Blog

The stories of The Common Market are bigger than just the numbers of meals served or dollars spent on local food. We work directly with individuals who are transforming the food system and create connections between rural and urban communities. As a mission-oriented organization, we lift up these stories to share our impact and inspire further learning.

Featured Posts

The Georgia ACRE Collective Marks a Year of Success with Forward Commitments, Local Food Incentives, and Working Capital Loans

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Feb 01, 2024

The Georgia ACRE Collective just released its first case study, Structuring a Place-Based Collaboration to Advance Agriculture, Community, Resilience, and Equity through Values-Based Procurement, to highlight its collective efforts and accomplishments during its first year of existence.

Serving a Healthy Future: The Impact of Values-Based Food Procurement in Health Care

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Jan 11, 2024

The ACRE Collective, an initiative led by The Common Market Southeast and other food and health organizations that aims to shift procurement among institutions toward values-based purchashing, is proud to include Health Care Without Harm as one of our key partners. Recently, The ACRE Collective's Program Manager Emily Hennessee sat down to chat with Molly Riordan, Eastern Regional Program Manager of Healthy Food in Health Care of Health Care Without Harm about the importance of healthcare institutions engaging in values-based food procurement.

Meet the Team: Kameko Nichols

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Dec 21, 2023

Kameko Nichols may have joined the Southeast as an Outreach Associate last fall, but she’s really just getting started. The tremendous impact she’s made in just one year is a testament to her abilities to build bridges and innovate alongside farms and institutions. Read on to learn more about what motivated her to work in local food systems!

Nonprofit Celebrates One-Year Milestone with Over $2 Million Distributed to Georgia BIPOC and Women-Owned Farms

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Dec 12, 2023

This November marked one year since Local Food Purchase Assistance Program (LFPA) funding reached Georgia. Since then, The Common Market Southeast has distributed more than $2 million to support the expansion of small, local Black Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-owned and women-owned farms, including Local Lands, a Black-owned, family-operated, pasture-raised cattle and poultry farm in Milner, GA.

Food as Medicine: A Conversation with Dr. Rashi Sharma of Sanitas Medical Center

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Nov 24, 2023

Katie Barr from our team sat down with one of our partners, Dr. Rashi Sharma of New Jersey's Sanitas Medical Center, to chat about the success of their three-year-old Food as Medicine program. Get the full scoop on the impact of these programs on the communities they serve, and potential barriers to scaling these programs.

Strengthening Chicago's Local Food Ecosystem: The Common Market's Acquisition of Local Foods

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Nov 06, 2023

The Common Market has acquired the operations of Local Foods, a fellow wholesale distributor based in the Chicago metro dating back to 2013! We are presently represented as Local Foods Powered by The Common Market.

What are Forward Commitments?

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Sep 05, 2023

Forward commitments are a key component of our work to support values-based procurement practices within area institutions. But, what is a forward commitment and how do they benefit both farmers and institutional buyers? Read on to learn more about this impactful strategy to ensure community values and historically underserved farms are represented in procurement practices and how food service management company Aramark is adopting the philosophy in the Southeast.

Benefits of Farm To School Programs

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Apr 14, 2023

Over 4.9 billion lunches are served in schools every year. That makes 4.9 billion opportunities to support local economies and strengthen our kids’ attitudes toward agriculture, food, nutrition, and the environment.

Local Food for Schools (LFS)

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Jun 01, 2023

A new program from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Local Food in Schools (LFS), provides dedicated funds to connect school food operations with local farmers, ranchers and producers across the state.

Our 2022 Impact Report

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Jun 20, 2023

Our 2022 Annual Report highlights all the ways our organization has helped lift up local agriculture and improve access to healthy food over the past year. Together, with the help of our partners, we invested $13,000,000 in local economies through food purchases and supported 118 family farms across our regions. Be sure to explore the full report to learn more about our diverse programs, team members, and farmers!

