December 2023 – C/W CSTAC Spotlight

Rochester City School District’s Community Food Drives:
Uniting the Community through Food


Community Partnerships, Community Engagement, Holistic Support, Student Involvement, Family Engagement, Impact Assessment

photo of adults posing with boxes of food

Every holiday season the Rochester City School District Department of Family and Community Engagement partners with Foodlink to host a food distribution event. Community Schools along with the community liaisons, school staff, community partners, students, and parents come together to serve boxes of food to any community member in need.

Above: An example of a food distribution event flyer.

Every community school in the Rochester City School District has a fully functioning and operational pantry. Each school-based pantry has a refrigerator, freezer, and adequate shelving. These resources were provided to ensure that the food is safely stored and easily accessible to students, families, and the community.

The Family and Community Engagement Department holds food distributions several times within the year as a way to increase community engagement while simultaneously helping families with hunger.

The food distribution events happened organically due to a partnership between Foodlink and the Rochester City School District. We began with a food distribution event during Thanksgiving and the major Winter and Spring Holidays. The events were such a success, and the feedback we received from the community allowed us to increase the amount of food distributions per year. In a typical box, a family would receive items such as frozen chickens, fresh produce, eggs, milk, potatoes, onions, yogurt, dairy, and other food pantry items.

Many of our other community partners started volunteering to support the distribution of food boxes. The events kept growing so now we have included teams of students and school staff to volunteer during events. We have engaged the entire community to make sure that no family goes without food, especially during the holidays. At our last event, we served more than 300 families and had many volunteers who helped with the set-up, distribution, and clean-up efforts after the event concluded.

Check out these event videos, featuring student volunteers!

Monroe High School Students at Food Distribution Event

Northeast High School Students at Food Distribution Event

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