Real Food CT aims to donate over 100,000 pounds of food in 2022
A Newtown organization donated over 30,000 pounds of fresh produce to residents in need last year, but they say this year they plan to do even more.
Real Food Share is being rebranded into Real Food CT.
Founder Sean Fitzpatrick says a health scare in his early 30s sparked a passion for nutrition and local produce.
"I think everybody should have the opportunity to do what I did, which is essentially healing from the inside out using locally grown, healthy, nutritious foods," said Fitzpatrick.
Real Food CT is donating to pantries across the state with food grown in its gardens or donated by local farmers.
In its first year, Real Food CT donated about 1,000 pounds of food, year two about 10,000 pounds and year three, 31,000 pounds.
With new state grants allowing Real Food CT to buy even more produce, Fitzpatrick says the nonprofit is making its biggest dent yet.
"We're shooting for 100,000 pounds of food getting to hunger relief organizations just from local food," he said.
Real Food CT says the tens of thousands of pounds of food that comes out of its two community gardens every year aren't enough to solve the problem. That's why it's empowering Connecticut residents to grow their own food.
"There's nothing like going out to your own garden and picking a nice red tomato. The taste is unbelievable compared to what you get from stores," said Fitzpatrick.
Real Food CT is looking to expand its small farm model to help provide hyperlocal produce to cities like Bridgeport and Danbury.
He says he hopes the program will also give the local farming industry some much-needed diversity.
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