and collaborate with our hunger-relief partners to help individuals and families overcome the hardships created by the COVID-19 public health crisis," said Julia Tedesco, president & CEO of Foodlink.

"The Kiwanis Club's generous donation comes at a critical time, and helps increase access to nutritious food for hundreds of households throughout the county."

With the help of many local volunteers, Foodlink hosted six drive-thru distributions in Genesee County in April and May; three at Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia, two at Penuel Christian Fellowship in Le Roy, and one at Bergen Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

More than 1,500 emergency food supply boxes were distributed to individuals and families in need.

Foodlink also continues to work with its network of hunger-relief agencies (food pantries, meal programs, etc.) throughout Genesee County, which includes several partnerships in Batavia. 

“When the shutdown first started, Kiwanis Club members immediately started reaching out to food-providing agencies regarding the need for volunteers and funding," said Bob Conrad, president of Kiwanis Club of Batavia. "We discovered that Foodlink was providing and coordinating the food resources for our local agencies, such as Salvation Army and Community Action Genesee-Orleans.

"We learned that they can provide $6 worth of food for every $1 spent. We decided this is the most effective way to support emergency food initiatives in the county.”

The funding provided will support existing emergency food efforts in Genesee County, and allow for the purchase of food, expenses associated with storage, and distribution to various partners, food box sites, and hunger-relief programs throughout the county.

According to Feeding America’s recent report, "The Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity," Genesee County’s food-insecurity rate is expected to rise from 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent, which equates to more than 9,100 county residents who now live in food-insecure households due to the pandemic.

Food insecurity is the USDA measurement used to determine a household’s limited or uncertain access to enough nutritionally adequate food for everyone in the household to live a healthy life.

April 3, 2020 - 6:55pm

Press release:

There are many families within the greater Genesee region that, during normal circumstances, don’t know where their next meal may come from. During this time of uncertainty, it becomes clearer that as a community, it is our call to help those around us.

Have you felt that urge to help, but just can’t figure out where to plug yourself in?

  • FOOD COLLECTION: Northgate Free Methodist Church will be assisting The Salvation Army with food collection. They are setting up a drop-off point for donations on Monday, April 6, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at their North Campus (8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia).

The Salvation Army is in need of the following items: canned meats, peanut butter, jelly, soups or chili in cans, pastas, rice, beans, breakfast items, snack items for kids and shelf stable milk.

There will be volunteers available to unload items from your vehicle, and safety precautions will be made to maintain social distancing.

  • FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8, The Salvation Army, along with the assistance of FoodLink, will oversee a “Pop-up” Mobile pantry at Northgate's North Campus (8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia).

This will be done as a “drive thru” distribution to insure social distancing and proper hygiene. Residents are asked to pull into the church lot and go around the back of the building via the north side.

Pull up to the pallets and volunteers will load the items for you. Do not get out of your car or attempt to help. This will continue until all the product is gone. Items vary. Please arrive no earlier than 9 a.m.

There are NO residency or income requirements.

In a time where we are being asked to remain apart, let’s do what we can to help those who are in need right now.

April 1, 2020 - 4:01pm


Submitted photos and press release:

In response to the significant increase in need for food, The Salvation Army in conjunction with Northgate Free Methodist Church and FoodLink held major food distributions on the grounds of the church in Batavia.

These took place on Friday March 27th and again today, April 1st. Well over 600 families were assisted in this effort.

Volunteers from four area churches and several community groups assisted in handing out urgently needed food supplies.

The food items included milk, fresh produce, cheese and dry goods. Items were provided by area church food drives, Star Growers and FoodLink.

“None of this would have been possible without the help of the amazing volunteers," said Todd Rapp director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army here in Batavia. "They went above and beyond.”

The Salvation Army has been active in Batavia since 1865 and they intend to be here as long as possible through this crisis.

“As long as we have access to food, we will be getting it out there,” Rapp said.

Mark Logan of Northgate said the church will do all it can to support this effort.

In order to keep abreast of future distributions go to The Salvation Army Batavia NY on Facebook and “like” the page. Announcements will also be made through The Batavian.

March 26, 2020 - 2:46pm
Press release:

The Salvation Army in Genesee County in cooperation with FoodLink and Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia announce two upcoming distribution dates for a “Pop Up” Mobile Food Pantry.

We know that many in our community have relied on the once monthly Mobile Food Pantry hosted at The Salvation Army’s Main Street location. Due to current events, this will not be possible for the foreseeable future.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 27th, and again on Wednesday, April 1st, The Salvation Army will oversee the food distributions at Northgate Free Methodist Church, located at 8160 Bank Street Road.

This will be done as a “drive-thru” distribution to insure social distancing and proper hygiene.

