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Zachary Ennis, ’13, is the founder and executive director of Rochester Deaf Kitchen, a food pantry based at Rochester School for the Deaf. Zach first envisioned the pantry in 2011 while he was a Gallaudet student, inspired by his own youthful experience with food insecurity.  

According to an , “The Rochester Deaf Kitchen opened August 30, and in its first six weeks, it had more than 1,300 unique visits. As a separate organization with its own 501(c)(3) status, the pantry operates out of donated space behind the deaf school’s soccer field and welcomes visitors twice a week…Ennis credits the early success to community organizations, volunteers and donors. He gives special thanks to RSD superintendent Antony McLetchie, ’92 and Foodlink’s [executive vice president and chief impact officer] Mitch Gruber.” The kitchen receives donations, conducts canned food drives, and purchases food and hygiene products at substantial discounts.  

Of special note is that this article was written by a deaf person, Tom Willard, a long-time journalist based in Rochester. Willard also took the three photographs that appear with the article. Well done! 

privatealso operates a food pantry for its students under the auspices of Health and Wellness Programs, a unit of Student Affairs. Visit their website for more information.  
 
Hi5 thanks Leah Stacy, editor of Rochester City Magazine, for granting permission to reprint their article about Rochester Deaf Kitchen.

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