Foodlink of Rochester recently celebrated the opening of its new commercial kitchen.
State and local officials attended a ribbon-cutting June 14 at the 28,000-square-foot facility located in Foodlink’s Mt. Read Blvd. headquarters, according to a press release. The community agency has three goals for its new kitchen that are aimed at reducing poverty: prepare thousands of nutritious meals for school lunch and afterschool programs; support the state’s agricultural economy by distributing more local produce through its Value-Added Processing Center; and train hard-to-place workers for middle-skills careers in the food service industry.
About 20 Foodlink kitchen employees transferred in early December from the former facility on Joseph Avenue to the expanded kitchen at Foodlink headquarters. In March, the organization’s Value-Added Processing Center installed an automated apple-slicing line that is expected to lead to more partnerships with local apple growers in order to provide healthy snacks for children. Foodlink will eventually pilot other types of "value-added" products, such as butternut squash cubes, carrot sticks and cucumber coins.
Donations for the agency’s $4.9 million kitchen project included $650,000 from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, $1 million from Empire State Development and $700,000 from the Wegmans Family Foundation.
For more information or to arrange a tour of the kitchen, call 585-328-3380.