The Common Market in the News

Farm to School Program a Win-Win-Win for Georgia Students, Farmers and Community

The Citizens

Something fresh is growing at Rockdale County Public Schools. The district is prepped to launch a new local foods pilot program supporting small farms led by people of color, women and others historically excluded from market opportunities while exposing students to more locally grown, nutritious food. The program recently kicked off with new recipe development and nutrition training workshops held Jan. 17-18 at C.J. Hicks Elementary and J.H. House Elementary, celebrating Georgia-sourced fruits, vegetables and meats.

Rockdale County Public Schools launches farm-to-school pilot to expose students to more fresh foods, expands opportunities to minority farmers

On Common Ground News

“We are so excited to support innovation within the RCPS school nutrition department and to honor our state’s small, sustainable growers in the process,” said Emily Hennessee, program manager of The Georgia ACRE Collective. “Through this work, we hope to build the case for statewide adoption of a local food incentive program for school meals across Georgia.”

How this East Point nonprofit is helping BIPOC, women-owned farmers grow


New numbers show a local nonprofit has distributed more than $2 million since 2022. It's money helping Black, Indigenous and female farmers grow in Georgia. Local Lands, a Black-owned and family-operated poultry farm in Lamar County has benefited from the state funds distributed by The Common Market Southeast. Right now, the East Point nonprofit is helping farms like Local Lands through the state's Local Food Purchase Assistance Program.

Serving Georgia

Georgia Grown Magazine

"Many organizations have had interest in purchasing from these growers, but that interest has been on an a la carte type plan. 'That doesn’t bode well for these small growers,' says Green. The LFPA essentially provides them an on ramp to institutional markets – in particular, food service management companies that operate dining facilities for hospitals, universities, public schools, and corporate cafeterias -- by ensuring they have a market for their goods. “It gives them a reason to invest in infrastructure and obtain food safety training and certifications that will allow them to be meaningful in a wholesale market in a sustainable way. It is truly a game changer.'"

Marietta gets creative with school meals

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Brittani Rowe, the culinary manager for the Marietta City Schools, is unafraid of innovation. “It’s something we thrive on,” she said.

Putting that philosophy into action will be tested this fall when the district’s high and middle school cafeterias introduce a notably kid-scary option: kale. The love-it-or-hate-it leafy green will be one piece of the fresh produce and meat options Rowe and her crew will receive this fall through a $60,000 grant from the Georgia Advancing Agriculture, Community, Resilience and Equity (ACRE) Collective, a new initiative co-led by nonprofit, regional food distributor The Common Market Southeast and other food and health organizations.

PRESS RELEASE: New Farm to School Pilot at Marietta City Schools Is a Win-win-Win for Georgia Students, Farmers and Community

Something fresh is growing at Marietta City Schools. The district is prepped for a new recipe development and nutrition training workshop that celebrates Georgia-sourced fruits, vegetables and meats—an official kick off to a new local foods incentive pilot program that will support small farms led by people of color, women and others historically excluded from market opportunity within the state and increase student consumption of locally grown, nutritious food.

A Fork in the Road: Pecan & Pine

Georgia’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) enables us to buy and distribute healthy, Georgia-grown foods harvested by farmers like our friends at EKC Pecans and create new markets for their products within food banks throughout the state. This program sees nutritious, high-quality, diverse items reaching communities facing food insecurity and drives deeply meaningful revenue for BIPOC farms. This episode of A Fork in the Road features EKC Pecans and how The Common Market Southeast plays a role in creating opportunities for the family-run operation.

The Rockefeller Foundation Celebrates Continued Investment and Philanthropic Impact in Atlanta

The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation has invested more than $11.3 million in and around Metro Atlanta across its Equity & Economic Opportunity and Food programs since 2019. Recent collaborations include:

  • Expanding access to healthier foods while building local capacity and creating more market opportunities for Black farmers and other underserved farm businesses through The Common Market, nonprofit regional food aggregator and distributor that also supports local, sustainable small farmers.

Chef pilots a produce program for underserved preschools

Open Hand

Several preschools have recently banded together to form a “farm to preschool” co-op, led by a partnership between Open Hand Atlanta and The Common Market Southeast. Twice a month, Open Hand delivers fresh produce from The Common Market to participating preschools, along with educational materials.