On Thursday, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced the Dutchess Responds Food Connection, established in March as a connection between food resources in the community and those with a critical need for food and other necessities during the COVID-19 pandemic, has delivered more than 10,000 meals to local families in less than two months. The Dutchess Responds Food Connection has received over 500 requests for food and made more than 700 deliveries to date, averaging 18 deliveries per day with each delivery consisting of three meals per day for three days. County Executive Molinaro said in a statement, “While the COVID-19 pandemic has tested our County like never before, it has also shone a light on residents’ generosity and selflessness as (Dutchess County) responds to these unprecedented times. Just as the need for food resources has increased as the pandemic has touched every corner of our nation, and indeed our County, so too has Dutchess County’s response, delivering more than 10,000 meals to residents in need. We thank those who have supported our Dutchess Responds Food Connection, as well as the magnanimous staff and volunteers who travel throughout the County to deliver these critical meals every weekday.”

The Dutchess Responds Food Connection is a collaboration between Dutchess Outreach, Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County, and the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development. Staff from the pantries prepare and package meals while staff from the Planning Department answer calls to the Coronavirus Hotline from those requesting food, record those requests, and coordinate distribution and delivery. In addition to the Dutchess Responds Food Connection, the County has continued to meet residents’ critical food needs in several other ways. Dutchess County’s Office for the Aging, for example, has delivered a record number of home-delivered meals to seniors, now totaling more than 34,000 meals since March 16. Executive Molinaro said, “We in Dutchess County are blessed with a coordinated system of organizations that offer vital food resources to residents who need them, year-round – from our own Office for the Aging to countless food pantries throughout the county. We’re proud to have our Dutchess Responds Food Connection supplement these established outlets during these trying times, and we’ll continue to answer our residents’ needs, during this pandemic and beyond.”

Residents in need of food resources can request free deliveries of meals by filling out their online form here, or by calling the Dutchess County Coronavirus Hotline at (845) 486-3555 and selecting Option 5.

For more information about the County’s “Dutchess Responds” relief effort, including the Dutchess Responds Food Connection and opportunities for residents to donate their time or resources, visit the Dutchess Responds website.