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Greetings! We hope everyone is off to a great start in 2024. It’s incredible to even write this, but we are kicking off our sixth season connecting regional hunger relief organizations with locally grown, fresh produce. With an estimated 1 out of 10 CT residents struggling with hunger (CT Foodshare), there are far too many of our neighbors who are having a hard time making ends meet.

Over the last five years, we have donated over 100K lbs of locally grown produce from our two Newtown farms and network of 15 farm partners to food pantries and agencies across Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven counties. While this is a significant accomplishment, we recognize the need to convey the real impact of these donations. These pounds of produce translate into countless meals for individuals and families facing food insecurity, bringing nourishment and hope to those who need it most.

We still have lots of work to do as a community to solve this issue. Locally grown, healthy food is in high demand, our local farmers have plenty of it, but it doesn’t seem to be making it to vulnerable populations. Farmland is disappearing in our state and across the country, all while chronic disease rates continue to rise. Our youngest generation seems disconnected from the source of their food, with little to no hands-on farming experiences. We have learned a lot in our journey, and we’re strategically situated to make a huge impact on our food system in the future:

In 2024, Real Food CT will:

  • Make its first hire for an Operational Director to guide and expand its core programs
  • Train and develop another 8-10 Young Farmer Interns
  • Expand our Food Hub model that pays our local farmers for their produce.  We are currently looking for new customers (schools, senior centers, hospitals, veteran organizations, etc…)
  • Expand our Gleaning and Surplus Program to pick up from more farms and deliver to more food pantries
  • Host new programs, events and volunteer opportunities
  • Surpass 50,000 lbs of produce donated this season
  • Announce a formal plan of its developing regional farm and food ecosystem

As we embark on our sixth season, we are fueled by the passion of our community and the desire to make a meaningful impact. Your support has been instrumental in our journey, and we look forward to connecting even more healthy food to our neighbors this season. If you have any questions or ideas on how to get involved, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can create a sustainable and nourished future. 

If you would like to contribute to our ongoing efforts, please consider the following:

  • A recurring donation to help cover monthly farm and organization costs
  • A seasonal sponsorship that ensures our neighbors in need get locally grown, healthy food access
  • Volunteering at the farm or in the network (i.e. helping us find food hub customers!)

We appreciate your ongoing support, and we can’t wait to see you out there this season!

With gratitude,

Sean and the RFCT Team