Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

Hartford Food System, Inc.

aka HFS

Hartford, CT

Mission

Since 1978, Hartford Food System, Inc. has been dedicated to addressing problems of food security in Hartford. Our mission is to fight hunger and improve nutrition in our community. The goal is to have a healthy, culturally-responsive, resilient and sustainable food system that meets the needs of all community members. To do this, we implement programs that improve access to nutritious and affordable food, we help consumers make informed food choices, we advocate for a robust and economically sound food system, and we promote responsible food policies at all levels of government.

Ruling Year

1980

Principal Officer

Ms. Martha C Page

Main Address

190 Wethersfield Avenue

Hartford, CT 6114 USA

Keywords

Community Food Security, Food Access, Food Systems

EIN

06-0991880

 Number

0821586776

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Grow Hartford

North End Farmers Market

Healthy Food Retailer Initiative

Hartford Mobile Market

Little City Sprouts

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Hartford Food System's mission is to fight hunger and improve nutrition in our community. The goal is for our community to have a healthy, culturally-responsive, resilient and sustainable food system that meets the needs of all community members. To help make this happen, we implement programs that improve access to nutritious
and affordable food, we help consumers make informed food choices, we advocate for a robust and economically sound food system, and we promote responsible food policies at all levels of government.

We believe that all members of our community have the right to safe, nutritious and affordable food. Few things are more fundamental to the health and well-being of our community residents than food. At the same time, we regard those who grow and distribute food as having a special role in our society, and we seek to deepen the
connection between urban food consumers and the sources of healthy food production.

We also believe that long-term solutions to Hartford's food problems can only be found by addressing the root causes of hunger and poor nutrition. These solutions require working in partnership with community members, especially those who are experiencing food insecurity. We do our work locally, statewide, and regionally in
concert with public officials, farmers and producers, nonprofit allies, business leaders in the local food economy, and other people of good will. Together, we can build a more equitable and just food system.

In carrying out the goals of our Strategic Plan, Hartford Food System will:

Be deeply engaged with the community we serve to both identify the food problems affecting community members and the solutions to those problems.

Be known as one of the most creative and competent food security organizations in the country, committed to developing talent and passion for the field through internships and volunteer opportunities.

Partner with individuals and organizations in the community to achieve constituent-responsive and comprehensive answers to food system issues.

Use best practices and research findings to provide guidance for effective program and policy efforts.

Be open to new challenges, recognizing that a changing food environment provides opportunities for system innovation and creativity; we will use these new opportunities to chart new directions to achieve a healthy and just community food system.

Since its founding 38 years ago, Hartford Food System has developed dozens of projects, initiatives, and coalitions that tackle a wide range of food cost, access, and nutrition problems. This work has included active participation in a number of public policy initiatives at the local, state, regional and national levels that affect community-based
food systems.

Hartford Food System operates a program model that includes the following priorities:

Access to Quality Food – increasing access to and supply of quality food (food that is nutritious and affordable) especially for low-income residents in the Hartford area.

Community Building -engaging the community to better understand issues and concerns about food; work with residents, government, local businesses, and organizations to develop action plans that address key concerns.

Education and Advocacy -- offering residents and policymakers information about food security, food justice and sound nutrition that is pertinent, easily understood, and can be acted upon.

Health and Nutrition—providing information, tangible examples and
opportunities for Hartford's youth and families to understand the connection between food, eating, and the health of their bodies and their communities.

Coalition and Network Building—actively engaging with others locally, statewide, and regionally to build a more just and resilient food system, recognizing that a strong regional food system provides a necessary context for a just and sustainable food system in Hartford.

Our strategic plan reflects the vision and the collective thinking of the leadership of HFS. It is the road map that will help to guide our decision making over the next three years. As we move forward with the implementation of this plan, it will be important to continue to ensure that mechanisms are in place to:

Conduct routine and ongoing monitoring of progress toward stated goals and objectives.

Assess changes in our operating environment or emerging that might necessitate changes to the plan.

We will ensure that progress towards goals and objectives continues to be made and that conditions that might require changes to the plan are assessed and acted upon in a timely manner.

Objective 1: Staff will develop and Board will approve an annual operating plan with benchmarks to measure progress toward goals.

Objective 2: Provide routine and ongoing monitoring of the Plan's goals and objectives, including a quarterly review by the Board.

Objective 3: Plan and conduct an annual Board/staff retreat to assess
progress and the need to revisit/redefine goals and objectives to account for changing conditions and new opportunities.

Recent Accomplishments:

Grow Hartford, in its 13th year of urban farming in 2016, harvested more than 20,000 pounds of produce from urban lots in 2015. This produce was distributed to households (many of which are low income) for 14 weeks through a CSA model; produce was also sold at Hartford farmers markets and the .mobile market.

More than 40 Hartford youth, ages 14–19 years old, participated in the Grow Hartford, Youth Leadership Program, and received nutritional & food system education , as well as community leadership development.

Through our Healthy Hartford Food Stores program, food retailers are making changes to increase and promote healthier grocery selections available on store shelves. The program emphasizes mid-size urban grocery stores and includes a recent SNAP incentive pilot in two stores.

The North End Farmers Market is in its 9th season in 2016 from June to October with thousands of visitors. To encourage SNAP (Food Stamps) use, we offer incentives for shopping at the market.

Little City Sprouts provided cooking and nutritional skills-building for more than 150 youth community residents in 2015 and continues with garden builds and nutrition classes in 2016.

The City of Hartford Advisory Commission on Food Policy is developing policy recommendations for city leadership to consider, including increased participation in federally supported child nutrition programs.

The Hartford Mobile Market launched its year round mobile produce operation in late 2014, ramped up to full operations throughout 2015 and is a consistent and welcome presence in several Hartford neighborhoods.

What's Ahead

Programmatically, we have challenges with the size and scope of the Hartford Mobile Market. It has grown to be almost a daily service which creates demands for staff to support the operation; our goal is a financially self-sufficient program, but we believe that we have much to do to achieve that.

Little City Sprouts has also grown, but the challenge is consistent, part-time staffing for the specialized activities that the program demands.

The Grow Hartford farming is, of course, subject to all the vagaries of agriculture in the Northeast, e.g., the up and down temperatures of the spring and the very dry summer has impacted production.

External Reviews

Financials

Hartford Food System, Inc.

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2015
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity