Morrison Healthcare and Common Market Georgia’s Budding Partnership
At Morrison, we believe in the Power of Food. We understand this power goes beyond healing. As society continues to learn about the effects of factory farming on the environment and climate change, people around the world are paying more attention to how food is sourced, including us. As we approach Earth Day and take a moment to think about our environmental impact, we also want to take time and celebrate an already budding partnership between Morrison Healthcare and Common Market Georgia that is beneficial to our earth, patients, and employees.
Common Market Georgia is a mission-driven distributor of sustainable, local (within a 250-mile radius) farm foods. They are passionate about connecting institutions and communities with good food from over 30 producers in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee. When Morrison purchases produce and products at a local level, we can engage in the practice of supporting farmers and producers in the communities we serve.
Morrison’s partnership with Common Market is something Common Market Operations Manager, Lily Rolader describes as unique. This partnership is helping expand access for small to mid-scale farmers to work with large food service distributors who frequently provide food for large businesses. This is important because big business’ purchasing power can have an incredibly positive impact on the scale of small to mid-size farms. Since January, Morrison Healthcare has purchased approximately 25,000 pounds of food from local farmers across 11 Atlanta area hospitals.
Part of the reason few large companies partner with small farms is cost. People often think it’s more expensive or difficult to eat local foods, but as small farms grow, the price of food decreases due to economies of scale. Common Market is working to build markets for small to mid-scale farmers to help them increase their capacity, which ultimately lowers prices for all.
As individuals and companies, both large and small become more intentional about growing food sustainably, Lily believes agriculture can be something that restores. “By developing market opportunities for our farmers growing food produced with integrity and respect, we can help transform growing practices and heal communities.”
Farmers also benefit, not just financially. “[They] are always interested to hear about how their produce is being used,” explains Lily. “Many work with schools and restaurants in their own area and are happy to see their produce being [across other communities].”
This Earth Day as we celebrate our partnership with Common Market Georgia we also challenge you to pause and think about how we all could be better stewards of our environment and communities.
The Common Market is a nonprofit regional food distributor with a mission to connect communities with good food from sustainable family farms. They strive to improve food security, farm viability, and community and ecological health. Through their farm share program, members help them create a more vibrant local food system. To learn more about their locations and offering visit www.thecommonmarket.org. To learn more about their programs, or to partner with The Common Market on your local food initiative please contact Lily via email at [email protected] or call (678) 343-9525 ext. 21