Each year millions suffer from hunger and malnourishment, while collectively more than a billion tons of food is wasted globally. WBGO’s Marcellis Counts spoke recently Tobias A. Fox, the founder of a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness for ecological and wellness issues in the city of Newark.
Since 2012, Tobias A. Fox, has been the founding and managing director for Newark Science and Sustainability Inc. Fox was born in Newark and grew up in East Orange.
"I grew up in a household of sixteen and so I became a product of poverty and neglect, food insecurity was definitely high on the list for us. Thankfully we had a roof over our head, but we were dealing with a lot of other social issues related to poverty. I never saw myself being involved in the development of urban agriculture in low income communities or running an organization that dealt with science and sustainability. I never saw that happening."
After shifting his focus from the book publishing biz, Fox’s appetite to help others developed from joining the ranks of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Newark. All those interactions eventually led to the creation of Newark Science and Sustainability.
"In that process I became more intuned with farmers, these were like rural and urban farmers. I didn't know that an urban farmer was at the time. People who live in cities and they grow food wherever they can, backyards, rooftops, vacant lots, factories, indoors. I got turned on by all of this.
While Fox is pleased with how much food is being produced in Newark, he says his organization is working on how to distribute it better.
"A lot of that food that we grow gets wasted in our gardens or urban farmers because we haven't developed a distribution of that food just yet."
Fox knows he faces a big challenge. The Food and Drug Administration notes that one in 10 residents in New Jersey are facing food insecurity, more than 20 pounds of food per person each month are wasted.
Click above to hear more about Tobias A. Fox.