Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

Initiative: The Wellness Pantry – Serving all families in need
Grant years: 2022–23

Nutritious food is essential for children’s growth and well-being. Unfortunately, 15% of children in Newark are food insecure, and many of these children have a condition that makes it harder for their families to purchase healthy food. In addition, programs that teach kids and families how to eat healthy are often not accessible for children with disabilities.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) is expanding services including the Women’s Wellness Food Pantry and Hannah’s Kitchen children’s culinary programming to enhance healthy food access and culinary education for families with children who are disabled. NBIMC is building a new referral stream to include Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH) and John F. Kennedy (JFK) School. It will source and distribute specialty formulas, modified foods, and personal care products to meet the needs of all program participants.

Additionally, the children’s culinary nutrition program, Hannah’s Kitchen, will be enhanced and expanded to ensure inclusivity and support of children with diverse abilities. NBIMC staff will undergo a comprehensive Disabilities Educator Training led by CSH experts, and NBIMC will update its culinary classroom space and equipment to ensure all students can participate with ease.

A young boy mixes a bowl of carrots at a cooking class for children at Hannahs Kitchen inclusive facility