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Across the city, state and nation, our food system is coming under new scrutiny for its impact on our health, economy and the environment. At the same time, our local and national economies face unacceptably high rates of persistent unemployment. Can developing new approaches to creating entry-level food jobs that promote health and economic development help to solve these problems? Can the food sector become a setting for innovative intersectoral solutions to several of New York City’s most serious problems including high unemployment rates, rising rates of diet-related diseases, enduring inequalities in health and high levels of food insecurity among the poor?

In this report, the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College explores the potential for creating “Good Food Jobs” –jobs that pay a living wage, offer safe working conditions, promote sustainable economic development, and make healthier food more accessible to all New Yorkers. The report investigates potential synergies between the need for more good food and more good jobs. It seeks to provide elected officials, city agencies, food businesses and employers, health professionals and workforce development programs with the evidence they need to forge effective policies and programs that will create new Good Food Jobs.

The report calls for the next Mayoral Administration to create partnerships with employers, labor unions, educational institutions and others to produce 10,000 new Good Food Jobs in New York City by 2020. Achieving this goal will require creating new positions as well as upgrading existing food and health jobs by improving skills, pay and benefits and enhancing the nutritional quality of the food produced.

Suggested citation

Freudenberg N, Silver M and the Good Food Jobs Research Team. Jobs for a Healthier Diet and a Stronger Economy: Opportunities for Creating New Good Food Jobs in New York City. New York: New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College, 2013. The full report and the Executive Summary are available at:

Prepared when Institute faculty were based at the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College.