Jewish Women’s Foundation of New Jersey Provides Support for Newark Beth Israel Medical Center’s Women’s Wellness Pantry

Newark, NJ (December 10, 2020) Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) recently received a $30,000 grant from Jewish Women’s Foundation (JWF), of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ, to support the NBIMC sponsored Women’s Wellness Pantry Program.

The Women’s Wellness Pantry, located at the Rev. Dr. Ronald B. Christian Community Health and Wellness Center at 208 Lyons Avenue in Newark, directly across the street from NBIMC, aims to improve the health and well-being of pregnant and new moms and their families by providing a variety of healthy pantry items, fresh produce as well as hygiene products and diapers in addition to important health and nutrition education.

NBIMC registered dietitians work with pregnant women and young mothers from NBIMC's Women's Health Center and Pediatric Health Center and invite them to participate in the Pantry Program.

“When a woman is pregnant, whatever she eats is what her baby eats. And when children are young, they tend to eat what their mom eats as well,” says Kerri Likakis, MS, RDN, CPT. Karen Basedow MS, RDN, CDE adds “One of the reasons we focus on this population is that nutrient deficiencies prior to the age of 2 can lead to problems in children’s development. If you don’t eat right, you don’t grow right.

The pantry has remained open through the Covid-19 pandemic with contactless pickups and virtual education classes. Weekly virtual classes for moms include prenatal yoga, prenatal nutrition, baby’s first foods, mom central (a social support group for moms), kids cooking classes and more.

“Women are often the center of the family, and reaching them can change the health of many both in the short and long term,” says Barbara Mintz, MS, RD, System Senior Vice President of Healthy Living and Community Engagement at RWJBarnabas Health. “Now through the generous resources from JWF, we’re able to stay in touch with our moms-to-be and new moms and make sure that they have resources for needed services, food and health education and stay up to date on prenatal and post-partum care.”