POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess Outreach, a Poughkeepsie-based non-profit that provides a variety of services for those in need has been overwhelmed with requests for help as a result of COVID-19. Their plea for help resulted in immediate assistance from Mayor Rob Rolison and others.
Dutchess Outreach runs a food pantry as well as the Lunch Box at the Family Partnership Center to provide food for those that are nutritionally disadvantaged. The pantry provides emergency food supplies designed to feed people for up to five days. The amount of food distributed is based on the number of people in the household. The nutritional supplies have a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein sources such as frozen meat, tuna fish, and peanut butter. Grains are also part of the supply including bread, pasta, rice, and cereal.
The Family Partnership has limited access to the building as a result of the pandemic which forced Dutchess Outreach to relocate their pantry to the basement floor so the food could be distributed to people waiting outside. The enormous task of moving the entire pantry with a limited staff was made easier by the mayor.
“When we needed to move all of the food, including non-perishables, refrigerated goods, and frozen meat along with the freezers. Mayor Rolison sent Poughkeepsie DPW workers to help us. We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Associate Director Tara Whalen.
In addition to moving the pantry, space was needed to store the refrigerated items. Development Director Sarah Salem, who also serves on the city’s common council, mentioned that need to Rolison, who once again went to work. “In conversations with Sarah Salem of Dutchess Outreach on what their needs were now and going forward, it was that they needed additional space and refrigeration. I called Mike Arnoff and he went to work finding the resources,” said Rolison.
Arnoff is a principal with Arnoff Moving & Storage. The company noted that refrigerated trailers are in high demand right now and they finally located a 53-foot refrigerated trailer and delivered it to the parking lot of the Family Partnership Center.
Praising the combined efforts of her staff, the City of Poughkeepsie, and Arnoff Moving & Storage, Whalen said “The assistance provided to our Dutchess Outreach staff by Mayor Rolison, city workers, and Arnoff have made it possible for us to continue to feed those in need. This display of teamwork is something everyone can be proud of.”