Section: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center News

Funding for a Newark Greenhouse to Help an Inner City Community Garden Grow



Corporate Donations from Merck Company Foundation, Aetna Foundation, Victoria Foundation and Manischewitz Spur Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children's Hospital of New Jersey's Wellness Programs

(NEWARK, NJ – May, 2014) Those in greatest need often have the most barriers to good health and lack of access to nutrition education and healthy food. In response to this need and to break through the barriers, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) and Children's Hospital of New Jersey's (CHoNJ) Wellness Programs (KidsFit, The Beth Challenge, The Beth Garden) are growing/expanding in the community thanks to generous donations from our partners, the Merck Company Foundation, Aetna Foundation, Victoria Foundation and most recently The Manischewitz Company. Not only is The Beth Garden commencing its fifth growing season, but a sustainable Beth Greenhouse is set to be constructed and the KidsFit pediatric wellness program is being offered at more community venues.

The Merck Company Foundation has embraced this wellness initiative with a $25,000 grant in 2013, seed money for the Beth Greenhouse startup; Aetna Foundation has donated $38,000 to fund KidsFit on Wheels, a program actively occurring at the Newark YMCA this spring that will eventually educate 2,200 individuals on healthy eating; and the Victoria Foundation, a supporter of the Newark community since 1924, has funded the start-up operating costs of the Beth Greenhouse with $7,500. Top matzo manufacturer and one of America's top kosher brands, Manischewitz, made a $4,000 donation immediately after Passover in honor of the company's vendors. "The support of Merck, Aetna and the Victoria Foundations will greatly enhance our ability to offer healthy foods and nutrition education year round," states John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer, NBIMC and CHoNJ, Executive Vice President, Barnabas Health, "And with the support of our neighbor, The Manischewitz Company, the construction of the greenhouse will have widespread impact on our local community."

The Beth Greenhouse

NBIMC and CHoNJ's award winning wellness programs reach far into the inner city communities hardest hit by the national obesity epidemic. The Merck Company Foundation was one of our first funders in 2009 of KidsFit. The Beth Challenge, a worksite wellness and community program provides education on nutrition and exercise through teamwork and counseling; and The Beth Garden, a collaborative effort with Garden State Urban Farms and Arthur and Sons, provides nutrition education as well as access to healthy fresh foods.

The Beth Greenhouse will provide year-round training, education and employment, and is anticipated to yield more than 20,000 pounds of high quality, nutritious, locally grown lettuce, fruits, herbs and greens.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center's (NBIMC) award winning wellness programs have been recognized by the New Jersey Hospital Association's Community Outreach Award, 2012 NJ BIZ Healthcare Hero Award and the Prestigious NOVA award for "The Beth Embraces Wellness: An Integrated Approach to Prevention in the Community". A 673-bed regional care teaching hospital with more than 800 physicians, 3,000 employees and 100 volunteers cares for patients with over 300,000 outpatient visits and 25,000 admissions annually. NBIMC is in the top three hospitals in the nation in the number of heart transplants with better than expected outcomes, has the only lung transplant program in New Jersey, and combined with Saint Barnabas Medical Center, both Barnabas Health affiliates, is third in the nation for kidney transplants, by volume.

Children's Hospital of New Jersey
Children's Hospital of New Jersey, located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, is the state's premier hospital caring for children, with specialized services to treat ill and injured children from newborn to adolescent years and has the most comprehensive pediatric cardiac care program in the region as well as preventive programs that promote wellness in the community. To learn more, visit us on line at

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Contact: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

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