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Canned Vegetables & Fruit
Canned Stew (low sodium)
Canned Chili (low sodium)
One in seven individuals in the United States is “food insecure,” lacking regular access to nutritious food. In the Philadelphia area, the incidence is nearly double that — one in four individuals or approximately 750,000 people in the Delaware Valley.
To address this crisis, Weavers Way staff, Philabundance, Food Moxie and the Co-op’s Food Justice Committee are partnering to host a food drive this Thanksgiving season, collecting money and nonperishable food items Nov. 18-27 at the Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill stores.
Since 2005, Philabundance has been the region’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving 350 member agencies — food cupboards, shelters, residential programs, social service agencies, emergency kitchens and neighborhood/church distribution programs — in southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey. In 2015, Philabundance distributed 30 million pounds of food. Executive Director Glenn Bergman was Weavers Way’s general manager from 2004 to 2015 and says, “Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Weavers Way and the community in the Northwest, but I have enjoyed learning more about the issues facing so many in our region and the great work that Philabundance and many other organizations are doing to help people in need.”
In 2013, Weavers Way members Nathea Lee and Sue Wasserkrug, along with Outreach Coordinator Bettina de Caumette, organized the Co-op’s Food Justice Committee. A member-driven group working to alleviate hunger in the region and advocating for equity in the production and distribution of healthy food, the committee meets the first Wednesday of every month. Members and non-members alike are welcome at FJC meetings and programs.
Food Moxie, the nonprofit “offshoot” of the Co-op formerly known as Weavers Way Community Programs, offers farm, nutrition and culinary education programs for children and adults at Stenton Family Manor, a city-run shelter in Germantown, and Martin Luther King and Saul high schools. Food Moxie (www.foodmoxie.org) has also built raised planting beds at a community training kitchen at a shelter in North Philadelphia run by Philabundance.
Food donated in the Weavers Way drive will go two local food cupboards — the Food Pantry at Church of the Annunciation, Carpenter Lane and Lincoln Drive, and Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry, based at 35 W. Chelten Ave. (www.crisisministry.org). All monetary donations will go to Philabundance (philabundance.org), whose purchasing power enables it to provide two meals for every donated dollar. “If co-op principles can be added to fighting food insecurity, and I think they can, why not try and make the system better. I love the idea of working in collaboration with every person and nonprofit institution working to end hunger,” Bergman said.
Collection sites will be staffed during store hours. Working members may sign up for shifts at the collection sites — check the Online Work Calendar in the Member Center at members.weaversway.coop (login required) or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-999-5428 or Bettina at email@example.com or 215-843-2350, ext. 118.
With a successful food drive this November, the partners hope to host a perishable food drive next summer that would accept fresh food, including fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat.