Accessibility

I want to find

Close

Food for Thought: The Path to Food Security in Newark, NJ, a Documentary by Citizen Journalists, Premiered January 30

Documentary Produced by The Greater Newark Community Advisory Board with the support of RWJBarnabas Health, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey

Newark, NJ, January 31, 2018Food for Thought: The Path to Food Security in Newark, NJ, is a new documentary created by Newark’s youth. The hour long film explores food insecurity throughout the city of Newark, in an effort to raise awareness and inspire action; it premiered at The Priory in Newark on Tuesday, January 30.

The documentary was produced by the Greater Newark Community Advisory Board with the support of RWJBarnabas Health, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey.

Food for Thought: The Path to Food Security chronicles food insecurity in Newark through the perspective of young Newarkers (ages 12 to 21) from area schools and community-based organizations. The film highlights community-based assets and ideas about how to change systems, structures, and policies to enhance access to healthy and affordable food in Newark.

“Participating in this project informed me about so many things that I wasn’t aware of, like what a Food Desert is and how important it is to have access to healthy food,” said Shakira McKnight, citizen journalist. "I also learned how important it is for my peers to be informed because if they don’t know what the problem is how can they find a solution.”

The driving force behind the documentary was the Greater Newark Community Advisory Board, a collaborative body of community leaders, organizations, and RWJBarnabas Health facilities working together to address the critical health issues facing the city of Newark. The documentary was supported by Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health’s SICI Practice, which seeks to address the social determinants of health that contribute to poor health outcomes, reduced life expectancy and higher costs. The Practice aims to eliminate disparities and enhance equity in the communities that RWJBarnabas Health serves.

Food for Thought will be used to facilitate community-wide conversations in all five wards of the city of Newark, focused on the key issues raised in the documentary, including the prevalence of food insecurity in Newark, the linkages between access to quality food and community health, and solutions for addressing food insecurity.

“It’s imperative that we empower our youth to tell their important stories. Food for Thought is much more than a project, much more than a film. It is their plea for awareness and change,” said Michellene Davis, Esq., Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, RWJBarnabas Health who created and leads the hospital system’s newly launched Social Impact and Community Investment Department (SICI).

Immediately following the screening NJ Spotlight healthcare reporter Lilo Stainton moderated a crucial post-screening conversation about food insecurity with partners and community members, including,

  • Nathaly Agosto Filion, Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Sustainability, City of Newark
  • Debra Vizzi, President and CEO, Community Food Bank of New Jersey
  • Dr. Denise Rodgers, Vice Chancellor, Inter Professional Programs, Rutgers University
  • Amarylis Olivo, Founder, Garden of the Worker Bees
  • Shakira McKnight, Citizen Journalist

The documentary also is available on YouTube and more information is available at: www.youtube.com/rwjbarnabashealth.


Caption: From Left to Right: Michellene Davis, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, RWJBarnabas Health; Nathaly Agosto Filion, Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Sustainability, City of Newark; Shakira McKnight, Citizen Journalist; Dr. Denise Rodgers, Vice Chancellor, Inter Professional Program, Rutgers University; Darrell K. Terry, Sr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey; Amarylis Olivo, Founder, Garden of Worker Bees; Debra Vizzi, President and CEO, Community Food Bank of New Jersey; Lilo Stainton, Reporter, NJ Spotlight

About Greater Newark Community Advisory Board

The RWJBarnabas Health Greater Newark Community Advisory Board (GNCAB) is a collaborative body of community leaders, organizations, and RWJBH facilities working together to address the critical health issues facing the city of Newark. The GNCAB provides a platform for relationship building, goal setting and the creation of community based initiatives aimed at the long-term improvement of the health and well-being of Newark residents. The Board is made up of a wide array of community leaders including, but not limited to, local and state elected officials, small business owners and leaders, union and clergy leaders, and representatives from community-based organizations and civic associations from the Greater Newark Area. The GNCAB was founded in 2008 to address the needs of residents and RWJBH facilities affected by the closing of several community hospitals in the Greater Newark area.

About RWJBarnabas Health Social Impact and Community Investment Department (SICI)

RWJBarnabas Health’s SICI department is effecting change through collective impact, working with non-traditional and traditional collaborative partners to benefit the individual and the community. SICI is led by its policy arm, as the system believes that sustainable, long-term change can only be effectuated through policy changes at the federal, state and local level. The practice includes a wide spectrum of community outreach programs, national and local partnerships, and initiatives that elevate the quality of life of individuals and communities.