Rochester Public Market

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

The company behind the software that turns SNAP benefits into the tokens used at the Rochester Public Market has announced that it’s going out of business.

Novo Dia contacted the Farmers Market Federation of New York last week, alerting the organization that it would cease operations on July 31, and leaving markets across the state scrambling to find a replacement.

The company’s software is essential because there is no substitute, said Margaret O’Neill, who directs programs at the Rochester Public Market and sits on the board of the farmers market federation.

Katelyn Perry

The area was teeming with people who leisurely walked about the variety of tables and stands enjoying the nice weather after what felt like a long winter.  Cash changed hands as people bought fruits, desserts, and more from what seemed like an endless array of vendors’ displays. The Rochester Public Market is truly one of the community’s hubs.

While I don’t live far from the City of Rochester, I had never experienced what the Public Market was like. So I traveled there to see what the buzz was all about.

Food insecurity is one of the leading public health challenges in the United States, while wasted food is piling up in landfills and contributing to climate change. So what can we do to reduce food waste, while helping people in need?

A local organization called Flower City Pickers is taking on these challenges. Volunteers collect food donations from the Public Market and distribute that food to area homeless shelters, halfway houses, soup kitchens, and food pantries. Organizers say they prevent an average of 3,000-4,000 pounds of food from going to landfills each week. We'll get an inside look at Flower City Pickers and learn about its plans for the future. Our guests: