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 article in Rochester City Magazine, “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! 

Gallaudet University also 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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