CitySeed
817 Grand Ave Ste 101
New Haven CT 06511
Contact Information
Address 817 Grand Ave Ste 101
New Haven, CT 06511-
Telephone (203) 773-3736 x
Fax 203-772-2749
E-mail info@cityseed.org
Web and Social Media
Mission
To engage the community in growing an equitable, local food system that promotes economic development, community development and sustainable agriculture. 
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2004
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Amelia Reese Masterson
Board Chair Emma Kravet
Board Chair Company Affiliation CT Forest and Park Association
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission To engage the community in growing an equitable, local food system that promotes economic development, community development and sustainable agriculture. 
Background What began in 2004 with four neighbors in search of a fresh, local tomato, has grown into a statewide effort to get more local food to more people, promoting community development and sustainable agriculture in Connecticut.

Our programs increase access to local, healthy food; promote farm viability and food entrepreneurship; engage the community through outreach and education; and advocate for policy change. 
Impact We started our first Farmers Market in 2004 and expanded to include three additional Farmers Markets the following year.  In 2005, our Wooster Square Farmers Market became the first Farmers Market in Connecticut to accept SNAP/Food Stamps. That same year, CitySeed helped form the New Haven Food Policy Council to advocate for better food for a better city. Our programming has expanded throughout the years but is focused on building an equitable, local food system through increasing urban residents' access to fresh, healthy food; supporting farm viability in CT; and supporting food entrepreneurship and economic development. 

In 2007, CitySeed was key in securing a significant increase in State funding so all of CT's 54,000 eligible seniors could participate in the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. Also in 2007, CitySeed started a Community Supported Market to ensure the viability of a Farmers Market in a low-income neighborhood. In 2008, in order to help thousands of consumers connect with locally grown food and farm products, we launched www.buyCTgrown.com.

In 2010, we published New Haven Cooks | Cocina New Haven, a bilingual community cookbook that celebrates the cultural richness of New Haven through food.  We also increased our technical assistance to our Farmers Market colleagues across CT with an online Farmers Market Resource Center at www.buyCTgrown.com/marketmanagers. 
 
In 2016-2017, CitySeed built out a commercial kitchen and launched a suite of culinary programming. One of these programs is Sanctuary Kitchen, which works with over 35 immigrant and refugee chefs each year to lead cooking classes, put on supper clubs and special events, or cater -- all with the aim to foster intercultural understanding while providing supplementary income. CitySeed's commercial kitchen is also a space for food business incubation, and we offer resources and training for growing food entrepreneurs, as well a links to our Farmers Markets.
 
 
 
Needs Our organization's top needs are to secure funding for staff during the slow-season when planning for our market season activities, and to secure funding for expansion of our food entrepreneurship and food business incubation services as we grow.
CEO Statement CitySeed is unique in that we are able to collaborate with a wide array of actors in the food system, all with the goal to build a more equitable, local food system. We work to change the system, building access to fresh, local food as a basic right, and supporting economic development through food -- whether through local agriculture, small food business development, catering, or our farmers markets.
Board Chair Statement Since CitySeed launched in 2004, we have worked to create a sustainable model of local economy, urban community, regional agriculture, environmental stewardship, and well-being through food. We do this through our farmers markets, advocacy, education, and entrepreneurship. CitySeed has seen an exciting amount of growth and success with its kitchen focused programming. We launched Sanctuary Kitchen in 2017 with two critical goals in mind: 1) to promote and celebrate the culinary traditions of refugees and immigrants in Connecticut and 2) provide incubation training and business development opportunities for these residents. In our first year, we worked with cooks from Iraq, Afghanistan, Mexico, Ecuador, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan. We also continue to strive to make our markets profitable and enjoyable for CT growers, and accessible and welcoming to New Haven residents. For a relatively small organization, CitySeed has been able to conduct unique, high quality programming that serves the City of New Haven. We are incredibly fortunate to live in a city of passionate and engaged citizens who support our efforts with their time, skillsets and hard-earned dollars. These volunteers and donors are critical to our growth and success, and require a nimble, well organized, and easily digestible data management system. Tracking data well is also critical to the success and growth of our markets, and will help us continue to better serve New Haven. I chose to volunteer with CitySeed because I was moved by the organization's mission long before I became a New Haven resident. While in graduate school, I studied food policy and community food systems, and interviewed CitySeed staff for my MA thesis. I visited friends in New Haven while I was living in Boston, and going to the market was always a highlight. Then, while working as a farmer in both California and upstate New York in my 20s, I often thought of the CitySeed markets, and the organization’s commitment to supporting local food and growers. Serving as Board Chair for this dynamic organization has been both challenging and fulfilling. This organization is poised to do needed and exciting work in New Haven, and our dedicated community of staff, Board, and volunteers are equipped with the passion and skill-sets to do the work.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition / Food Programs
Areas Served
New Haven
State wide
We operate food-based programming serving both the Greater New Haven area and Connecticut agriculture state-wide.
Programs
Description
Nationally recognized by both USA Today and USDA for bringing local food to those who need it most, this network of five neighborhood farmers' markets in New Haven supports farmers who sell what they grow. In 2012, CitySeed Farmers' Markets redeemed over $80,000 worth of federal food benefits from low-income individuals. That translates to over $80,000 worth of fresh, local produce on the plates of our fellow community members! Many of our other programs have been built off of our farmers' market platform and we anticipate creating more innovative and far-reaching programs based on our markets' success.
Population Served Adults / Families / K-12 (5-19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Attendance, market sales, redemption of food assistance benefits
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
In 2005, Farmers' Market-Wooster Square became the first farmers' market in Connecticut to accept Food Stamps through Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBT). In 2007, we gained recognition by the USDA as a Golden Grocer for our work in providing Food Stamp access at our markets and guiding other markets in doing the same.
Description This market on wheels is a partnership between CitySeed and Common Ground High School which grows much of the food and provides student help in selling the produce. The Mobile Market concentrates on visiting food insecure neighborhoods in New Haven.
Population Served Adults / Elderly and/or Disabled / General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals No
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Customer counts and federal benefits are all counted for each Mobile Market day of operation.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. We know this program is doing well when we see federal benefits being redeemed at the Mobile Market. We finished our pilot season of the Mobile Market and are planning our new market season and expectations with the community right now.
Description Through its commercially licensed kitchen, CitySeed provides Food Business Incubation services for growing food entrepreneurs, including: commercial kitchen space rental, limited dry goods storage, a Pre-Incubation training program for food entrepreneurs at the concept stage, basic food business advising, referral to a network of mentors and resources, and access to guest vending opportunities at our Farmers Markets.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Description Sanctuary Kitchen’s objective is to promote and celebrate the culinary traditions, cultures, and stories of refugees and immigrants resettled in Connecticut, while providing them with economically viable culinary opportunities that have personal income potential. Sanctuary Kitchen works with refugee and immigrant chefs to lead cooking classes, supper clubs, and special events.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Description Sanctuary Kitchen Catering provides authentic, multicultural catering that supports professional culinary development and cultural integration of refugees and immigrants in the Greater New Haven Area. This is an extension of our Sanctuary Kitchen program, and provides a platform for refugee and immigrant chefs interested in catering and food entrepreneurship to get their start.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Description

