New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the reappointment of Kate MacKenzie as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy (MOFP).
As executive director, MacKenzie will continue to advance the food equity goals of Food Forward NYC, the city’s first-ever 10-year food policy plan. This plan outlines a comprehensive policy framework to increase food security, promote access to and consumption of healthy foods, and support economic opportunity and environmental sustainability in the food system by 2031. Under MacKenzie’s leadership, MOFP is leading the administration’s goals towards a wholesome, nutrient-rich food system by collaborating across all city agencies.
“Making our city’s food system healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable is a key priority of my administration — and we have hit the ground running since I took office to ‘Get Stuff Done,’” said Mayor Adams. “From launching Plant-Powered Fridays in all public schools to expanding Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Clinics in NYC Health + Hospitals facilities to all five boroughs, we are implementing transformative changes in the meals we serve and the food we source. Kate MacKenzie has been a critical partner in our efforts to envision and implement these transformative changes, and I am thrilled to reappoint her to lead the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy.”
MOFP spearheads cross-cutting interagency food initiatives, including the rollout of Plant-Powered Fridays across all of the city’s public schools, launching the city’s first-ever Food and Climate Dashboard, and guiding the introduction of fresh produce and expansion of culturally responsive food into one of the nation’s largest municipal emergency food systems.
Under the leadership of MacKenzie, MOFP is exemplifying the mayor’s mandate to “Get Stuff Done,” serving as the architect of GetFood NYC, the city’s pandemic food response; institutionalizing the use of the Supply Gap to drive equitable emergency food distributions; incubating the Groceries to Go pilot program; securing unprecedented budgets for food across city agencies; committing to unprecedented transparency in city food procurements with a public food dashboard; and driving a 37-percent reduction in the city’s carbon emissions stemming from city food procurements.
“Kate’s reappointment is a recognition of her clear ability to successfully advance Mayor Adams’ food priorities, including strengthening the city’s emergency food system to address food insecurity,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright.“She is also leading the city’s efforts to integrate food and nutrition into our education system, so all our children can develop lifelong healthy eating habits. I look forward to continuing to work with her to develop groundbreaking food policy.”
“Food is about so much more than just what we choose to eat. It is about equity, justice, culture, and tradition,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom.“It is also profoundly connected to our health and well-being. From the food we serve in our public hospitals to those served in our social service agencies and to our public messaging campaigns around healthy eating, we must continue to work together to see that it is plant-centered. I look forward to continuing to work with Kate and the MOFP team to drive this important work forward.”
“Mayor Adams has already established New York City as a global leader in innovative, forward-thinking food policy, and I am honored to be reappointed to this critical role,” said MOFP Executive Director Kate MacKenzie.“Under the mayor’s leadership, we will continue to promote health, sustainability, and equity in our food system, working toward the goals outlined in the city’s Food Forward NYC plan.”
Mayor Adams has long been a champion for innovative food policy and promoting healthy eating habits. As Brooklyn borough president, he helped launch the city’s first Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals Bellevue. He also successfully advocated for the city to implement Meatless Mondays in all public schools and to reduce purchases of red meat by 50 percent by 2040.
“Healthy lives are built when they include healthy food, and Kate McKenzie has been a vital leader, ally, and partner in our shared mission to make healthy food accessible to all New Yorkers and in addressing the prevention of diet-related diseases that are hurting our city and our communities, especially Black and Brown communities that bear their disproportionate burden,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.“I’m excited to continue our work together and to create a more sustainable food environment and a healthier city for this and for generations to come.”
“Schools are the centers of our communities, and the work of advancing food equity goals and tacking food insecurity starts with our children,” said New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks.“I am grateful to Mayor Adams, Kate, and the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy for their constant support in making sure our kids are fed, healthy, and cared for, and I am looking forward to all we can achieve through our ongoing collaboration.”
“MOFP Executive Director Kate MacKenzie’s incredible leadership has been critical to shaping our initiatives and ongoing efforts to ensure that no New Yorker goes hungry and that low-income communities have access to fresh and healthy food,” said New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins.“We are proud of all we have achieved in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy to expand and strengthen access to our food programs, including the recently revamped Community Food Connection program. We greatly look forward to continuing to build on this vital progress as we implement innovative, equitable, and sustainable solutions to address and prevent food insecurity in New York City.”
“The Mayor’s Office of Food Policy is a crucial partner in our work to achieve a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy food system for our city,” said Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Executive Director Kizzy Charles-Guzman.“Kate’s continued leadership on these issues will ensure New York can lead the nation on food policy that centers the interconnectedness of food, health, and climate.”
“From Good Food Purchasing to Groceries to Go, the initiatives of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy have continued to help address food insecurity for our most impacted New Yorkers,” said Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture Director Qiana Mickie. “I congratulate Kate MacKenzie on her reappointment as director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy by Mayor Adams. For over two decades, Kate has been a leader in the food insecurity and nutrition arena and has lifted the mayor’s priorities in food policy for the city for over three years. I am looking forward to working with her to ensure that all New Yorkers, in every neighborhood, in every borough, have access to fresh and healthy food.”
