In v1.04, when sharing food with other hungry villagers, brown-robed villagers always throw bread, carrots, and potatoes in a North-East direction. (Actually a little more East than North so NEE direction) This will occur regardless of where the hungry villager is located so if the villager is facing South or West, the food will be thrown behind them, and potentially away from the hungry villager.
Consequentially, the attached image shows an automatic farm that only needs one hopper in the NE corner. Whenever the villager attempts to share food. the food will bump into the fence and slide across into the hopper on the NE side.