Real Food Share invites the public to come and sample locally grown food at its first Local Seed to Plate Harvest Celebration and Fundraiser at Castle Hill Farm on Saturday, October 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Real Food Share is a Newtown-based nonprofit that works to end hunger by distributing locally grown food to those who need it most.
Newtown resident Sean Fitzpatrick, founder of Real Food Share, explained, âReal Food Share is founded on the idea and belief that everyone should have access to healthy food. We believe that in every community there are resources which, if there are coordinated efforts, we can make it happen. “
The organization currently operates the Giving Gardens at Sticks and Stones Farm, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Wildlife Sanctuary and, more recently, the Jane Goodall Permaculture Garden at Western Connecticut State University. It is also a partner of the Victory Garden in Newtown, the Newtown High School Greenery Class and the Farmers Market in Fairfield Hills.
In doing so, Real Food Share was able to train 15 young interns in agriculture and raise their awareness of food security issues in the region.
The group also has an initiative where it works with small farms and farmers’ markets in the region to collect produce that is not cut to be sold, but is still of high quality and nutritious.
After collecting these goods, they take them to contracted pantries, such as FAITH Food Pantry in Newtown, for those in need of fresh, healthy food.
âWe have collected, harvested and delivered almost 20,000 pounds of food this year and should have an additional 10,000 pounds by the end of the season,â said Fitzpatrick. âWe are laying the groundwork for a few great years moving forward in terms of training, preparing and including young people in our communities to be part of this movement, and also to ensure that none of the right healthy foods and premises are wasted. . “
The celebration of the local Seed to Plate harvest will give the community the opportunity to support Real Food Share for the work it has done so far, as well as helping the organization achieve its goals of helping more. people in 2022.
Fitzpatrick explained, “In the third year we realize that in Newtown, Monroe, Southbury, our neighboring towns, with coordinated efforts, we could meet the demands for fresh produce in these pantries quite effectively.”
He continued, âSo this pushes us into the area of ââ’How can we help a little more in Danbury, Bridgeport and the areas where food insecurity is higher? This is what we are looking for. We are lucky enough in Newtown and we want to bring our community together as strong as possible to make an impact across the region. “
Fitzpatrick hopes the event will become an annual fundraiser for Real Food Share to support even more people in need.
All the local fun
The local Seed to Plate harvest celebration will take place outdoors and feature a variety of food, shows, and even a bonfire.
Local chefs for the evening will be Michael Bick of Some Things Fishy, ââPam Buchler of Aquarian Catering and Steve Forgione of Phinney’s. Each chef will have their own station where they will create unique little plates from Real Food Share’s local harvest.
Dessert will come from Uncle Matt’s Bakery.
The farms participating in the product donation are Shortt’s Farm, Waldingfield Farm, Daffodil Hill Farm and Laurel Glen Farm.
Goods are also donated by Mary Taylor Wine, New England Brewery, BD Provisions, Kori Andrea Photography, REVV Fitness Club, AnnMarie Skincare, Castle Hill Chocolate, Villarina’s Pasta Shop, Aquila’s Nest Winery, Sticks and Stones Farm, Wonderland Jam and WrenHouse Bougies workshop.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the Amber Anchor Acoustic Band.
Fitzpatrick expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in making the event happen, including all of the Real Food Share team and Newtown Savings Bank for being a sponsor of the event.
âThere are still sponsorship and property donation opportunities to be part of it,â he said.
Those interested can send an email to [email protected]
Tickets for the Seed to Plate Local Harvest Celebration are currently available for purchase and cost $ 125 per person.
âAll proceeds will go to our two main programs for the next year, and that’s what runs our donation gardens and our farm surplus programâ¦ programs,â Fitzpatrick said.
To learn more about Real Food Share and to register for the event, visit realfoodshare.org.
Journalist Alissa Silber can be reached at [email protected]
Real Food Share founder Sean Fitzpatrick and board member Nancy Zychek were all smiles this summer, working to expand the nonprofit organization’s mission to help those facing the food insecure to receive locally fresh and healthy products. âPhoto courtesy of Sean Fitzpatrick