“I’m pleased that Mayor Adams has reappointed Kate MacKenzie to continue leading the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy,” said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, chair of, Committee on Social Services. “With the COVID-19 pandemic emerging just months into Ms. MacKenzie’s tenure, there couldn’t have been more sobering evidence of the need for a long-term and comprehensive food policy. Ms. MacKenzie’s experience standing up new programs and initiatives to address the needs of food-insecure New Yorkers will continue to serve her well in this critical role.”
“I am proud to see the reappointment of my friend Kate MacKenzie as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson. “During my time in the City Council, we worked to expand the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, partnered on many food distributions during the COVID-19 pandemic to support our food pantries and soup kitchens, introduced legislation to create a 10-year food policy strategy to reduce food waste, and joined with Mayor Adams earlier this year to implement healthier food options in public schools, invest in Health Bucks and Farmer’s Markets, to streamline the city’s procurement process to add healthier food options at local shelters, and other city facilities. With her reappointment, I look forward to our continued work together in fighting for food justice.”
“Ensuring everyday New Yorkers understand the importance of food policy is critical,” said New York City Councilmember Justin Brannan. “From the direct connections between climate change and food systems to the effects of lack of access to healthy and affordable foods on poverty, food policy is the backbone of our food system. I look forward to continuing to partner with Kate on the administration’s efforts to increase food security and ways to access healthy food, while expanding the dynamic work of connecting food policy to environmental sustainability. Viva Kate!”
“I look forward to working with MOFP Executive Director MacKenzie to combat food insecurity citywide, but especially in my home borough of the Bronx,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “Ensuring our communities have access to healthy foods, our city’s food procurement is sound, and maintaining environmental sustainability is critical to supporting the New Yorkers we represent. I am excited to work together on our City’s recovery by supporting economic opportunity and fighting to make everyone — while prioritizing Bronxites — healthier through increased food security and promoting access to and consumption of healthy foods.”
“Community Food Advocates celebrates Kate MacKenzie’s reappointment as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy,” said Liz Accles, executive director, Community Food Advocates. “Kate is a food equity champion with a great depth of knowledge, and her reappointment reflects Mayor Adams’ unprecedented commitment to food justice. I look forward to our continued partnership as we work to advance transformative innovations in school meals and food purchasing in New York City.”
“New Yorkers are lucky to have a seasoned leader like Kate MacKenzie at the helm of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy,” said Nevin Cohen, associate professor, CUNY School of Public Health Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute. “Kate’s work on pandemic crisis response, food security and nutrition, good food procurement, and food and climate change have been recognized by food policy experts worldwide. Kate has the skills, values, and vision to create an equitable and healthy food system for New York.”
“We are thrilled that Mayor Adams has reappointed Kate McKenzie to lead the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy,” said Gabrielle Blavatsky, co-founder and policy director, Equity Advocates. “Kate’s previous experience working with food nonprofits and her deep understanding of hunger and the food equity challenges that New Yorkers experience have made her an effective executive director and true partner in the management of New York City’s COVID-19 emergency food response. Kate also provided critical and thoughtful leadership in the launch of the city’s first-ever 10-year food policy plan, Food Forward NYC. As a community partner in this effort, Equity Advocates saw firsthand how her willingness to listen to and learn from community members led to a stronger vision for the city. We look forward to our continued partnership with Kate and her team.”
“We applaud the reappointment of Kate MacKenzie as executive director of MOFP,” said Stephen Ritz, founder, Green Bronx Machine. “This is a victory for every person who eats, sells, grows, and consumes food in New York City — especially our children. Kate’s tireless work and advocacy speaks to the virtuous cycle of equity, inclusion, and access that build healthy, resilient, and thriving communities and opportunities. We thank Mayor Adams for reappointing our champion and are excited to work with Kate, recently appointed Qiana Mickie, and New York City Schools Chancellor David C. Banks to grow something greater for present and future generations as well as the continued health of our city and planet. My written words cannot appropriately convey my enthusiasm — bravo!”
“We are very excited that Kate MacKenzie has been reappointed as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy. Kate’s dedication to improving the food systems in the city and beyond are unparalleled, and we know that she will continue to serve our city well,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, president and CEO, GrowNYC. “We are proud to have Kate on GrowNYC’s board of directors, and we look forward to enhancing our work to support local famers and increase access to healthy produce throughout the city.”
“Kate MacKenzie has been a highly trusted and greatly respected colleague and leader in this field for decades,” said Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America. “She has played a crucial role in ensuring that the City of New York has enacted cutting-edge policies fighting hunger and improving nutrition, including rapidly enacting new programs during the height of the pandemic that literally saved numerous lives. Her wise reappointment is another great sign of just how seriously Mayor Adams prioritizes the city’s work on improving its food system for all its residents.”
