The Common Market: Delivering local food for the common good to Greenbelt, MD

Attention Greenbelt Co-op Shoppers!  We have a new arrival in the store.  The Common Market, a nonprofit regional food distributor, has come to the Greenbelt Co-op, bringing locally grown produce from over 200 family farms in the Mid –Atlantic region.

“We’re excited to welcome this new vendor who brings us locally sourced items within a few days of harvesting.” says Manager Bob Davis. He also noted that working with the Common Market increases the variety of products available to Co-op shoppers.

 

On November 17th   from 4-7pm, there will be a food tasting of various goodies provided through the Common Market, including some local cheeses and apple butter.  Abby Massey, Mid- Atlantic Regional Manager, is planning to be here to answer any questions and explain more about the unique mission of the Common Market.

The Common Market is a mission-driven distributor of sustainable, seasonal farm foods.  It is committed to providing items that are produced with the highest levels of food safety practices “from seed to farm gate.”  This means no use of GMOs in food crops, no use of growth hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics in animal products, and sustainable growing practices. The Common Market provides specific grower information with every case of food so you can know exactly how the food is grown and where it's coming from.

Founded in 2008, The Common Market began in Philadelphia and is dedicated to strengthening small, family-owned farms while simultaneously improving food access for our most vulnerable communities.  Their farm partners come in all shapes and sizes -from a 1/2 acre of raspberries or 5 acres of vegetables to 1000 acres of fruit trees - but all are independently owned.

Because all of the farms providing product are within 250 miles of the central office in Philadelphia, Common Market is able to visit on a regular basis, offering many developing farms extra time and technical advice.

In addition to delivering to commercial businesses, they also work with hospitals, schools and universities to increase access to local foods, a partnership which grows out of their commitment to public health in urban areas.  In 2014, The Common Market joined The American Heart Association in a program to promote healthy foods and beverages for patients, staff, and visitors at 15 Philadelphia area medical centers resulting in significant increase in the sale of healthy options.

 

So next time you’re in the produce department and around the store, be sure to look for signs saying “locally produced”; you’ll find good things fresh from the farm brought to you by our newest vendor – the Common Market.

To learn more visit us at http://www.greenbelt.coop/cms/  

 

- Dorrie Bates, Former Board of Directors Chair, Greenbelt Co-op Supermarket & Pharmacy