March 12, 2020

Dear CitySeed Community, 

I am writing with an update on CitySeed programs, in light of the closure of New Haven Public Schools announced today. CitySeed will put our Winter Farmers Markets season on pause until further notice. This include cancelling the market scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, March 14th, at the Metropolitan Business Academy.

We know that this closure will affect the livelihood of our vendors and we are working hard to are investigate other options to help support CitySeed farmers, vendors and those customers relying on the market for food access. 

We are working with the New Haven Health Department, Community Services Department, and Department of Parks and Recreation to make decisions around all upcoming CitySeed gatherings. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, and make changes to our programming as needed to protect public health. 

The spread of COVID-19 puts a strain on the entire community. At CitySeed, resulting cancellations have heavily affected our everyday operations. This affects the Connecticut farmers we work with to bring food into the city each week. It affects food insecure populations in New Haven who rely on SNAP and WIC to make subsidized produce purchases at our Farmers Markets. It affects immigrant and refugee chefs who rely on employment through Sanctuary Kitchen Catering. It affects rising food entrepreneurs in our network, who are working hard to grow their businesses. 

We see an opportunity for adaptation and growth during this time, and we would love to hear from you as we make decisions about how to continue serving these groups and all of you! Your creative ideas, volunteer time, and donations are critical. 

Thank you,

Amelia Reese Masterson,
Executive Director, CitySeed

P.S. Please see the below email for updates on our other programs, Sanctuary Kitchen and CitySeed Incubates, which still stand.


March 11th, 2020

Dear CitySeed Community,

With the evolving and concerning situation around the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know what CitySeed is doing to help keep our community safe while going forward with our work. Thank you for continuing to support our farmers, chefs, and food entrepreneurs to build an equitable, local food system.

Sanctuary Kitchen

Sanctuary Kitchen’s important work will continue. Our management team attended training for ServSafe’s COVID-19 guidelines and procedures for food businesses. ServSafe is the industry-standard for food and beverage safety training and certification administered by the U.S. National Restaurant Association. 

As we continue our catering operations, we are following ServSafe’s recommended guidelines in the kitchen and increasing the stringency of our usual hygiene practices, including:

  • Continuous disinfecting of all kitchen and work surfaces
  • Frequent changing of gloves
  • Increasing the frequency of handwashing
  • Making hand-sanitizers available to all chefs and staff

We are concerned not only for our community’s health, but the health of our staff, and have instituted an updated sick leave policy to help ensure chefs are taken care of. 

Also, CitySeed will be postponing or moving online larger gatherings (100+ people) until further notice. Smaller gatherings may continue, on a case-by-case basis.

CitySeed Incubates

Our shared-use commercial kitchens are still available for food entrepreneurs. We are continuing to enforce our usual ServSafe food safety and hygiene practices, and stepping up key prevention protocol (continuous disinfecting of all work surfaces, frequent changing of gloves, and following CDC handwashing guidelines). ServSafe guidelines around COVID-19 are being shared with all food entrepreneurs using our kitchen to ensure our heightened hygiene checklist is followed.

CitySeed will postpone our Food Business Accelerator Pitch Day, originally scheduled for March 24th. When we announce a new date, please come out and continue your support of rising food entrepreneurs in New Haven.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me directly. Thank you for partnering with us to build a thriving, equitable food system, and keep our community healthy and safe. 



Amelia Reese Masterson
Executive Director, CitySeed