Residents are asked to pull into the church lot and go around the back of the building via the north side. Pull up to the pallets and volunteers will load the items for you.

Do not get out of your car or attempt to help. This will continue until all the products are gone.

Items vary but always include fresh produce. We cannot guarantee any particular items or quantities of items.

There are no residency requirements or financial restrictions in order to take part in this distribution.

NO EARLY BIRDS

Please arrive no earlier than 9 o'clock as the lot will be closed. We will need time to set up and organize.

We will open the lot at 9 in the morning and begin as soon as we are set up and ready.

May 5, 2017 - 10:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foodlink, poverty, food insecurity, news.

Press release:

While there are slightly fewer food insecure people in the Rochester area, those who struggle to put food on the table are finding it less affordable to feed themselves and their families, according to a report released Thursday.

Foodlink, the regional food bank, announced the release of Map the Meal Gap 2017, the latest report by Feeding America® on food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level.

The overall food insecurity rate in Foodlink’s 10-county service area dipped slightly from 12.5 to 12.4 percent in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. Child food insecurity showed marked improvement by decreasing from 20.9 to 19.4 percent. The study also finds, however, that people currently facing hunger are likely falling further behind as they continue to struggle to buy enough food to meet their needs. Food-insecure individuals in the Rochester area now face a food budget shortfall of $514.25 per person each year, up from $492.92 last year, and $402.72 in 2009.

Foodlink serves the counties of Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates. Food insecurity ranged from a low of 10 percent of the population in Ontario County up to 13.2 percent in Monroe County. Overall, 156,530 people, including 52,780 children, are considered food insecure in Foodlink’s 10-county service area. The national food insecurity rate is 13.4 percent.

“While it’s encouraging to see numbers improve in some areas, we know there is plenty of work to be done to assist the more than 150,000 people in our region still struggling to put food on the table,” said Foodlink Executive Director Julia Tedesco. “Our mission is to end hunger. We will continue to serve this community until everyone has reliable access to healthy food.”

Food insecurity is defined as a household’s limited or uncertain access to adequate nutritious food. It is assessed in the annual Current Population Survey (CPS) and represented in USDA food-security reports.

Using data from the CPS, the study finds that nationally, on average, food-secure individuals report spending $2.94 per person, per meal. This is a slight increase from the average of $2.89 as reported in Map the Meal Gap 2016. Locally, that number rose from $2.79 to $2.87 based on Nielsen data that factors in the local cost of food and assigns a “cost-of-food index” to each county. That index rose in 8 of the 10 counties in Foodlink’s service area.

The report also shows that 32 percent of the food insecure population in Foodlink’s 10-county service area has a household income higher than the threshold to qualify for SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps.

“That is particularly troublesome,” Tedesco said. “We all know the benefits of federal nutrition assistance programs such as SNAP, and knowing that one-third of our food insecure clients cannot access these vital programs is alarming.”

Map the Meal Gap 2017 uses data from the federal Department of Agriculture, Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. The study is supported by founding sponsor The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Conagra Brands Foundation, and Nielsen.

Foodlink is one of 200 food banks in the Feeding America network that collectively provides food assistance to 46 million Americans struggling with hunger. Last year, Foodlink distributed more than 19 million pounds of food, including more than 5.7 million pounds of fresh produce. It supports approximately 500 member agencies across 10 counties and offers dozens of innovative food access and nutrition education programs.

“It is disheartening to realize that millions of hardworking, low-income Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to feed themselves and their families at the same time that our economy is showing many signs of improvement, including a substantial decline in the number of people who are unemployed,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America.

“This study underscores the need for strong federal nutrition programs as well of the importance of charitable food assistance programs, especially the food pantries and meal programs served by the Feeding America network of food banks.”

A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report are available at map.feedingamerica.org.

2017 Map the Meal Gap report for Foodlink’s 10-county service area:

(Chart reflects data from 2015)

