HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — Last year, food distributor Local to U (then called “HealthyU”), launched a program called “ROC Cares” to get healthy snack boxes to local hospitals, first responders, and other front line workers.
“We were given a burden to try to help the Rochester community with a four-fold mission,” said owner Frank Vicaretti, back in April 2020. “Show ‘ROC Kindness’ and reach out to someone (whether they’re family, friend, front line folks, etc.), secure ROC businesses, save jobs that are both so important to our economy, and then lastly show encouragement to those on the front lines.”
Now, in another of their long line of pandemic pivots — including adding home deliveries, pop up market events — they are doing something else to give back. They’re donating bags of healthy snacks to nursing home residents, seniors, and other elderly people in need.
“This time around, around the middle of December, we were trying to think: ‘What’s the next thing we can do?'” Vicaretti said. “We just thought about senior citizens, and maybe people that are shut in. We know there’s some meals being brought to them, but what is something that is a little more sustainable, and we thought: ‘Gosh we have these amazing snacks, and fruit…’ And that’s something that can last somebody three to seven days.”
They launched “1,000 Blessings in 30 Days” back in February. They are over 500 bags in, and with one week left, they’re looking to reach 1,000.
In the senior bags, under their “ROC Cares” name, they have fresh apples, oranges, lightly salted avocado oil chips, and nuts.
Most of their goods are from local business; like popcorn popped in Pittsford from Popcorn Charlie’s, “Perfect Granola,” NY Chips brand potato chips, local freeze dried fruit, Rochester area candied nuts, and all New York apples.
“It’s all about keeping local community,” he said. “We want to support this community… The more money we keep here, the more businesses that keep going, the more jobs are going… The more people that are together, the more it creates a better way of life.”
Local to U also recently partnered with the town of East Rochester. Mayor John Alfieri, who worked with the distributor to get “ROC Cares” packages to nearly 100 seniors.
If you want to order a bag of their fresh snacks, or help to set up donations to a nursing home, you can visit roccares.info, or call 585-775-7520.