PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Four food co-ops or community-owned grocery stores in the Philadelphia area are in the planning stages.  And fresh food is only one of the reasons for their growing popularity.

“It’s not just about food, they’re about community.”

Craig Borowiak is an assistant professor at Haverford College and is writing a book on food cooperatives. He says, given the down economy, he’s not surprised by the recent uptick in food co-ops in Philadelphia.

“When times are tight, when people get alienated, there is a desire to reconnect. People have to turn to the community to get by.”

Bob Noble works for the Mid-Atlantic Food Cooperative Alliance, which provides assistance to new co-ops. He says co-ops are in the start-up phase in Doylstown, Elkins Park, Kensington and South Philadelphia.

“There are parts of Philadelphia where people have to take one and sometimes two bus rides to get food.”

He says, community-owned co-ops provide its members with fresh food right in their neighborhood and provides jobs locally.

“A lot of the meats and vegetables are produced locally also, within only a couple of hours from Philadelphia. The three or four co-ops that are start up efforts right now, when they open they’ll all provide jobs for the local economy.”

Reported by Cherri Gregg, KYW Newsradio 1060

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