The Weaver’s Way Co-op is a community-owned market in Mount Airy. Among other things, the co-op has committed itself to addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity throughout northwest Philadelphia and does so through its Marketplace Program. The Marketplace Program is a partnership between Weaver’s Way and local area schools to recreate cooperative markets, which the students run. The goals of the Marketplace Program are to provide healthier alternatives to after school and lunch snacks, to promote healthy eating habits and to create an awareness of local produce. Also, the Marketplace Program creates an opportunity for children to gain experience in business and an understanding of co-operative values.
In 2008-09, over 200 students throughout six elementary schools took part in the program, and even more were exposed to the programs benefits. A portion of the students’ yearly earnings was donated to support causes all around the world.
The Marketplace Programs is a part of Weaver’s Way Community Programs (WWCP), which is a non-profit division of the Weaver’s Way Co-op. The mission statement of the WWCP is to “build the northwest Philadelphia community by fostering cooperative activities that support local food production, economic literacy, a sustainable environment and healthy lifestyles.”