Local farm food distributor Common Market, Inc. has been named a winner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Food Project (CFP) Award.
The Community Food Project awards are granted to organizations that support increased access to healthy food in low income communities.
Co-founder of Common Market Haile Johnston said his organization is honored to receive the competitive award.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Department of Agriculture, especially as an urban food project and as a program that really bridges agricultural communities and urban consumer communities,” Johnston said.
“Hundreds of organizations applied for this grant, nationally. So, to be included amongst the list of grantees is really an honor.”
Over the past 17 years, CFP awards have funded more than 400 local and regional food systems in communities in 48 states.
This year, a total of $4.87 million in grant funds were awarded to 26 projects in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Common Market Philadelphia was awarded $300,000 for its Common Place Food Hub: Restoring Urban & Rural Vitality project.
Haile says the funds will be used to expand youth programming in connection with sustainable farming in the region.
CFP award winners were announced today by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
In a press release, Vilsack lauded the program as a key component of the Department’s efforts to address food insecurity nationwide.
“The Community Food Projects program has demonstrated that local food can be part of a successful strategy to address hunger and increase healthy food access,” Vilsack said in the release.
“This year’s grantees continue that tradition while representing exciting innovations and ideas. I look forward to seeing how their work will support our country’s farmers, expand local food opportunities, and increase healthy food access for generations to come.”
Common Market distributes locally grown foods in an effort to strengthen regional farms and connect public and private schools, hospitals, universities, grocery stores and workplaces to food grown by sustainable farmers in the region.
Earlier this week, Common Market also received a $40,000 IMPACT Award from GlaxoSmithKline.