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Emergency food distributions draw crowds

Max Schulte
Craig Oakley a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club.

Cars were backed up a block at times as people came to the Boys and Girls Club Thursday to pick up food. 

Most people came by car, while others walked with laundry or shopping carts. Three hundred people were registered for this one and hundreds more for similar events around the area.

Foodlink’s Camille Verbofsky organized the event. She said it's the 21st emergency food distribution since the pandemic began.

“We have 30 pound boxes of shelf stable foods, things that you would find in a food pantry like tortillas, canned vegetables, canned fruits, all that kind of stuff,” said Verbofsky.

She was joined by volunteers from Jordan Health, Pathways to Peace, 2-1-1 and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to get those boxes in the hands of those who need them.

“While the numbers are scary and the issues are hard. This is a perfect example of how Rochester can come together,” said Verbofsky.

Theo Adams of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity volunteered for the event. He said the pandemic hasn’t hurt him directly which is why he’s giving back.

“That’s part of the reason I’m out here now,” said Adams. “If I have the ability to still bring in money and 

Credit Max Schulte / WXXI News
Jason Dunn (left) COO of Jordan Health volunteers his time at the emergency food distribution.

support other people. This is where I need to be.”

Jordan Health COO Jason Dunn said efforts like these make tackling big problems like food insecurity easier.

“It is this type of community effort that we think is critical to helping address problems that arise not just during the pandemic but after that, throughout the year,” Dunn said.

Foodlink is planning more emergency distributions in the coming weeks. 

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.