POUGHKEEPSIE – A Poughkeepsie food pantry is running out of food and is seeking donations while the executive director continues to lobby local, county, and state officials for additional funding to help meet the increased demand for food.
Dutchess Outreach Executive Director Renee Fillette told Mid-Hudson News that their pantry is running out of both non-perishable and perishable food and has been forced to cut back on the number of clients being served.
“These empty shelves are unprecedented, and we need help from our community and local government to put food back on the table,” Fillette said. The leader of Dutchess Outreach brought the crisis to the attention of Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado who was at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie on Friday. “I told Lieutenant Governor Delgado that we are in need of additional funding so we can continue to serve our clients who are struggling as I briefly explained the food crisis we are experiencing.”
Dutchess Outreach, located at the Family Partnership Center on North Hamilton Street, has had nearly 10,000 households utilize its pantry this year. The higher demand is a result of an increased number of senior citizens seeking assistance.
“In addition to our homeless community members, we are also seeing very many families who are employed but cannot keep up with the rising costs of food,” said Fillette. “Food prices have increased by 10.4 percent according to the most recent Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages have not risen at the same rate, so when people don’t have food to eat, Dutchess Outreach is here for them, but we need funding to purchase food to distribute.”