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Our Food System From Producer to Consumer: What You Need to Know - What You Can Do

FOOD -> an essential of life! But in this “hurry, grab a bit, run to work, school, a game, a rehearsal…” what kinds of foods are we choosing? Also, what foods are being offered to senior citizens, adults, millennials, teens, children? Are nutritious, healthful foods readily available?

The OCTC Great Room in Kaplan Hall is the venue for an informative and important presentation at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14. The program is free and open to the public. Kathy Lawrence, who is the co-founder and senior director of School Food Focus, will spotlight the seriousness of the food situation in a talk followed by discussion, "Our Food System From Producer to Consumer: What You Need to Know - What You Can Do."

At the start of the talk, Lawrence will give an overview of the current state of U.S. food systems: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then, she will explain the role of policy, markets, advertising, and "consumer" choice. She will also discuss what is at stake in the status quo vs systems change and the need for people to take effective action in the movement for more equitable and sustainable food systems.

This event is presented in partnership with the Second Annual Newburgh Urban Farming Fair [NUFF] which strives to bring to fellow Newburgh residents of all ages the practical means of urban farming and gardening in their yards, schools and neighborhoods.

Lawrence has had a great deal of experience in leadership roles. For 25 years she worked tirelessly in sustainable agriculture, local food systems development, and non-profit management, serving as the executive director of the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and directing Just Food, the New York City based non-profit organization she founded in 1995. Her achievements at Just Food include initiating the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in NYC program and The City Farms, an urban agriculture and food access program. While developing the foundation for Just Food, Kathy coordinated public information, outreach and education for both the New York and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Groups (NYSAWG and NESAWG) and engaged in citizen advocacy at the United Nations on sustainable agriculture and food security issues.

Presently, the co-founder and senior director of School Food Focus, a national collaborative that ignites food system change by working on both the demand and supply sides of the school food, she shares her knowledge by taking programs to the public. She and her colleagues of School Food Focus work at empowering school districts to build, demand, and collectively leverage their purchasing power. They also show food producers and suppliers how they can offer healthful products.

Free, secure parking is available in the Kaplan Hall parking garage via the 73 First Street entrance.

For more information, contact Cultural Affairs at or call (845) 341-4891/9386, or visit website

Event date, time and location.

Dorothy Szefc
Cultural Affairs