The city of Rochester is partnering with the Rochester City School District, Monroe County, and Foodlink to provide meals to children amid school closures and concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

At a Sunday press conference, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, RCSD Superintendent Terry Dade, and Foodlink President and CEO Julia Tedesco, announced the initiative, which will begin March 16.

Starting Monday, nine city R-centers will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. through Friday to provide meals to the city’s school-age children. Additionally, RCSD and Foodlink will open March 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to distribute food at 7 school sites.

R-Center Locations:

  • Adams Street, 85 Adam St.
  • Ave. D, 200 Ave D
  • Carter St., 500 Carter St.
  • Tyshaun Cauldwell, 524 Campbell St,
  • Frederick Douglass, 900 South Ave.
  • Flint Street, 271 Flint St.
  • David Gantt, 700 North St.
  • Trenton and Pamela Jackson (Clinton-baden), 485 N. Clinton Ave.
  • Thomas Ryan, 530 Webster Ave.

RCSD Locations:

  • East Upper & Lower School, 1801 E. Main St.
  • Dr. Freddy Thomas Campus, 625 Scio St.
  • The former Jefferson High School, 1 Edgerton Pk.
  • James Monroe High School, 164 Alexander St.
  • John Williams School No. 5, 555 Plymouth Ave.
  • Wilson Foundation Academy, 200 Genesee St.
  • School #42, 3330 lake Ave.

“The City of Rochester is ready to set up and provide for our children and families,” Warren said. “Our R-Centers already serve thousands of kids every month. Now they will provide three meals per day just as they do every year during summer break. Our staff is ready and will meet this need. Supporting kids and parents is what we do.”

Tedesco said Foodlink will provide 20,000 meals this week alone, and is promoting “grab-and-go” style meal distribution.

Children will not be eating food in a communal setting, Tedesco said.

Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza advised private schools and daycare centers to consider closing doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“There is a lot of anxiety, which is important that we come together,” Bello said. “We will see numbers go up…we are bringing people together to make sure your family is safe and all has the information possible.”