CitySeed worked with our partner, Global Local Gourmet, to train New Haven-based cooking instructors through the "Master Cooks Corps" program. We have cultivated a core group of skilled chefs who serve as educators for senior cooking classes and family cooking classes held throughout New Haven when funding is available. The curriculum focus on culturally-relevant, affordable recipes that integrate fresh produce and highlight seasonal ingredients that are available through our farmers markets and Mobile Market, as well SNAP maximization. Education is one of the missing links in the effort to create equitable access to fresh healthy food in urban communities. Cooking education is consistently identified as a primary barrier from low-income community members as to why they do not eat healthier. The intention of the community cooking classes is to provide peer-based cooking education, a unique approach to cooking education that is based on the principle that people tend to learn more easily and be more engaged when the instructor is from a similar background and culture.

Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
CEO/Executive Director
Amelia Reese Masterson
Term Start Jan 2017
Email amelia@cityseed.org
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 4
Number of Volunteers 20
Staff Retention Rate 50%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 Indian
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Nicole Berube Dec 2010 - Dec 2016
Jennifer McTiernan H. June 2004 - July 2009
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation N/A
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Collaborations
CitySeed conducted a partnership retreat in early 2017 with New Haven Farms, New Haven Land Trust, and Common Ground. Since then, the four organizations have been meeting regularly to collaborate on grants, programming, and a search for shared space. As of February 2018, New Haven Farms and New Haven Land Trust have co-located in the same building as CitySeed to facilitate more active collaboration. 
 
Additionally, CitySeed is actively collaborating with a number of organizations for our newest program, Sanctuary Kitchen. These collaborators include: Yale Refugee Project, RISE, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, Elmseed Enterprise, Jewish Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement, Yale Law School, Spring Glen Alliance for Refugee Resettlement, and Atticus Bakery and Cafe.
Comments
CEO Comments In 2012 we finalized our approach to operational procedures, such as financial and personnel policies, in order to be better equipped to make strategic decisions for the organization. We also created Financial,  Development, and Executive Review Committees within in the Board of Directors, establishing standing and ad hoc committees to deal with pertinent issues of the organization's management and fiscal present and future. In 2016, we also finalized our Executive Review standards as well as our personnel policies.
Board Chair
Emma Kravet
Company Affiliation CT Forest and Park Association
Term Nov 2017 to Nov 2019
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Lisa Bassani Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Gregg Gonsalves Yale School of Public Health
Chris Heitmann Westville Village Renaissance Alliance
Sumiya Khan UConn Health Center for Public Health & Health Policy
Christine Kim Community Volunteer
Elisabeth Moore Connecticut Farmland Trust
Nicole Najam Employment Counsel, Hubbell, Inc.
Onyeka Obiocha Yale Center for Business & Environment, Innovate Health Yale
Susan Pulaski CT Insurance Department
David Shufrin Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg, & Knuff, LLC
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 2 Arab-American, Indian
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 7
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Finance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Feb 01 2018
Fiscal Year End Jan 31 2019
Projected Revenue $404,167.00
Projected Expenses $402,463.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$83,062$109,777--
Current Assets$70,514$94,635--
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$18,497$13,671--
Total Net Assets$64,565$96,106--
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountLawson Valentine Foundation $25,000 ----
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCity of New Haven Food Policy Council $15,131 ----
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCornelia & Michael Bessie Foundation $15,000 ----
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 817 Grand Ave Ste 101
New Haven, CT 06511
Primary Phone 203 773-3736
Contact Email info@cityseed.org
CEO/Executive Director Amelia Reese Masterson
Board Chair Emma Kravet
Board Chair Company Affiliation CT Forest and Park Association

 

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