Episode 14: Plant-powered city action featuring New York

Oct 2023

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About This Episode

Our Executive Director Lauren Sorkin welcomes Kate MacKenzie, Executive Director of New York City Mayor’s Office on Food Policy. Kate takes us through the innovative work that NYC is implementing to achieve food equity while simultaneously unlocking the co-benefits to health, economy, and the environment. Through its public-school network, the city is empowering its next generation of food heroes with the knowledge and opportunities of Plant-Powered Food systems, which can be crucial to addressing climate change challenges and reducing the city’s emissions.  

The Speakers

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Kate MacKenzie

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Lauren Sorkin

About Kate MacKenzie

Kate serves as the Executive Director of New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Food Policy (MOFP), advising the Mayor on food-related matters and the city’s food system. She launched Food Forward NYC, a groundbreaking 10-year food policy plan, to foster an equitable, sustainable, and healthy food system by 2031. 

One of her key initiatives is overseeing the City’s Good Food Purchasing commitments, aiming to enhance access to nutritious, sustainable foods for the 230 million daily meals and snacks provided by City agencies. This involves transparent tracking through a public dashboard, monitoring agency-level progress, and a commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of food purchases by 33% by 2030. 

Kate was pivotal in leading the city’s multi-agency COVID-19 food response, ensuring no New Yorker went hungry during the pandemic. She also spearheaded Groceries to Go, an innovative nutrition security program offering online vouchers for purchasing healthy foods from local businesses. 

Kate is a respected leader with more than two decades of experience in food security and poverty solutions. Kate holds a master’s in Public Health Nutrition from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University. She is also a registered dietitian. 

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