All of our efforts center around getting nutritious food to people in need, and supporting our local food economy. Real Food Share runs two primary programs that are utilizing local resources to get healthy food to more people in need.
Giving Gardens and Young Farmer Training Program
In this program, we establish and manage fruit and vegetable gardens; we train young farmers on sustainable regenerative farming practices and food security issues; and we deliver our harvest to local food pantries, shelters, and others in need of fresh nutritious food.
Farm Surplus Delivery Program
We partner with farms and farmer’s markets in our region, collect excess produce that would have otherwise gone to waste, and coordinate pickup and delivery on the combined schedules of the farms and food pantries. In doing so we reduce food waste, support our farmers, and feed more people.
It is an immense challenge for food banks to provide quality fresh produce to those who need it most. We are working to fill that gap. We started with one food pantry in Newtown, CT, and now, in our third year we are supplying food to 11 organizations during our growing season.
- If you are a farm with excess produce, please contact us so that we may add you as a donation partner. We can help to harvest, or pick up excess harvest at your farm or Farmers Market, and on your schedule. All donations are tax- deductible.
- If you are an organization within a 30-mile radius of Newtown, CT, and would like to receive fresh food donations on your schedule, please contact us.
- If you are a resident who attends Farmers Markets, or has a giving garden of your own, we have a presence at several Farmers Markets in our area where you can either buy food from Market vendors to donate, or donate your own.
Real Food Share has a booth at the Newtown, CT Farmers Market. We use this space to collect food from home growers, and market shoppers who donate food purchased from market vendors. We also place donation coolers at the Bethel, Danbury, and Monroe Farmers Markets.
In our gardens, we use the earth’s natural resources to maximize production on small lots. Regenerative practices enrich soil microbiology, increase pollinator activity, use only organic fertilizers, and never any chemicals. We use no-till bed preparation and season extension techniques. These methods are a refreshing change to traditional agriculture and give us the best opportunity to contribute the healthiest, best tasting produce to our neighbors, while taking an active part in restoring and enhancing our natural resources.
Young Farmer Internships
Our Farmer Training Program teaches individuals, age 16-25, the foundations of farming, food production and distribution, and serving the food security needs of their local community while preparing them for future jobs in the agriculture and food service space.
Part of establishing a healthy, equitable food system is community education. Real Food Share produces educational webinars and a vibrant food blog filled with articles and videos on topics such as:
- food security
- recipes and nutrition education
- regenerative farming and gardening
- food waste
- food policy
Our growing social media network on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, is spreading the word every single day, promoting these important issues, and encouraging a climate of equity, sustainability, nutrition, and the power of a local food system to improve the lives of all community members.
- Mission to donate over 30,000 pounds of fresh produce to families in need.
- Hire and train six young farmers for our intern program.
- Complete construction of greenhouse, two farm stands, and an irrigation system.
- Increase delivery capacity by acquiring additional delivery vans and adding cold storage.
- Expand the core volunteer base.
- Exciting partnerships with local and regional influencers.
Real Food Share envisions a food system in which people are educated and aware of their relationship to food. This year we are ramping up our content development, outreach and education. While we continue to expand our production and distribution partnerships, we will incorporate education and community outreach so that people are informed about their food choices and equipped to choose local and fresh. This includes the production of videos, articles, directories, courses, and events centered around food.
Farm to Table Event
Real Food Share hosted its first annual fundraising event, the “SEED-TO-PLATE Local Harvest Celebration” on October 2, 2021 at the beautiful Castle Hill Farm in Newtown, CT. This farm-to-table event featured a series of delicious small plates prepared by local chefs Michael Bick (Some Things Fishy), Pam Buchler (Aquarian Catering), Steve Forgione (Phinney’s), and Matt Kirshner (Uncle Matt’s Bakery and Café).
Locally produced food was donated by Shortt’s Farm, Waldingfield Farm, Daffodil Hill Farm, and Laurel Glen Farm. The evening also featured live music, a bonfire, auction and raffle, and showcased the many wonderful food products of local producers.