It is with the warmest wishes and the fullest hearts that the CitySeed and Sanctuary Kitchen communities bid farewell to Sumiya Khan, a cofounder and the Program Director of Sanctuary Kitchen since the program began in 2017. We are grateful to Sumiya for her years of dedication, passion, and leadership, and wish her and her family all the best as they continue their journey in California.
Sumiya came to CitySeed first as a Board Member in 2016. Along with the Sanctuary Kitchen Leadership Team, Sumiya founded Sanctuary Kitchen to promote and celebrate the culinary traditions, cultures, and stories of refugees and immigrants resettled in Connecticut. For Sumiya, Sanctuary Kitchen has been the synthesis of her upbringing as a daughter of Indian immigrants and global justice advocates, her own work in social justice, and her passion for food and nutrition as a Registered Dietitian.
Under Sumiya’s leadership, Sanctuary Kitchen has grown from an idea into a beloved community institution. What began as a passion project, has since transformed into a successful social enterprise that connects thousands of people through virtual and in-person events each year with over 40 chefs from 12 countries, and provides employment and job training to 11 chefs from 5 countries around the world.
The spirit behind Sanctuary Kitchen can be best described by Sumiya herself: “We strongly believe that cooking together, eating together, is probably the most intimate way of getting to know somebody regardless of the language you speak, regardless of your economic status, your residential status.”
The New Haven community will forever be indebted to Sumiya for her vision and resilience, and most of all for her ability to bring people together around a beautiful meal.