Fund Regenerative Regional Food Systems

Few sectors offer the opportunity for broad intersectional systems impact as food. We invite you to work with us to address the achievement of vulnerable children, public health outcomes, immigration, regional economies, water quality, racial equity, land conservation, climate change, and beyond! By making targeted investments in regional food systems, your funding has the potential to create simultaneous advancement across many priority systems.

Partnering with Philanthropy to Drive Impact

As a nonprofit aggregator and distributor of good food, we depend on earned revenue from the sale of food and philanthropic support to achieve our mission. We are thankful for our funders that fuel our work to increase food security, farm viability, and community and ecological health across the country—and join us in our commitment to equity through the creation of regenerative regional food systems! Click here to view all funders.

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The Kresge Foundation Logo
Schmidt Family Foundation
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Funders Values Based Procurement School Student Eats Local Lunch

Support Values-Based Procurement

Anchor institutions like schools and hospitals can compound their impact on community health by harnessing the power of their food purchases, and shifting procurement to producers that share their values. This purchasing power creates markets for the sustainably grown food produced by our region’s small and mid-size family farms, including Black farmers and other socially disadvantaged producers. Values-based procurement builds health equity in urban communities, grows economic opportunity for rural producers, and positively impacts social determinants of health.

Investment in values-based procurement allows The Common Market to:

  • Create financial incentives for school districts to procure local food
  • Empower institutions to shift their purchases to food producers that share their values
  • Convene schools and hospitals in regional initiatives around good food procurement
  • Support existing farm-to-institution initiatives in our regions

Be in touch to learn more about supporting values-based procurement!

Invest in the Supply Chain

Our supply chain is made up of small and mid-sized regenerative farms and ranches. Located within roughly 200 miles of our hubs in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, and Chicago—our producers are core to the social fabric of their rural neighbors.

Localized supply chains are reliable and quick to respond to the needs of their communities, validated often as shocks to the food system increase. Supporting localized supply chains drives community resiliency and contributes to ecological transformation. Investing in the supply chain will fundamentally change the way food systems work—shifting the balance in support of smaller, local growers, Black and brown farmers, food grown with values. This shift will illustrate the true cost of food.

Investment in the supply chain provides:

  • Technical Assistance (TA), such as consulting support for business and financial planning, crop planning, season extension, conversion to chemical-free growing practices, and adoption of good agricultural practices
  • Crop planning with growers, low-cost working capital loans and long-term POs that share some of the risk of production across a number of different supply chain partners
  • Community food security in this new age of supply chain disruption

Contact us to explore how your investment can improve our supply chain!

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Expand Food Access

Our food access initiatives serve low-income people, communities of color, and families lacking access to healthy food options. Since 2008, we have a proven track record of partnering with school districts, health centers, government agencies—the institutions that serve those who are most at risk for diet-related illness and food insecurity. We have established systems, relationships, and capacity that allow us to do this work successfully and thoughtfully.

An investment in The Common Market food access initiatives helps us to:

  • Serve as Food as Medicine partners by providing good, nutritious food that helps prevent, treat and manage chronic disease
  • Partner with Community Benefits programs at hospitals to address social determinants of health in their communities
  • Provide incentives that support local food in public school cafeterias
  • Carry out emergency food and disaster relief programs that empower local farmers to support their communities and communities to support their farmers during crisis
  • Fill our Food Access Fund, which removes the price obstacle for many low-income communities looking to access fresh, local food

Be in touch to learn more about expanding food access!

Build Up Critical Infrastructure

The Common Market is a nonprofit local food distributor that maintains physical and social infrastructure that enables food from family farms to reach the plates of vulnerable communities. We develop localized supply chains that catalyze urban and rural relationships, building regional food resiliency through capital investment in small-scale infrastructure like refrigerated cold storage, transportation and communication networks.

Investment in infrastructure funds:

  • Transportation and logistics connecting farms to markets and communities to healthy local food
  • Cold storage that maintains the quality and safety of food from field to table
  • Hard and soft assets that connect interdependent urban and rural communities

Let's connect and discuss critical food systems infrastructure needs!

