Food Pantries and Hot Meals Around Rochester

Pantry goods spill out of a grocery bag onto a table.

For many, the holidays are not just religious celebrations but also a time to honor the bonds of family and friendships, to remember the wonder and innocence of childhood, and participate in the traditions that connect us with our ancestors. It is a time for special meals, decorations, parties, and presents. It is an exercise in abundance. So it makes sense that, for others, the holiday season is also a time when scarcity is most keenly felt.

Poverty is complex. Financial issues can arise as a result of a sudden personal tragedy, health crisis, war, or natural disaster. It can be temporary or it can cyclical; meaning a person was born into it. Since there is no single, simple cause, there is no single, simple solution. Fortunately, our county has resources to assist those are who are struggling and do not have the economic means to consistently secure a sufficient amount and/or quality of food. If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, please check out any of the resources below.

Food Pantries

Brighton Food Cupboard
Temple B’rith Kodesh
2131 Elmwood Avenue (Door A), Rochester, NY 14618
Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Maplewood Edgerton Emergency Kupboard (MEEK)
Church of the Ascension
2 Riverside Street, Rochester, NY 14613
Open Mondays 9:00 am – 11:30 am, Fridays 9:00 am – 11:00 am, Last two Tuesdays and Thursdays of the month 9:00 am – 11:30 am, second and fourth Saturday of the month 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Loop Ministries
The Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word
597 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Rochester Family Mission
388 Tremont Street, Rochester, NY 14608
Monday – Thursday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm and Wednesday 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Rochester Hope North Clinton Food Pantry
Saint Michael’s Church
859 N Clinton Ave, Rochester, NY 14621
Saturdays 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Saint Theodore’s Food Cupboard
168 Spencerport Road, Rochester, NY, 14606
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Salvation Army
70 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester, NY 14604
Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

100 West Ave, Rochester, NY 14611
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 am – 1:00 pm

915 N. Clinton Ave, Rochester, NY 14621
Last two Wednesdays and Fridays of the month 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Sister M. Regis Food Cupboard
Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini Parish
316 Bay Street, Rochester NY 14605
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Hot Meals

Asbury First United Methodist Church
1050 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
Wednesday–Friday 7:00 am – 9:00 am and Sundays 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

A Meal and More
Christ Church Rochester
141 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
Wednesdays 11:30 am – 1:00 pm on and Sundays 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm

Open Door Mission
The Samaritan House Crisis Center
210 Main Street, Rochester, NY 14608
Daily at 6:00 pm

House of Mercy
285 Ormond Street, Rochester, NY 14605
Daily at 8:00 am – 9:30 am, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, and 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Northwest Neighborhood Outreach Center
St. Luke Tabernacle Community Church
1261 Dewey Avenue, Rochester, NY 14613
Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 10:00 am and 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, Tuesday 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Final Thoughts

This is just a jumping off point and there are plenty of other options in all areas of Monroe County. A quick Google search with your zip code and a keywords like “food cupboard” or “community meals” will help you narrow down your search. Additionally, you can search on Facebook for your town’s or neighborhood’s “Buy Nothing”, “Free Stuff”, or “Pass It On” group. The purpose of those groups is typically to secure free items such as clothing or small appliances, etc. but I’ve often seen posts in those groups asking for tips on other resources such as free food or affordable housing. I’m often touched and impressed by how many people have good suggestions for resources in the area.

No matter your current economic situation, it does not define who you are as a person. In times of struggle, I wish you strength and peace. In times of strength and peace, I wish you the courage to offer compassion and support to those who are struggling. During this festive time of year, may we all find some comfort and joy.

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Devin P.B.
Devin P.B. lives in Webster with her husband, 4 kids, and 2 mutts. She has degrees in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently working full-time at URMC as a corporate trainer. When not working, she's blasting music in her minivan as she shuttles her kids to field hockey, youth group, theatre camp, martial arts, baseball, swim lessons, etc. In her ridiculously limited free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and watching Asian dramas. As a family, they enjoy trying out all of the different playgrounds, hiking trails, and festivals that Rochester has to offer.