Help Change Legislation That Limits Participation

Request for letter of support for Monroe County Legislation - Deadline March 19th

Monroe County Legislator Willie Lightfoot (District 27) is submitting a proposal before the Legislature that we fear will not receive the attention it deserves. We are writing to ask for your support.

For the past two years, the Westside Farmers Market has operated on Genesee Street, providing a much needed nutritional and social resource for the community. In
addition to the local producers represented at the market, local restaurants/caterers serving prepared food are also a staple at the market. Eating meals together is another way to build cohesion at the market and within the community. Additionally, making healthy choices in food consumption is an issue that we enforce through our food vendors at the market. However, the required permit for restaurants through the Monroe County Department of Health requires each restaurant to pay $115 every fourteen consecutive days during the market season, even though the food will be served once per week. This would mean last year each restaurant would have paid $1,265 to the County to operate at the market for the season.
Unfortunately, our local restaurants are unable to sustain this fee and therefore have not been present at our market since this permit requirement came to our attention. Farmers' markets throughout the County are experiencing this obstacle in providing prepared food to market goers and supporting local businesses. When prepared food stopped being served at our market, the numbers of market goers dropped 30%. While many would come for the meal, they would support the other vendors at the market as well. Serving prepared food is a critical component of our market and many other markets in the County. If the County legislation is approved, restaurants/caterers would pay the $115 permit fee once per market season. We hope you agree that this compromise is a more affordable solution.

We believe that community support will call the attention of the Monroe County Legislature to this issue. Please consider signing the attached letter of support so that we may prove to the Legislature that Farmers Markets have a voice. If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Farrell at 436-8999 or at

If you support this legislation, please sign and return a letter of support by March 19th.

Please send the letter of support to:
Westside Farmers Market
470 Rugby Avenue
Rochester, NY 14619


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