County

Food insecurity rate

Estimated # of food insecure individuals

Child food insecurity rate

Estimated # of food insecure children

Monroe

13.2

98,830

19.1

31,060

Allegany

12.6

6,070

22.8

2,290

Orleans

12.4

5,250

21.8

1,890

Livingston

11.6

7,540

20.3

2,510

Seneca

11.5

4,030

19.5

1,400

Genesee

11.2

6,650

20.3

2,540

Wyoming

11.2

4,640

20.2

1,670

Yates

11.0

2,780

21.1

1,230

Wayne

10.6

9,810

19.6

4,080

Ontario

10.0

10,930

17.7

4,110

TOTAL

12.4

156,530

19.4

52,780

September 29, 2015 - 12:36pm
posted by Michele Lawson in Foodlink, Care-A-Van, food, free, pantry.
Event Date and Time: 
October 13, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
FoodLink Mobile Food Pantry St. Paul Lutheran Church 31 Washington Avenue October 13th, 2015 5pm - 7pm
August 20, 2015 - 3:25pm
posted by Michele Lawson in food, Foodlink, Care-A-Van Ministries, free, Batavia Youth Center.
Event Date and Time: 
September 8, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
September 8th, 2015 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Batavia Youth Center 10 MacArthur Drive, Batavia
July 28, 2015 - 2:24pm
posted by Michele Lawson in free, Foodlink, Care-A-Van Ministries, pantry, food, community action.
Event Date and Time: 
August 18, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with FoodLink of Rochester and Community Action to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but fresh produce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home.
July 2, 2015 - 3:56pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, bergen, public market, UMMC, Foodlink.

United Memorial Medical Center is partnering with Foodlink and New York Fresh Connect Farmers' Markets to offer fresh produce to Genesee County residents on wheels.

The produce truck will make two stops in the county every Monday. The first stop will be from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Gillam Grant Community Center in Bergen. The second stop will be from 11:15 a.m. to noon in the United Memorial Jerome Center parking lot in Batavia. The market will run through mid-September. 

The goal of the market is to make fresh fruits and vegetables easily accessible to the community at affordable prices. Cash, debit, EBT and WIC will be accepted as forms of payment. For every $5 SNAP purchase, people will receive a $2 bonus.

June 9, 2015 - 1:52pm
Event Date and Time: 
July 14, 2015 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with FoodLink of Rochester to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but fresh produce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home.
May 26, 2015 - 4:36pm
posted by Michele Lawson in Foodlink, food, pantry, free, Care-A-Van Ministires.
Event Date and Time: 
June 9, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with FoodLink of Rochester to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but fresh produce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home. For more information you can call Care-A-Van Ministries at 343-0328 or visit our website at cavministries.org.
March 5, 2015 - 4:05pm
posted by Michele Lawson in community, food, free, Care-A-Van, Foodlink, pantry.
Event Date and Time: 
March 27, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

FOODLINK MOBILE FOOD PANTRY

March 27th, 2015

5 pm – 7 pm

YWCA/Living Waters Apostolic

301 North Street, Batavia

December 18, 2014 - 12:51pm
posted by Michele Lawson in community, food, free, Care-A-Van, Foodlink, food pantry.
Event Date and Time: 
January 14, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

January 14th, 2015    5pm – 7pm

Care-A-Van Ministries 309 West Main Street, Batavia NY

(parking lot directly behind DirecTV and next door to Discovery Chapel)

October 31, 2014 - 12:22pm
posted by Michele Lawson in community, food, free, Foodlink, pantry.
Event Date and Time: 
November 19, 2014 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Batavia Assembly of God   24 North Spruce Street, Batavia NY

October 8, 2014 - 7:21pm
posted by Michele Lawson in community, food, free, Care-A-Van, Foodlink, pantry, St. Paul Lutheran.
Event Date and Time: 
October 22, 2014 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
MOBILE FOOD PANTRY October 22nd 2014 5 pm – 7pm St. Paul Lutheran Church 31 Washington Avenue, Batavia NY 14020 Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with St. Paul Lutheran Church and FoodLink of Rochester to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but fresh produce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home.
August 19, 2014 - 6:23pm
posted by Michele Lawson in food, free, Care-A-Van, Foodlink, pantry.
Event Date and Time: 
September 5, 2014 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
YWCA/Living Waters Apostolic Ministry 301 North Street, Batavia NY Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with FoodLink of Rochester, the YWCA, and Living Waters Apostolic Ministry to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but fresh produce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home.
November 19, 2013 - 3:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Foodlink, venision donation coalition.

Press release:

Saturday marked the start of deer season for local hunters. An important effort is under way to ensure unwanted venison goes to families in need.

The Venison Donation Coalition has been collecting, processing and distributing venison to food banks in New York State since 1999. Last year, Foodlink received about 127,000 pounds of venison. The protein-rich, lean meat was then distributed to our network of emergency food agencies, like food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

Genesee County residents are among the beneficiaries. This county is a part of the Rochester-area Foodlink agencies.

Foodlink is thankful for our various community partners, including the Venison Donation Coalition, who help ensure this is a season to celebrate and that no one is going to bed hungry.

Any hunter interesting in donating a deer can call 1-866-862-DEER or visit the Venison Donation Coalition’s Web site at www.venisondonation.org to find a local processor.

The BackPack Program from Foodlink provides children in need with bags of nutritious food they can discreetly take home and easily prepare on their own.

During 2012-2013, we are serving nearly 1,800 children a week in 29 school districts.

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