“The food Pantry is the gateway to engaging local families to receive assistance that will improve their lives.” Alex Chavarria – Chief Business Officer Carver Center

“When they see fresh produce their faces light up like it’s Christmas.” Bill Cusano – Coordinator of Services Caritas of Port Chester

On a chilly winter morning days before Christmas I accompanied Amy Benerofe on a visit to a the Caritas Food Pantry in Port Chester. When we arrived there were lines of people queuing up in the cold to have a hot midday meal. In 2017, 7,000 lbs of produce from Acorn Organics was distributed here as well as to the Carver Center Food Pantry, the Community Services Associates, Mt Carmel Food Pantry, Living Transformation Center, Life Progressive Services, Mobil Food Pantry, Harrison Food Pantry (alone feeds 150 families). The fresh organic produce that the Old Oaks membership funded in 2017 helped our local communities help combat the ever-increasing incidence of malnutrition, obesity, food poverty and ignorance. Here’s some interesting facts I learned touring two food pantries:

The Carver Center
  • 350-400 families benefit from the food pantry per month
  • A nutritionist comes in once a month to teach families about fresh produce and its benefits to their health and well being
  • Fresh produce from AO helps them provide food for the local elementary schools and after school programs at the center – supplying 1400 meals per day within the community
  • About 30 teens attend the teen program each afternoon and most of these children receive their evening meal from the center.

Caritas of Port Chester
  • About 30 teens attend the teen program each afternoon and most of these children receive their evening meal from the center.
  • On the day I was there they fed 240 for lunch
  • Food from the food bank is often bad and has to be thrown out whereas fresh produce from AO is valued and always fresh. News traveled fast of the better-quality food and numbers have grown from doing 80-120 meal a day to 200-309 per day recently.
  • They don’t have adequate refrigeration so our produce is best because it is delivered quickly and can be distributed quickly to families. There is no shortage of need.

This is only the second year the farm has been operating. There was no cost to the club thanks to the generous support of private contributions, and the Farm did create some revenue this year. The Farm produced in total 15,8113.5 lbs. this year – 2,000 more lbs. than last year. The amount of produce we gave away is the equivalent of $45,000 worth of healthy vegetables. Within the next 3 years we should have a significant fruit harvest from our 140 fruit and nut trees.

This was achieved through utilizing an asset the Old Oaks already has – land. Our healthy, beautiful unused field to the north of the club became a fertile, abundant source of organic produce for thousands of local families. Our Board has pioneered a new program of thinking globally, but acting locally. Just like the old saying “charity begins at home” – in this case charity sprouted from the club.


Club Supported Organics (CSO) is a farm-share program that fosters strong bonds between Acorn Organics at the Old Oaks Farm and our Members. Members who buy a share of the farm’s bounty help the Old Oaks Foundation both financially and with marketing while CSO members receive weekly shares of nutritious, well-grown food.

For each pound of fresh produce that our members buy, Acorn Organics will donate the same amount to a local food bank (e.g. City Harvest & Food Bank for Westchester)


Our Club Supported Organics will be a reflection of our resilient estate-style farm – we will be growing some similar plants that were on the estate 120 years ago. Acorn Organics will be a combination of our microclimate, unique crop rotations and patterns of practice that keep our soils and crops nutrient-rich. The products we include in your weekly CSO box are the result of a rhythm that echoes the ebb and flow of the seasons. We will have periods of heavy harvest and lighter harvest, of repetition and of change—all delicious and all grown with incredible care.

We know that with the CSO comes much adventure, as you do not know week to week what you may be picking up; so this year we want to help you plan ahead. At the start of the season, we will share a week-by-week forecast of expected produce for the entire 18 weeks. This practice will also help our farmers keep the flow of produce as regular and as high in quality as possible.