FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Philadelphia, PA, Oct. 28, 2013 — Glenn Bergman, general manager of Weavers Way Co-op in Northwest Philadelphia, testified today before City Council’s Public Property and Public Works Committee in favor of establishing a Land Bank to streamline the disposition of vacant properties.
Philadelphia currently has an estimated 40,000 empty and blighted properties, with four different city agencies sharing control over some 10,000 of them. City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez's proposed legislation would set up an authority to handle acquisition, maintenance and sale of these properties, making the process easier for potential buyers.
Bergman spoke on behalf of Weavers Way, which runs grocery stores and farms in Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Roxborough, and as an appointed member of the Mayor’s Food Policy Advisory Council. Read the full text of his remarks here.
With about 5 acres under cultivation, Weavers Way is currently the largest farming entity in the city, growing about $140,000 worth of vegetables annually. In addition, the Co-op's nonprofit, Weavers Way Community Programs, runs farm and nutrition education programs in conjunction with Weavers Way's farms.
Weavers Way believes urban farming is one of the many ways Philadelphia’s vacant properties could transformed to benefit the city and its citizens. Urban farms and community gardens provide healthy food locally, increase community interaction and are good for the environment.
About Weavers Way Co-op: Weavers Way is a member-owned food co-op open to the public, with stores in Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill offering quality products that are locally grown, sustainable and nutritious. This fall, Weavers Way celebrates 40 years of commitment to healthy food, healthy communities and a healthy environment. For more information, visitwww.weaversway.coop.