CitySeed's vision is to create a sustainable model of local economy, urban community, regional agriculture, environmental stewardship, and well-being through food.
From its beginning, CitySeed has worked to overcome the challenges urban residents encounter in accessing local, healthy food. In fact, we have our roots as a group of 4 neighbors interested in starting a producer-only farmers’ market in our neighborhood, Wooster Square, where it was easy enough to find pizza and pasta, but next to impossible to locate a fresh tomato, never mind one grown locally. Following the overwhelming success of this Saturday farmers’ market in Wooster Square, at the invitation of various community groups, and with critical support from the City of New Haven and key funding from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, CitySeed began to operate three additional producer-only markets in three different New Haven neighborhoods in July 2005: Downtown, Fair Haven and Edgewood Park. In 2010 we opened our latest farmers’ market inThe Hill neighborhood of New Haven.
By enabling residents to eat fresh, locally grown food, our farmers’ markets have an immediate, positive effect on the health of community members. This is especially important given the fact that low-income communities are at greater risk for obesity and other diet-related illnesses and it is even more urgent to ensure their access to fresh, local and affordable food. Moreover, by supporting local farmers and keeping food dollars in the community, this market has an immediate, positive impact on the local economy while promoting sustainable agriculture and community development. All five markets are certified to accept Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons, which are distributed to nutritionally at-risk women, infants, children and senior citizens, as well as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, and accessed through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards). In fact, on June 4, 2005, our farmers’ market at Wooster Square became the first farmers’ market in the state to accept SNAP/EBT. CitySeed was nationally recognized in October 2007 as the "Golden Grocer Hunger Champion" in the farmers’ market category by USDA for our Food Stamp and nutrition education programs.