Friends of the Rochester Public Market is a mostly volunteer non-profit organization that supports the market in many important ways.
See a video about the Friends
The Friends signature program is the Market Token Program, through which SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or "food stamps,") recipients can use their benefits to purchase fresh, healthy food from the Market. This program is the most successful of its kind in the country. In 2015, $624,000 in SNAP benefits were redeemed at the Public Market--this was an astonishing 23% of all SNAP benefits redeemed at all 395 participating farmers markets across New York State last year; and a amazing 3.3% of SNAP benefits redeemed at all 6,483 participating farmers markets across the entire country. Our Market's total in 2015 exceeded the combined state totals of participating farmers markets' in 42 of the 50 states.
Friends Initiatives and Programs
The Market Token Program: Allows those with SNAP "food stamp" benefits the opportunity to use those benefits to shop for affordable, fresh, healthy fruits, vegetables, and more at the Market
Artist Row: The Friends organize the increasingly popular Artist Row at the Market each September, at which dozens of local artists display their creative talents.
Market Merchandise: The Friends sell an array of Market Merchandise from their kiosk at the Market, or at the Market office. Proceeds from this merchandise goes to support for the Friends' Market Token Program and other initiatives and programs. See our Market Merchandise page
Market Gift Tokens: A great gift any time of year for the Market lovers in your life! Gift Tokens can be purchased from the Friends at the Market kiosk or Market Office. See our Market Gift Token page
Market Tours: get a behind-the-scenes look at the Market's past, present and future on a free one-hour tour. We especially welcome youth groups for tours, but surely are willing to give any group a glimpse of the history and workings of the Market! Click here to learn more about the tours and to contact Friends of the Market for a tour reservation.
Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables: The Friends partner with Foodlink to bring weekly free nutrition education to Market shoppers from June through October; sessions include tasty samples concocted from the fresh bounty of the Market.
Healthy Tastings with Margaret: Friends' Program Manager Margaret O'Neill prepares a healthy recipe with seasonal Market bounty the fourth Saturday of the month as part of our Flavors of Rochester at the Market series (a partnership with the Democrat & Chronicle and Summit Federal Credit Union)
Volunteer with the Friends
The Friends are always seeking volunteers! Give them a call at 585-325-5058 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, stop by the Friends' kiosk at the Market on Saturdays (near the Union Street entry).
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