Every Saturday, they’re a fixture at Rochester’s Public Market.
The Flower City Pickers collect food from the vendors that didn’t sell. They sort it, then redistribute it to area shelters and those in need. The group is made up of all volunteers.
“We have people from all walks of life, people from all socioeconomic backgrounds,” said volunteer coordinator Tricia Banks. “And the area colleges have done an outstanding job of supporting us.”
Recently, the group was able to buy a bus to help store their supplies and provide a warm place to sort food during the winter months. A grant from the Knights of Columbus and many fundraisers helped pay for it.
“We’re wanting it to have a visual representation of what we do, and also an educational thing for when we’re not here at the market,” said President Khoury Humphrey.
In just two years, Flower City Pickers has really grown. Not only do they have the bus, but they have dozens of volunteers every week and work with more than 20 shelters.
Much of that growth is due to the president and founder, Khoury Humphrey.
“If he says he is going to get it, not only does he get it done, but he finds a way to motivate others too,” Banks said. “And people feel really good about helping.”
On any given Saturday, they collect about 1,000 pounds of food an hour, bringing the weekly total to between one and two tons.
“It really teaches everyone to be more conscious about diet, the food you eat, and just overall waste,” Banks said.
Food that is needed and wanted – instead of wasted.
“This is something that should be a part of our culture – to just not be wasteful and be responsible for our own actions,” said Khoury Humphrey. “And I really would like to see that more incorporated in other places as well.”