About Us

Real Food Share is a 501(c)3 non-profit farm in Newtown, CT. We are responding to gaps in our food system that leave too many people hungry and lacking the resources to feed themselves and their families. We are an action-based organization founded on the concept that “feeding the world” begins at the community level.

  • We started with a shovel, some seeds, and some land to grow nutritious fruits and vegetables, and we distributed all of the food to people in need in our community. In doing so we proved that production sized gardens can generate thousands of pounds of produce for donation with a small dedicated workforce.
  • We partner with other local food-producers by collecting their excess harvest that would otherwise go to waste, and delivering it to recipients in our donation network. In doing so we tripled our production and distribution in our second year.
  • We educate and mobilize local organizations and residents in our community who care about insuring access to healthy food for everyone. In doing so we are setting stage is set for a new wave of farmers and stakeholders to ensure all of our communities have reliable access to nutritious food.
  • We practice regenerative agriculture on our farms, the healthiest and most sustainable farming methods we know of. In doing so we produce nutrient-dense, delicious food that is healthy for both people and the planet.
  • Our long-term goal is to become a regional food producer that generates income, while building a sustainable model that creates jobs and expands its donation influence across the region. We have proven that production sized gardens can generate thousands of pounds of produce for donation with a small dedicated workforce. Food production jobs that focus on regenerative practices, carbon sequestering, and food justice will attract the very best talent in the job markets.

We imagine every home in Connecticut with the ability to share in the simple joys of preparing a fresh and delicious meal with family, friends, and loved ones. We look forward to collaborating up and down the chain with partners involved in food system work in our region to achieve this goal.

Founder, Sean Fitzpatrick, has 20 years of experience as a nutrition, health, and fitness coach. His career has been based on passionate belief that access to nutrient-dense food is an absolute necessity for the health of this and future generations. Sean’s business experience, along with his observation that growing numbers of people are experiencing food insecurity, combined to make Real Food Share his life work.


Vision & Mission

Vision. Locally produced food for everyone.
We envision a world with a sustainable, globally distributed network of local food producers practicing agriculture in a way that restores health to our soil, air and water, is economically efficient, and supplies healthy food to all people.

Mission. We are working every day with every resource in our community to get as much locally grown and produced food to as many people as possible.


Our Partners

Production Partners

Real Food Share manages two farm locations.

Sticks and Stones Farm
171 Huntingtown Road, Newtown, CT
This is our home base and primary giving garden. Our hoop house resides there, as well as a farm stand.
10,000 square feet. 3,268 pounds of fresh produce donated in 2020.

The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary
3 Old Farm Road, Newtown, CT
This inspiring non-profit organization is developing a beautiful animal sanctuary and education center in honor of Catherine’s kind spirit. We are managing production in the 30 large raised beds in their meadow for donation.
30,000 square feet. 2,650 pounds of fresh produce donated in 2020.

Donation Partners

Local farmers and other producers donated their excess harvest.

  • Waldingfield Farm – Washington, CT
  • Sport Hill Farm – Easton, CT
  • Moss Creek – Newtown, CT
  • Newtown Victory Garden – Newtown, CT
  • Newtown High School Greenery Class
  • 1,000 Garden Challenge Home Gardeners

2020 TOTAL: 3,869 pounds of food donated, combined

Donation Recipients

  • FAITH Food Pantry – Newtown, CT
  • Jericho Partnership – Danbury, CT
  • Sterling House – Stratford, CT
  • Feed My Sheep – Bridgeport, CT
  • Spooner House – Shelton, CT

Project Plan

2021 Goals:

  • 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.

Click here to view our full Project Plan.


History

2019

In 2019, a small team of volunteers began the restoration of a 10,000 square-foot garden at Sticks and Stones Farm in Newtown, CT. From that land, we produced and donated 700 pounds of food to local food pantries, senior centers, and other residents in need. In addition, Real Food Share partnered with the Newtown High School Greenery class. From their garden, we collected and donated 100 pounds of harvest that would otherwise have gone to waste in the summer heat, bringing our first year’s total to 800 pounds.

2020

In 2020, Real Food Share raised over $40,000 through grants, private donations, and the Sustainable CT Match Fund. We used the funds to provide infrastructure, supplies, and summer internships for college and high school students, allowing us to expand our production and donation recipients.

We teamed up with the CVH Animal Sanctuary and transformed their 30,000 square-foot area of 30 raised beds into a production garden. We also partnered with the Newtown Victory Garden, and introduced the 1000 Garden Challenge to Newtown and the surrounding areas, asking people to donate excess produce from their new or existing home gardens. Finally, we partnered with Waldingfield Farm in Washington, CT who committed to distribute their excess produce from Farmers Markets.

Our combined production and collection in 2020 was approximately 10,000 pounds of fresh produce. We supplied five different food pantries in Newtown, Danbury, Bridgeport, Shelton, and Stratford throughout the growing season.  To help with local delivery, we partnered with Helping Hands, a Newtown collective that delivered our fresh produce directly to the homes of families and individuals who are not comfortable in public due to COVID-19 risk.

In addition to the above-mentioned, in 2020 Real Food Share has:

  • Established farm stands at both locations that will be ready for spring opening 2021.
  • Built a season extending hoop house at Sticks and Stones that will run on donated solar panels.
  • Began installation of irrigation systems to enhance our production abilities for 2021.
  • Managed over 50 volunteers from all age groups during the season.
  • Established a donation presence at the Newtown Farmers Market.
  • Created a content team that will highlight the best in our regional food market, supported by the Sacred Heart University Work-Study Program.
  • Continued regenerative agriculture practices that will enhance the health and microbiology of our soil, providing the opportunity to exceed production in subsequent seasons.
  • Assembled a research team to study the state of food in security in the United States, nutrition and chronic disease, regional food policy, local food markets, the benefits of regenerative agriculture on the environment and human health.

Our Team

Sean Fitzpatrick, Founder
David Haze, Project Manager
Nancy Zychek, Master Gardener
Kim Cosar, Food Activist
Lisa Rioni, Business Development