The Sylvia Center

Growing Communities of Healthy Eaters

The Bronx, NY   |  www.sylviacenter.org

Mission

The mission of the organization is to inspire young people to become healthy eaters and advocates for healthy food in their families and communities.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Jonathan Cetnarski

Main address

2417 3rd Avenue Suite 301

The Bronx, NY 10451 USA

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EIN

20-4297703

NTEE code info

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

New York City: Cooks for Health

The Sylvia Center's Cooks for Health program offers six-week series cooking classes in New York City Housing Authority community centers. Classes are for youth, teens and families, led by trained chef instructors, and have a student-to-teacher ratio of 5:1. In class, students learn basic cooking skills and the principles of healthy eating through hands-on experiences with fresh, whole foods. Classroom lessons range from Safety & Knife Skills and Meal Planning on a Budget to Nutritious Comfort Foods and Multi-Use Meals. Each class culminates with students and instructors sitting together to enjoy the meal they have created.

Population(s) Served

The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm offers on-farm and community-based programs within Columbia County, NY. Full-day program visits to our learning garden are provided for school, youth and community groups. Students learn about where food comes from, how it is grown, and how to cook it into a healthy meal. They spend the day planting, weeding, harvesting, cooking and eating fresh food together in a beautiful setting. Healthy Food for All is a five-year initiative to implement food education in all six school districts of Columbia County, through two approaches: 1) direct teaching in high need communities and 2) teacher training within the public school system. The HFFA curriculum teaches young people and their families how to cook and eat healthy food on a budget. Through hands-on cooking classes, schoolchildren, teens, and families will acquire the knowledge needed to make healthier choices for themselves and their families.

Population(s) Served

The Teen Culinary Apprenticeship program aims to expose our high school students to opportunities that connect their passion for food with long-term career development. Students develop high-level culinary skills and learn to prepare healthy recipes from diverse cuisines. In addition to learning culinary skills, student learn about current food systems issues and gain experience teaching their peers and youth. After completing the 60-hour apprenticeship, students are placed in jobs at after-school programs and summer camps in their own communities, to teach healthy cooking classes to young children.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

The Sylvia Center was founded in 2007 to address issues in children's health by providing hands-on experiences with growing and cooking healthy food. Now in our ninth year of programs, TSC has developed and codified an innovative and forward-thinking model that teaches cooking as a life skill to fight the obesity epidemic and create new generations of healthier New Yorkers. In 2015, our programs served over 2,000 students in New York City and nearly 1,500 students in Columbia County, helping young people and their families learn to cook. In low-income communities where processed, high-calorie foods are prevalent and healthy whole foods are often scarce, The Sylvia Center provides essential programs that work to counteract the rise of diet-related health problems later in life.

The Sylvia Center conducts its cooking and food literacy programs primarily in New York City Housing Authority community centers, and at Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook (Columbia County), NY. Programs focus on building competency in five key areas:

Willingness to try new foods
Ability to identify components of a healthy meal
Knowledge of how and where food is grown
Definition of seasonality
Self-efficacy in food preparation

Since 2007, we have served over 15,000 participants—youth, teens and family members—in New York City and Columbia County.

In 2016, we are:
-Doubling the ExpandED Teen Apprenticeship program, to train high school students from the Bronx and Brooklyn to teach healthy cooking to kids in NYC summer camps
-Continuing our Cooks for Health program residencies, which are now active in ten community center sites across all five boroughs
-Growing our Train-the-Trainer program, to equip community-based organizations to teach our curriculum on their own
-Offering more need-based scholarships to community and youth groups from Columbia County so they

In 2015, TSC's city programs taught over 2,000 students to cook through the following initiatives: Cooks for Health in NYCHA community centers, the ExpandED Teen Culinary Apprenticeship, and Train the Trainer. We also continued long-standing partnership programs with Green City Force, GrowNYC, and NYU Langone Medical Center.

The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm served nearly 1,500 children and their families in 2015, a 19% increase from 2014. 81% of participants came from Columbia County. 19% came from the NYC metro area.

Financials

The Sylvia Center
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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The Sylvia Center

Board of directors
as of 9/3/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Liz Neumark

CEO, Great Performances

Term: 2007 -

Chaim Wachsberger

Partner, Chadbourne & Parke, LLP

Trudy Elbaum Gottesman

Philanthropist

Lizbeth Neumark

CEO, Great Performances

Dodi Meyer, MD

Director, Community Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center

Michael Pollack

Co-Owner and Managing Partner, Brooklyn Roasting Company

Cindy Edelson

Philanthropist

Nina Freedman

Global Philanthropy and Engagement, Bloomberg LP

Deborah Gardner

Public Relations Consultant

Scott Millstein

Executive Director, Coro New York Leadership Center

Tara Gendelman

Investor Relations

Howard Pulchin

Global Creative Director, APCO Worldwide

Phil Meldrum

President, FOODMatch

Lynn Cole

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No