Fighting food insecurity amidst a pandemic requires immediate action and community collaboration. So, when Chris Lavin, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, reached out to community partner New York Kitchen in Canandaigua for support, the goal was to act fast and keep food flowing for local families.
“I told Chris Lavin that I had an idea, and without hesitation contacted FLX Hospitality (creators of FLX Fry Bird, FLX Table, and FLX Provisions, located in Geneva) to see if they could help,” said Alyssa Belasco, Executive Director of New York Kitchen.
FLX Hospitality immediately mobilized their team to turn an idea into action, providing 500 dinners in the month of January for families in need at the Boys and Girls Club, with support from New York Kitchen.
Although the hospitality industry has been drastically affected by COVID-19, acting fast to support the greater Geneva community became a top priority, despite funding limitations.
“FLX Hospitality is thrilled to partner with New York Kitchen and the Boys and Girls Club. Although it’s true that the restaurant industry is facing unprecedented challenges, we are not alone in this struggle. Our community is also suffering. We at FLX will do anything we can to help bolster those closest to us,” said Christopher Bates and Isabel Bogadtke, Founders of FLX Hospitality, a family of businesses.
While the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva provides a variety of vital support services to the community, one of the biggest ways the organization has stepped up in the last year has been by feeding families. Loss of income as a result of the pandemic has continued to effect families across the city and Finger Lakes region, causing an increase in demand for food.
“Keeping food flowing through the pandemic has required collaboration from multiple partners, stepping up and adjusting their schedules to keep us in the game. FLX Hospitality and New York Kitchen have been great partners.”
The Boys and Girls Club and its partners have literally served tens of thousands of meals throughout the community since the pandemic hit in March. “We and our partners won’t stop until the need subsides,” Lavin said.
New York Kitchen partners with the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva each summer through a week-long Junior Chef cooking camp offered free of charge, to help promote workforce and economic development within the region by preparing youth for a future within the hospitality and culinary arts industries.
About New York Kitchen: New York Kitchen (formerly the New York Wine and Culinary Center) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in the heart of the Finger Lakes, with a mission to educate, engage and excite visitors in a celebration of the incredible agriculture, craft beverage and culinary bounty of New York State. New York Kitchen also operates the Finger Lakes Welcome Center located in Geneva and is a proud partner of the Taste NY program.
About FLX Hospitality: FLX Hospitality operates several Finger Lakes area food and beverage businesses, owned by husband-and-wife team, Christopher Bates and Isabel Bogadtke. Their creative food and find wine establishments include FLX Wienery, FLX Table, FLX Fry Bird, FLX Culture House, Feast & Co. Catering, FLX Provisions, The Quincy Exchange and The Maillard Club, all located in the Geneva, Rochester, Dundee, and Corning areas. In addition, Bates is winemaker at Element Winery and a master sommelier.