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Be a Part of Our National Replication Strategy

In the next 10 years, we will build a national footprint for local food, creating opportunities for thriving farms and healthy communities. Since our founding, The Common Market model of local food aggregation and distribution has served 10 major U.S. metropolitan areas comprising about 16% of the nation’s population. Through our work across communities, we made more than $120M of direct investment into local food systems and supported over 30,000 acres of productive farmland while. By 2033, we will launch chapters in three new regions with the potential to provide local food access for up to 25% of the U.S. population.

Investment in our replication strategy supports:

  • Geographic expansion to reach more people with good food
  • Creating the pathway for transition away from commodity and industrial agriculture
  • Building markets for regenerative agriculture
  • Compounding impact through land conservation and biodiversity
  • Creating fair market opportunities for Black and brown farmers

Contact us to be a part of our national expansion strategy!


Impact Across our Regions

Each of our regional chapters—Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Texas and the Great Lakes—operate independently and welcome funding partnerships locally and nationally. Below illustrates some of our funding at work across our locations.

The Georgia ACRE Collective” funded by The Rockefeller Foundation (Atlanta, GA; $1.7M over three years) - This Georgia-based initiative centers on garnering purchasing commitments from Atlanta-area anchor institutions, while shifting procurement to producers that share the institutions’ values. The purchasing power of these Atlanta institutions creates economic opportunity for sustainably grown food produced by Black farmers, women farmers and others historically excluded from wholesale markets.

“The Chicago launch” funded by Builders Vision (Chicago, IL; $456,000 for 1 year) - The Common Market Great Lakes, based in Chicago, will formally “launch” in summer 2023 in partnership with stakeholders working to improve the foodshed’s underserved communities. The work and investment in the region strengthens existing networks of mid-size agriculture, and creates opportunities for underrepresented growers that desire to participate in institutional markets. The launch of our newest chapter gives us the ability to develop strong partnerships with regional institutions and expand their ability and confidence in values-based procurement. The funding support also translates to the development of aggregation nodes in other parts of the region; and the increase in availability of year-round, regionally-produced, and minimally-processed foods for Chicagoland communities.

“The Direct Loan Fund” funded by the Kresge Foundation (All regions; $750,000 over 3 years) Managing cash flow is a constant struggle for farmers, made even more difficult by the limited and expensive financial products that presently address working capital needs. Many of our small and medium-sized growers, especially those who have been historically excluded from funding opportunities, cannot get lines of credit and factoring to address the cash flow gap. As a result, they miss opportunities to innovate, bring in reliable income, and build wealth. Our Direct Loan Fund provides low-burden, non-extractive capital to finance the building blocks of a good food ecosystem. This fund invests in working capital loans to our farm partners—facilitating their ability to grow profitably and increase the supply of healthy local food for our communities.

“Diverse supply chain development in Texas” funded by The Texas Department of Agriculture (Texas; $5.2M over two years) This program represents an 18-month, multi-million dollar sourcing commitment to procure from socially disadvantaged farmers in Texas. Funded through the USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement (LFPA), our partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture creates sustained market demand for food grown by Black farmers, farmers of color, women farmers and Veteran farmers. The long-term commitment enables crop planning with growers and long-term POs that eliminate some of the risk of production experienced by many of our farmers.

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Please be in touch below if you have any specific questions about our resources.

The Common Market in the News

The Common Market is recognized by media and foundations at a local, national and global level. We encourage you to explore all of our press coverage.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
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The Common Market Annual Report 2021

Our 2021 Annual Report chronicles the progress The Common Market has made in pursuit of our goals: supporting food access innovations alongside our institutional partners, building support for resilient agriculture, and rebuilding regional food systems through policy and advocacy.

True Value: Revealing the Positive Impacts of Food Systems Transformation

TRUE VALUE: REVEALING THE POSITIVE IMPACTS OF FOOD SYSTEMS TRANSFORMATION presents powerful and compelling evidence that food systems transformation is possible and having an impact now. Conducted by TMG THINK TANK FOR SUSTAINABILITY, an inclusive and true cost evaluation approach is applied to six food systems initiatives, including The Common Market (featured in the BEACONS OF HOPE series), to understand the breadth and depth of their positive impacts.

Let’s Work Together

We invite you to work with us to address the achievement of vulnerable children, public health outcomes, immigration, regional economies, water quality, racial equity, land conservation, climate change, and beyond! We look forward to connecting!