Cops and firefighters come to aid of Dutchess Outreach

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Poughkeepsie Police Officers Palinkas, Braren, and Van Wagner with Tara Whalen of Dutchess Outreach.

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess Outreach, the Poughkeepsie-based provider of food and services to those in need received assistance from first responders earlier this week.  On Monday, the professional firefighters from the Arlington Fire District, members of IAFF Local 2393 donated money, and on Tuesday the City of Poughkeepsie Police union, the PBA, donated food to the organization.

IAFF Local 2393 President, Lieutenant Joe Tarquinio and his members recently learned about the services offered by Dutchess Outreach, including their Lunch Box program and their food pantry, both of which provide meals for those in need.  Through the food pantry, Dutchess Outreach can provide healthy food for approximately $3 per meal.  The firefighters immediately offered to write a check to pay for 100 meals.  Members of IAFF Local 2393 presented the substantial donation to Dutchess Outreach board member Todd Bender at the Arlington headquarters on Monday.
This past Saturday, members of the City of Poughkeepsie PBA held a “Fall Festival” at the Main Street Public Safety Building.  Even with the tremendous community turnout, the PBA had bushels of apples and gallons of cider leftover from the event.  PBA President Kevin Van Wagner, assigned to the Community Policing (CP) Division, joined with CP officers Palinkas and Braren to bring several bushels of apples to Dutchess Outreach for distribution.

Arlington firefighters of IAFF Local 2393 made a sizeable contribution to Dutchess Outreach.
Van Wagner said “We wanted to continue our efforts with community outreach. Many residents in the city are not able to enjoy the fall festivities that the Hudson Valley has to offer, so we wanted to do our part to bring some of the bounty of the Hudson Valley to them.”  In keeping with the mission of Dutchess Outreach, Van Wagner noted that “Food insecurity is also a concern for some of our residents and we wanted to do our part to help.”
Tara Whalen, Associate Director of Dutchess Outreach thanked both unions for their support.  “The firefighters from Arlington respond to calls to protect the community without hesitation and their substantial donation will help protect people from going without food.  We are honored to have their support.”  Whalen also praised the cops from the city’s police department.  “The officers in the city put their lives on the line every day and rarely receive thanks for their efforts.  Instead of being frustrated, they continue to find extra ways to serve the city, including supporting Dutchess Outreach and helping to feed the less fortunate.  Personally, I can’t thank them enough for all they do.”
Van Wagner noted that the PBA  also delivered apples and cider to the veterans living at Liberty Station. “We look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with everyone who lives in Poughkeepsie and building lasting bonds particularly with those residents who are in need,” said Van Wagner.