NYU Steinhardt News

Katrina Moore Food Studies MA '13 releases film, "Under the Mango Tree"

Katrina Moore, a graduate of the Food Studies graduate program in 2013, has recently released a new documentary called Under the Mango Tree, a look inside a food program for people with mental illnesses in northern Ghana. An estimated 650,000 people in Ghana suffer from severe mental disorders, but the country's three psychiatric hospitals lack the resources to provide adequate care and face challenges with overcrowding. In addition, due to the stygmitazation of mental illnesses and disabilities, the afflicted are often sent to prayer camps, where they're chained to trees and denied food and water for days at a time, stemming from a widespread belief that mental illness is caused by evil spirits, demons, or witchcraft. 

Shekhinah Clinic, the focus of Moore's film, is one of the few healthcare facilities that welcomes those suffering from mental illness without judgment or force. The clinic also operates what may be the only meals-on-wheels-style program in the northern city of Tamale, making it a vital source of emergency food for more than 150 of Tamale's destitute each day. Shekhinah also provides free medical care to anyone who needs it.  

Under the Mango Tree, according to Moore and her crew, is a story of survival and selflessness, as the clinic staff struggles to continue their work with a strained economy. Moore's future plans for this movie are to screen it at educational institutions, nonprofits, and churches in order to raise money and awareness for Shekhinah Clinic. 

About the filmmaker

Katrina Moore is a 2013 graduate of the NYU Food Studies master's program. She has held many roles in the food world, including previous stints as a recipe developer, brand ambassador, chocolate factory tour guide, and cooking show production assistant. In grad school, she studied the prevalence and causes of food insecurity and hunger in the cocoa supply chain and traveled to Ghana to research the impact of fair trade certification on individual cocoa farmers. Moore is currently working with the nonprofit Edible Schoolyard NYC as its communications coordinator, and freelances as a food and cocktail writer.