As the Presidents of Massaro Community Farm, Inc. (MCF) and Massaro Farm CSA, Inc. (CSA), we are responding to a letter from Laurence Grotheer (author), as published in the April 3, 2015 edition of the Woodbridge Town News. While we appreciate the kind comments that were made regarding Massaro Farm, the letter had several factual inaccuracies that we wish to rectify.
It should be understood that the two corporations, MCF and CSA, are separate and distinct entities, each with independent boards of directors, and each involved with different aspects of Massaro Farm. MCF is the not-for-profit, tax-exempt entity that is engaged in food donations, education and farm preservation. CSA, also not-for-profit but not tax-exempt, manages the farming operations and the subscriber-based community supported agriculture program.
The author states that MCF runs a subscriber based operation that is tax exempt. As noted above, it is the CSA that is the subscriber based operation and is, in fact, subject to corporate income tax.
The author goes on to say that the MCF annual newsletter is distributed and mailed at subscriber and taxpayer expense. In fact, all mailings are funded solely by private donations to MCF.
The author claims that MCF Annual Meeting attendees were not given a chance to ask questions. Quite to the contrary, there was a great deal of open dialogue throughout the meeting, and many questions were raised and responded to. In addition, MCF and CSA staff and board members were available after the meeting for informal conversation.
The author asserts that a variance between the MCF budget for 2014 and actual financial results for the year were “glossed over” at the Annual Meeting. In fact, it was clearly explained that the variance was a result of the fact that MCF is unable to budget for government grants at the beginning of the year, as it is not assured that it will receive them. Thus, when MCF does obtain funding, which we were fortunate to do last year, it has actual income from the grants and actual expenses for the use of the grants that vary from the budget. Not only was this made clear during the meeting, our Executive Director specifically offered to provide additional information should it be of interest to anyone. The MCF Treasurer was also in attendance and available for questions.
Massaro Community Farm would like to emphasize that MCF and CSA are, and always have been, non-partisan with regard to Town politics. We do not support or oppose any political party or candidates.
Massaro Community Farm, Inc. and Massaro Farm CSA, Inc. greatly appreciate the support of our community and we are proud of all we have accomplished together. We welcome any questions about our organizations. Those with interest may contact our Farm Manager, Steve Munno, our MCF Executive Director, Caty Poole, or any one of our board members. Please visit us at MassaroFarm.org or call us at (203) 736-8618.
David W. Schneider, President, Massaro Community Farm, Inc.
Suzanne K. Werth, President, Massaro Farm, CSA, Inc.