Summer brings an increase in food to sort at the Rochester Public Market. In June through August we diverted 55,857 pounds of food from landfill and we could not have done it without the help of dedicated volunteers. Between the high quality food at the market and our other partnerships, 23,894 pounds of food was distributed to hunger relief agencies across Rochester in that same time period. We want to express our sincere gratitude for making that possible with your time and donations.
New Partnership with Headwater Food Hub
Headwater Food Hub is a local food distributor that prioritizes social and environmental responsibility by sourcing from independent farms that engage in regenerative, humane, and fair practices. Flower City Pickers Development Director, Amanda Richardson, reached out to TC Washington at Headwater to see how their business and our organization might collaborate.

Headwater immediately saw that they could provide FCP with donations of food that they are unable to sell, yet is still fresh, safe, and appetizing. Not only that, but Headwater also offered to run a fundraiser for FCP. During the months of June and July, customers could add a donation to their grocery bill, and this money was placed in an account with Headwater for FCP. This enabled us to provide our partner organizations with the foods that they need the most, while supporting Headwater’s mission of creating a vibrant food system of small to mid-sized sustainable family farms in the New York region. Over the six weeks of the fundraiser, over $2000 was donated. What a testament to how amazing this community is!

Once the funds had been raised, our team got to work. We held a virtual meeting with organizations and agencies interested in sharing the bounty, and on July 29, 2020, members of FCP’s volunteer workforce came together to distribute over 1,000 pounds of produce and protein to twelve of our partner agencies. Volunteers like Kendra and Igor picked up the product from Headwater, seasoned veteran volunteers like Carrie and Cam helped to divide up the food into shares, and volunteer drivers like Nancy and Amy helped deliver those shares to hunger relief agencies across Rochester. 

It was a great day in the midst of a situation like nothing we have seen in our lifetime. With so many events and fundraisers being cancelled or postponed, it was amazing to witness how people can come together to help alleviate the problem of food insecurity, which no one should have to face, but many in our community do. The entire Board of Directors of Flower City Pickers would like to thank Headwater Food Hub for sponsoring this fundraiser and, of course, the customers of Headwater who helped make this a reality for us and the agencies we serve with their generous contributions.

Our next distribution from Headwater Food Hub will be this coming Wednesday, September 9th. If you are interested in helping with this event, or volunteering in any capacity, please contact us at 585-326-1907 or
Partner Organization Highlight: RMAN
The Rochester Mutual Aid Network (RMAN) formed in April in order to respond to the needs of the Rochester community during this time of crisis. The concept is straight forward: people request aid - necessities like food and hygiene products, or expenses like rent and bills - and a network of coordinated volunteers then works to meet the needs by delivering supplies, connecting those requesting aid with helpful resources, and making essential payments directly.

Flower City Pickers and RMAN joined forces at the end of May to get fresh produce shares to those requesting food. Every week, RMAN organizes a list of people to receive fruits and veggies, as well as drivers to deliver the shares. Volunteers from the Rochester Mutual Aid Network – truly wonderful people – then join FCP at the Market to bag up shares and make sure they get to recipients. When we first started, there were 30 shares going out to families each Saturday and that amount has now doubled to 60 per week.

This partnership has helped us to continue to safely serve individuals, and even increase the number of community members we reach. FCP is grateful to work with the caring, committed folks at RMAN. If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, you can visit their website.
Calling All Gardeners!
Have you grown more peppers than you know what to do with? We are looking to start a conversation with local gardeners about getting excess produce from their gardens to members of the community who can use it. Email Amanda at if you are interested in getting involved!
RIT's Virtual 5k Against Hunger at the end of June was a huge success, raising over $1500 for Flower City Pickers! Thank you to everyone who participated and to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at RIT for organizing the event.

We had a great time with those who attended our virtual Brainery class, Fighting Food Waste in Your Home and Community on July 30th. We appreciate hearing from people across the state concerned with food insecurity and food waste.

We'll be letting you know about events coming up this fall, so stay tuned!
It is with the financial support of our community that we are able to safely maintain our operations as well as expand our impact and start new programs. Please consider making a tax - deductible donation through our website, where there are no fees, so 100% of your gift will go directly to Flower City Pickers.
Thank you.
Volunteer Highlight: Deborah Klee
Deborah has joined our team as the Volunteer Coordinator. She grew up in Geneseo and then moved to Vermont where she raised her four children. Eight years ago, she returned to this area and we are so lucky to have her as a part of this community!

Spending time gardening, foraging, cooking plant-based meals, and preserving food, Deborah has an active relationship with food. She also enjoys reading, hiking, bicycling, and spending time with loved ones. Deborah has been involved in a number of cominitiatives including, the Alternatives to Violence Project, Partners in Restorative Initiatives, and the Center for Dispute Settlement.

Come volunteer to sort fruits and veggies with us at the Rochester Public Market and you'll get a chance to meet Deborah. You can chat about one of her many interests!