Foodlink New York relies on KRONEN lines for processing fruit, vegetables and meat.
As a pioneer among food banks in the US state of New York, Foodlink is helping to fight hunger in the Rochester community with over 5,000 meals a day. The ingredients for these meals are processed with machines from KRONEN GmbH, based in Kehl am Rhein, Germany: from coring, splitting and sanitizing apples, to cutting vegetables and producing "Pulled Meat". Since the first machines were put into operation in 2014, production capacity and machinery have been continuously increased in order to be able to reliably provide food to those in need.
Foodlink was founded in 1978 by Tom Ferraro in Rochester, New York, as a nonprofit organization with a vision to fight hunger and poverty, addressing the symptoms and causes of food insecurity. Today, Foodlink is led by Chief Executive Officer Julia Tedesco and serves as a platform for the regional emergency food system. The company uses local produce and surplus food to have a positive impact on local communities and the environment.It also manages various community projects, such as community agriculture, vocational food training, and health education. The goal is to promote health in the communities, and to this end the organization continues to develop new programs on these topics.
Offering healthy food in schools spurs entry into freshcut processing
It was through this progressive thinking that Foodlink got into Freshcut processing: a school district approached them with the problem that many apples were ending up in the trash. While researching, Foodlink came across a study that showed apple consumption in schools increased significantly when apples were offered cut. As a result, Foodlink started selling sliced apples to local schools, and as demand increased, the company purchased first one and then a second KRONEN HGW grating, dividing and punching machine.
When a new 28,000-square-foot community kitchen was built in 2016, the need for a more powerful line for fresh-cut apples arose. KRONEN Corp, the U.S. subsidiary of KRONEN GmbH, helped Foodlink plan for a space-saving system that would increase production to a capacity of 1,200 apples per hour and minimize labor costs. The new system consists of the TONA S180K cutting machine, which was combined with the KDB 120 dipping bath for treating the freshly sliced apple wedges and an inspection conveyor. The apple wedges are then packed in portions by a packing machine.
The versatility of the HGWs, previously used for apple processing, allowed Foodlink to use them for processing different products in the kitchen. The HGWs are used to cut small quantities of vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, celery, peppers and onions. In the future, other tools can be added to the HGW and TONA S180K to be used for different processing steps, such as coring and slicing, for a variety of products.
State-of-the-art commercial kitchen for the preparation of nutritious meals
With a new state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, Foodlink has created capacity to prepare complete meals. Terra Keller, chief operations and financial officer, explains, "One of the goals of our new kitchen was to increase the amount of home-prepared meals to raise the bar for institutional food service."
As part of the kitchen inventory, the facility also invested in a GS 10-2 belt slicer. With its reliably high cut quality, the GS 10-2 is used for vegetable processing, such as slicing cucumbers or carrots, strips of peppers and strips of green and red cabbage. The machine is equipped with an extended infeed conveyor and an integrated cutting table for four. Shortly after startup, Foodlink added a dicing grid for potatoes, tomatoes, red onions, peppers and radishes to the cutting tools. To make "Pulled Meat" from cooked chicken and beef, the plucking knife on the GS 10-2 is used. Processing ingredients with the GS 10-2 provided significant savings in labor time, so a second belt slicer was added to the kitchen to cut larger quantities of cabbage.
In order to be able to offer healthy meals in the facilities and to prepare the ingredients for each meal, Foodlink has relied on KRONEN equipment since 2014 and to this day. The hygienic design and easy cleaning of the machines give the company the assurance that the ingredients are flawless. Support is provided by the local KRONEN Corp. subsidiary, which is quickly on hand with services and spare parts when needed. Terra Keller sums it up this way: "The cooperation with the Kronen team goes beyond the machines. It's a true partnership, and we're glad we've built such good relationships with the team that helps us solve problems and advises us on the industry."