“The City of New York and the Adams administration are dedicated to decreasing food insecurity and food-related chronic disease,” said Charles Platkin, PhD, JD, MPH, executive director, Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center. “The reappointment of Kate MacKenzie as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, a true food policy hero, who brings decades of experience, dedication, and innovation to the role, demonstrates the city’s commitment to continue to advance food justice and food equity. The Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center is excited to continue our work with Kate and the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy.”
“More than ever, we need city government to be laser-focused on making food policy a priority, and by reappointing Kate MacKenzie as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, Mayor Eric Adams is sending a strong message that New York City cares about making sure that people are fed and that we integrate health into what we eat,” said David Greenfield, CEO, Met Council. “We at Met Council look forward to continuing to work with Executive Director MacKenzie as we advance our mission to serving the neediest across New York City.”
“Kate MacKenzie has done a stellar job running New York City’s Office of Food Policy over the last several years, especially during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mark Izeman, New York regional senior strategist, Natural Resources Defense Council. “Her reappointment as executive director of this critical office is great news in the fight to build a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system. Kate’s mix of deep expertise, commitment to food equity, and fantastic people skills makes her the ideal person to spearhead the city’s complex food strategy.”
“Kate MacKenzie’s reappointment is a tribute to Eric Adams’ genuine commitment to healthier food for New Yorkers as well as to Kate’s leadership of his Office of Food Policy,” said Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor and Professor Emerita, food studies and public health, New York University. “She’s getting the job done and we are lucky to have her there.”
“We congratulate Kate MacKenzie on her reappointment as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy,” said Rachel Sabella, director, No Kid Hungry New York. “We’ve seen firsthand Kate’s proven leadership in the anti-hunger and food policy community and look forward to continuing our strong partnership to ensure every child in New York City has consistent access to nutritious food through the expansion of school meal programs, SNAP outreach, and other key programs. No Kid Hungry New York stands deeply committed to working with Kate and the Office of Food Policy to ensure three nutritious meals a day for every child in across the five boroughs.”
“Bravo that Mayor Eric Adams has reappointed Kate MacKenzie. Under Kate’s direction, MOFP has made great progress toward a more healthful, just, and sustainable food system for New York City,” said Pamela Koch, Mary Swartz Rose Associate Professor of Nutrition and Education, Teachers College Columbia University. “In schools, we are reimagining food and nutrition education with experiential learning through gardening, cooking, and learning about food justice for all our students, as well as improving the quality and adding more plant-based options to school meals. Onto another year of positive changes for nourishing food for all New Yorkers.”
“The Campaign Against Hunger congratulates Kate MacKenzie on her reappointment as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy New York,” said Dr. Melony Samuels, CEO and founder, The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH). “We commend Kate for supporting anti-hunger organizations like TCAH during the pandemic’s height. Her leadership saw the amassing of critical resources to bridge the gap for food-insecure New Yorkers and others struggling to make ends. TCAH appreciates her tenacity to get the job done and her commitment to advancing the food equity goals of Food Forward NYC, the City’s first-ever 10-year food policy plan. Congratulations on this well-deserved reappointment.”
“I am thrilled for the city that we will continue to have Kate MacKenzie at the helm of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy,” said Grace Bonilla, president and CEO, United Way of New York City. “I had the pleasure of working with her in the early days of the pandemic, and have seen first-hand her ability to produce innovative solutions for food distribution which was only matched by her commitment to addressing inequities in the food distribution system. United Way of New York City looks forward to working with Kate and the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy as we look for solutions to address food insecurity.”
“Wellness in the Schools congratulates Kate MacKenzie on her reappointment as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy. Kate is both a strategic thinker and an effective implementer who has the experience, knowledge, and partnerships to build a more equitable food system in New York City,” said Nancy Easton, executive director, of Wellness in the Schools. “We have had the pleasure of working with Kate over the years on a number of school food initiatives, and we are thrilled to work with her and the DOE Office of Food and Nutrition Services to implement the inaugural Chef Council, which will develop scratch-cooked, plant-based, and culturally relevant recipes for all New York City public school children.”
“The right person with the right expertise, the right temperament, the right grit, at the right time in the history of this city. Kate MacKenzie brings it all to and for our plant-forward city! The emergency feeding sector and communities across NYC are incredibly fortunate to have a leader such as Kate Mackenzie in charge of our rapidly changing food system,” said Greg Silverman, CEO, West Side Campaign Against Hunger.
Kate MacKenzie has served as executive director of MOFP since September 2019. She is a recognized leader in the food policy sector, with over two decades of experience addressing food insecurity, health, and food systems across the city and nationally.
MacKenzie received degrees from Cornell University and Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn and takes pride in sending her two kids to public school, where they enjoy nutritious, plant-powered meals served by the city’s incredible school food workers.
MacKenzie will report to Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright.
Photo credit: Kate MacKenzie (left).