Real Food CT, founded in 2019, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Newtown, CT. We believe that healthy food is an integral part of a healthy life. Too many people in our region of Connecticut are hungry and food pantries lack adequate amounts of healthy food options. We are connecting local farms and hunger relief organizations to provide neighbors in need with the nutrition they deserve. We serve Fairfield County, Litchfield County, and New Haven County.
- We establish and manage Small Farm Giving Gardens where we grow fruits and vegetables for local donation.
- We partner with local farmers by collecting their excess harvest, and delivering it to recipients in our donation network.
- We train young farmers and we mobilize and educate local residents who care about insuring access to healthy food for everyone.
- The Real Food Fund has been launched to pay local farmers directly for fresh contributions to food pantries.
Vision & Mission
Vision: We envision a world with a connected network of local food producers with the power to deliver nutritious food, transform food waste, restore our farmlands, and educate our communities, to ensure access to healthy food for everyone.
Mission: We are working every day with every resource in our community to get as much healthy, locally grown food to as many people as possible.
We seek to work and collaborate with all stakeholders in our food system. Our partnerships include regional farms, farmer’s markets, schools and universities, chefs, non-profits, land-owners, foodservice organizations, and policy influencers.
Real Food CT manages two farm locations:
Sticks and Stones Farm
171 Huntingtown Road, Newtown, CT
This 10,000 square foot garden is our home base and primary giving garden. Our hoop house resides there, as well as a farm stand with refrigeration.
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 their 30 large raised bed gardens covering 30,000 square feet in their meadow, growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for donation.
Local farmers and other producers who donated their excess harvest:
- Sport Hill Farm – Easton, CT
- Waterview Farm – Monroe, CT
- Moss Creek – Newtown, CT
- Shorts Farm – Newtown, CT
- Newtown Victory Garden – Newtown, CT
- Newtown High School Greenery Class – Newtown, CT
- Smith’s Acres – Niantic, CT
- Gazy Brothers – Oxford, CT
- Maple Bank Farm – Roxbury, CT
- Laurel Glen – Shelton, CT
- Hidden Gem Orchard – Southbury, CT
- Daffodil Hill – Southbury, CT
- Waldingfield Farm – Washington, CT
- Helmstead Farm – Washington Depot, CT
We have a presence at these Farmers Markets:
- Newtown Farmers Market
- Bethel Farmers Market
- Danbury Farmers Market
- Monroe Farmers Market
- Sacred Heart University
- FAITH Food Pantry – Newtown, CT
- Monroe Food Pantry – Monroe, CT
- Southbury Food Pantry – Southbury, CT
- Sterling House – Stratford, CT
- Bridgeport Rescue Mission – Bridgeport, CT
- Jericho Partnership – Danbury, CT
- Loaves and Fishes – New Milford, CT
- Community Food Rescue – Danbury, CT
- Feed My Sheep – Bridgeport, CT
- Spooner House – Shelton, CT
- Victory Church – Danbury, CT
- Walnut Hill Community Church – Bethel, CT
- Womens Center of Greater Danbury – Danbury, CT
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 CT 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.
In 2020, Real Food CT established itself as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and raised over $40,000 through grants, private donations, and the Sustainable CT Match Fund. We used the funds to add infrastructure including a season-extending hoop house run on donated solar panels, two farm stands, irrigation, seeds, farm supplies, and summer internships for college and high school students. All of this allowed us to expand our production, donation recipients, and begin our young farmer training program, with two interns, one of whom went on to a job in the food system.
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 kicked off our Farm surplus program, adding 3 donation partners. Between our own production gardens and our donation partners, we donated a total of 10,000 pounds of food.
In 2021, we ramped up our donation network to 14 Farmers donating excess produce, 4 Farmers Markets, and 12 recipient organizations in 8 surrounding towns. We extended our irrigation, added refrigeration to our farm stand at Sticks and Stones, and received the generous donation of a delivery van. We were able to hire and train six new interns in our Young Farmer Training program.
This year we hosted our first annual fundraising event, the “Seed-To-Table Fall Celebration”. The sold-out event featured local chefs preparing delicious, healthy dishes made from ingredients donated by local Farms and other local food producers.
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 CT his life work.
Sean Fitzpatrick, Founder
David Haze, Project Manager
Nancy Zychek, Master Gardener
Kim Cosar, Food Activist
Lisa Rioni, Business Development