Dutchess County to host senior picnics

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Though the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed a variety of events throughout the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced the Dutchess County Office for the Aging (OFA) will continue providing socialization opportunities for local seniors by offering socially distant, drive-through Senior Picnics in a dozen communities over a six-week period, in lieu of the traditional, in-person picnics the OFA has held since 1993.

Beginning on July 28th, and continuing each Tuesday and Thursday through Sept. 3rd, the County will welcome seniors from individual communities to a central gathering point to drive up and receive a bag lunch to take home and enjoy – providing seniors with a balanced meal, important information about aging and interaction with OFA staff and volunteers, while maintaining social-distancing guidelines. Local establishments will prepare the lunches for each drive-through picnic; seniors can drop off unused/unwanted medications for safe disposal at each event; and County Executive Molinaro and local leaders will attend picnics, greeting seniors in their cars.

County Executive Molinaro said, “While the pandemic has altered the way Dutchess County Government has delivered many programs and services to residents, our commitment to our seniors is unwavering, and we’ll continue to provide a picnic experience, albeit slightly different than in years past,” adding “We look forward to welcoming thousands of seniors this summer, and we’ll continue to find ways to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on residents as we continue restarting Dutchess.”

Earlier this month, OFA staff began mailing invitations to residents 60 years of age and older, inviting them to the drive-through picnic in their respective community; OFA staff will provide seniors a designated time to pick up their lunch when they RSVP. Reservations to each picnic are limited, and there is an $8 fee for those under 60 who wish to receive a lunch.

The schedule of picnics is as follows:

Tuesday, July 28th

Pleasant Valley
West Road School
181 West Road, Pleasant Valley

Thursday, July 30th

Memorial Park ballfield
Robert Cahill Drive, Beacon

 Tuesday, August 4th

Town of Wappinger, Village of Wappingers Falls
Wappingers Junior High School
30 Major Macdonald Way, Wappinger

Thursday, August 6th

Town of Poughkeepsie
Bowdoin Park
85 Sheafe Road, Poughkeepsie

Tuesday, August 11th

North East, Pine Plains, Stanford and Washington
Stissing Mountain High School
2928 Church Street, Pine Plains

 Thursday, August 13th

City of Poughkeepsie
St. John’s Church
55 Wilbur Boulevard, Poughkeepsie

 Tuesday, August 18th

Clinton and Hyde Park
Regina Coeli Church
2 Harvey Street, Hyde Park

Thursday, August 20th

Town of Fishkill, Village of Fishkill
Geering Park
Geering Way, Fishkill

Tuesday, August 25th

Beekman and LaGrange
Freedom Park
212 Skidmore Road, LaGrange

Thursday, August 27th

East Fishkill
Hopewell Recreation Park
890 Route 82, Hopewell Junction

Tuesday, September 1st

Milan, Red Hook, Rhinebeck
Dutchess County Fairgrounds
6636 Route 9, Rhinebeck

Thursday, September 3rd

Amenia, Dover, Pawling, Union Vale
Boyce Park
6420 State Route 55, Wingdale

The OFA’s 2020 Senior Picnic Series is sponsored by Evercare at Home and Home Energy Consultants, Inc. Residents who would like to volunteer at any of this summer’s Senior Picnics can contact the OFA at ofa@dutchessny.gov or (845) 486-2555.

More than 3,800 residents attended the dozen OFA Senior Picnics held in 2019, and 190 pounds of unwanted/unused medications were collected for safe disposal at last year’s picnics.