GATES, N.Y. — Summer is a time for students to take a break from school. But for some families, summer means the loss of school meals for kids. Combine that with rising food prices and many are struggling to provide food on the table.
If anyone knows their produce, it’s Flo Clemmons. She’s been working in Foodlink’s mobile market for years. It's how she can tell the perfect pepper or ear of corn just looking at it.
Throughout the week, the mobile market travels around Monroe County focusing on lower-income communities or areas where grocery stores aren’t easily accessible.
Flo says filling that gap for the community is what brought the mobile market to its newest stop.
“We had a lot of requests on social media saying 'why aren’t you in Gates?' " Clemmons said. "So we took an evaluation and said 'if we’re in Gates, where would we be?' "
Gates Chili High School is where they decided to stop, giving families in the district easy access to fresh food during the summer.
"Everyone thinks the school day runs from 7 to 3, but this is a very active campus from 3 on," said Marla Chefalo, director of continuing education for Gates Chili Schools. "Lots of traffic, lots of teams, community groups. That’s part of why we’re here, lots of visibility.”
Flo hopes that visibility brings people to the market. She says the camaraderie is her favorite part about working the stops.
“It’s like a village," Clemmons said. "Everyone just likes to come together for this hour and people are sharing stories about what they’re cooking.”
The Foodlink Curbside Market parks every Thursday outside the Gates Chili High School from 3:30-4:30 p.m.