Meet the Team: Emily Hennessee

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Aug 02, 2023

Emily has over 10 years of nonprofit experience working at the intersection of food systems, climate, and public health. Her background in policy, strategy, and program implementation makes her a perfect fit here at The Common Market and the Georgia ACRE Collective, where she works toward building a healthy, climate-friendly, equitable food system for all.

Advancing School Food Procurement

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Aug 29, 2023

At The Common Market, we’re aware that adopting a values-based approach to school food procurement – one that prioritizes community values, like supporting local businesses or climate, over price – can present unfamiliar challenges for school districts and their food service teams. We also know that once a program is in place, the benefits of local procurement can outweigh the burden of the initial effort it takes to implement. Values-based procurement strengthens communities, contributes to resilient local food economies, and positively impacts student health.

But, how do schools get there?

What are Forward Commitments?

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Sep 05, 2023

Forward commitments are a key component of our work to support values-based procurement practices within area institutions. But, what is a forward commitment and how do they benefit both farmers and institutional buyers? Read on to learn more about this impactful strategy to ensure community values and historically underserved farms are represented in procurement practices and how food service management company Aramark is adopting the philosophy in the Southeast.

Marietta gets creative with school meals

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Sep 14, 2023

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.

We’re Moving Local Food in the Great Lakes

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Oct 17, 2023

On Monday, September 19, 2023, The Common Market Great Lakes moved its first food – Apples from Flamm Orchards of Cobden, Illinois. In alignment with Cook County's commitments to the Good Food Purchasing Initiative, our values-based, mission-oriented food distributor has created a partnership with Cook County Sheriff's Office in Chicago to ensure access to local, fresh, nutritious, and responsibly sourced food is available for all.

Strengthening Chicago's Local Food Ecosystem: The Common Market's Acquisition of Local Foods

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Nov 06, 2023

The Common Market has acquired the operations of Local Foods, a fellow wholesale distributor based in the Chicago metro dating back to 2013! We are presently represented as Local Foods Powered by The Common Market.

Food as Medicine: A Conversation with Dr. Rashi Sharma of Sanitas Medical Center

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Nov 24, 2023

Katie Barr from our team sat down with one of our partners, Dr. Rashi Sharma of New Jersey's Sanitas Medical Center, to chat about the success of their three-year-old Food as Medicine program. Get the full scoop on the impact of these programs on the communities they serve, and potential barriers to scaling these programs.

Nonprofit Celebrates One-Year Milestone with Over $2 Million Distributed to Georgia BIPOC and Women-Owned Farms

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Dec 12, 2023

This November marked one year since Local Food Purchase Assistance Program (LFPA) funding reached Georgia. Since then, The Common Market Southeast has distributed more than $2 million to support the expansion of small, local Black Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-owned and women-owned farms, including Local Lands, a Black-owned, family-operated, pasture-raised cattle and poultry farm in Milner, GA.

Meet the Team: Kameko Nichols

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Dec 21, 2023

Kameko Nichols may have joined the Southeast as an Outreach Associate last fall, but she’s really just getting started. The tremendous impact she’s made in just one year is a testament to her abilities to build bridges and innovate alongside farms and institutions. Read on to learn more about what motivated her to work in local food systems!

Serving a Healthy Future: The Impact of Values-Based Food Procurement in Health Care

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Jan 11, 2024

The ACRE Collective, an initiative led by The Common Market Southeast and other food and health organizations that aims to shift procurement among institutions toward values-based purchashing, is proud to include Health Care Without Harm as one of our key partners. Recently, The ACRE Collective's Program Manager Emily Hennessee sat down to chat with Molly Riordan, Eastern Regional Program Manager of Healthy Food in Health Care of Health Care Without Harm about the importance of healthcare institutions engaging in values-based food procurement.

The Georgia ACRE Collective Marks a Year of Success with Forward Commitments, Local Food Incentives, and Working Capital Loans

By The Common Market Wholesale Distributor on Feb 01, 2024

The Georgia ACRE Collective just released its first case study, Structuring a Place-Based Collaboration to Advance Agriculture, Community, Resilience, and Equity through Values-Based Procurement, to highlight its collective efforts and accomplishments during its first year of existence.