Food options for Rochester families amid coronavirus concerns


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – In the midst of all of the Monroe County area schools shutting down for coronavirus concerns, the City of Rochester wants to make sure meals are still provided for those students who depend on those meals every day.

“We do not want to leave our children without options for access to food, so the R-Centers will be taking that on,” Mayor Lovely Warren said on Sunday.

MORE | Eight new local cases of COVID-19, 10 total now in Monroe County

Meals will be made and sent out by Foodlink to the R-Centers throughout the city, usual spots for summer meal delivery.

Pre-packaged breakfast, lunch and dinners can be picked up from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. at the following Rec-Centers:

  • 85 Adams Street
  • 200 Avenue D
  • 500 Carter Street
  • 524 Campbell Street
  • 990 South Avenue
  • 271 Flint Street
  • 700 North Street
  • 485 North Clinton Avenue
  • 530 Webster Avenue

The following schools will also be providing grab-and-go meals for students from 8 a.m. through 2:30 p.m.

  • East Upper & Lower, 1801 East Main Street
  • Dr. Freddy Thomas Campus, 625 Scio Street
  • The former Jefferson High School. 1 Edgerton Park
  • James Monroe High School, 164 Alexander Street
  • John Williams School No. 5, 555 Plymouth Avenue
  • Wilson Foundation Academy, 200 Genesee Street
  • School No. 42, 3330 Lake Avenue

“In this time of emergency, we’re just doing grab-and-go models,” Foodlink Chief Operating Officer Terra Keller said. “So we’re packing cold meals that are in individual trays that a child can show up, grab their fruit and go out the door.”

Foodlink will load meals onto their trucks and get them to the distribution centers on Monday morning. Families can pick up meals at the R-Centers for as long as the schools are closed. With students out of class, the Rochester City School District Superintendent Terry Dade said academics are important but right now, there’s a larger concern.

“It’s not saying that learning and the academic roadmap is not important. It’s all about priorities. And this week, as we experience our first district-wide closure in western New York, it’s really how do we provide those necessities to our families,” Dade said.

Foodlink anticipates distributing 2 million pounds of food to families. Foodlink will not be hosting large groups of volunteers and is seeking donations from the public to help supply food to RCSD families.

At the press conference on Sunday, Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza was also in attendance and emphasized the importance of social distancing and encouraged private schools in Monroe County to consider closing to decrease the chances of more coronavirus cases in Monroe County.

Mendoza said the county will prioritize testing and will start with people who have had direct contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus.

Mayor Warren said libraries in the City of Rochester are going to remain open for the time being.

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