About the Foodlink Community Café

The Foodlink Community Café launched in 2021 with a mission-driven, pay-it-forward restaurant concept with a primary goal of providing training opportunities for Foodlink’s culinary apprentices. Located in the downtown library, we offer a delicious menu with costs based on a sliding scale.

PAY IT FORWARD. Generous donations enable us to offer a healthy, affordable Mission Meal option for our customers who are unable to pay the listed price on the menu. All proceeds support Foodlink’s mission of ending hunger and building healthier communities. 

MISSION MEAL. For a minimum of $3, customers can choose any  entrée (sandwich or pizza), side (soup, mac salad, fruit, side salad) & water. All patrons ordering a Mission Meal must be present at the café, and there is a limit of one per day.

Our menu offers a wide array of sandwiches, soups, salads, and sides prepared by culinary apprentices in the Foodlink Career Fellowship program

 We hope to see you soon … everyone is welcome here!

About the Foodlink Career Fellowship

The Foodlink Career Fellowship is a unique culinary apprenticeship that builds pathways to prosperity for people who have experienced barriers to employment. The yearlong program includes both classroom and hands-on training within Foodlink’s state-of-the-art Community Kitchen and at the Foodlink Community Café! Fellows play an integral role in preparing thousands of healthy meals daily for Rochester children, all while increasing the core competencies needed for large-scale food production.

The Fellowship launched in 2018, and soon will welcome its 9th class! Participants spend nine months of training in the classroom and within the Foodlink Community Kitchen before spending the final three months of the program at an externship with a local employer. Along the way, Fellows gain myriad certifications (e.g. food safety, first aid, etc.) and learn essential job-readiness skills. The program is an official Cook Apprenticeship through the New York State Department of Labor.

Recent graduates from the Foodlink Career Fellowship have gone on to promising careers at places such as Wegmans, local colleges and universities and local independent restaurants.

About Foodlink

Foodlink is a Rochester-based nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger and building healthier communities by addressing both the symptoms and root causes of food insecurity. We serve as the hub of the emergency food system across a 10-county service area. As a leading public health organization, Foodlink administers many programs and initiatives that aim to build the health and wealth of communities.

We provide food assistance through the safe storage and distribution of emergency food to our network of food bank members and community partners. We build healthier communities through innovative programs that create new access points to nutritious foods and empower people to make healthy choices. We drive change through bold career empowerment initiatives and advocacy for a more just, equitable food system. Learn more about how we are transforming lives and creating healthy futures for every community we serve at FoodlinkNY.org.