Documentary Examines Obesity and Diabetes in Newark

Marilyn Harris, Vice President of Community Relations at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, discusses a documentary called “Food for Thought” that is a collaboration between RWJBarnabas Health, Newark Beth Israel and the Greater Newark Community Advisory Board. This documentary examines the high levels of obesity and diabetes in Newark and shows how the lack of healthy foods can dramatically impact a person’s economic and social well-being.

1/20/18 #125






"We are thrilled to be joined by Marilyn Harris, Vice President of Community Relations at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center which is tied to the RWJBarnabas health system, a funder of public broadcasting to fully disclose. Marilyn, we were at a meeting the other day, I was honored to moderate the Newark Community Advisory Board, we we're talking about a whole range of issues, and there was this documentary we're about to show a clip of, Food For Thought. Set it up, what is it all about? Food For Thought, the path of food security in Newark, New Jersey is an opportunity for us to look at, to understand, the importance of access to food in our community. We came together with some of our youth, it was absolutely wonderful, we came together with our community leaders and looked at what is needed in order to make sure that the City of Newark and our community has access to food. You ready to take a look? Oh, absolutely. This is Food For Thought. Check it out. It's access. So the access to the greenhouse is helping this community, but we don't have enough access, we don't have enough greenhouses, we don't have enough bodegas that are sell... serving healthy food that is properly refrigerated or that is at the proper price. We need more spaces where people won't feel as food insecure. [music playing] Now the greenhouse serves several purposes. One of it is certainly to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for our community, but also it is a true learning center for Newark. Beautiful stuff. By the way, to the young people who produced that, it's... for us in the broadcasting business, that's impressive. Well you know what? Our youth were absolutely phenomenal in this process, where they learned citizen journalism. Sure. Because we understood that in order to make sure that something was sustainable, it had to deal with our youth as well, and so that documentary that you see and that will be aired coming toward the end of January, 2018, was instrumented by them, it was structured by them, they interviewed, they did some of the camera shots, they're phenomenal and brilliant. Good stuff, and by the way, a couple of things we saw in there that really struck me. Newark is often called a "food desert"? Yeah, yes. Talk about that. And what does it have to do with what's going on in terms of creating fruit or, you know, growing fruits and vegetables at the..."