County Establishes ‘Dutchess Responds’ to Provide Relief to Residents
During Coronavirus Pandemic
New Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley “Dutchess Responds” Fund &
Volunteer opportunities available through Dutchess Responds website
Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro today announced Dutchess County Government has established “Dutchess Responds,” an online portal through the County’s website, www.dutchessny.gov/dutchessresponds with information for residents who want to offer assistance through volunteering, monetary donations or other efforts to help in the fight against Coronavirus. Additionally, the new site provides a one-stop connection for those residents who need assistance with food delivery, prescriptions and household essentials during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
County Executive Molinaro said, “We help each other – in good times and bad – and as we face the Coronavirus pandemic together, we are being tested in ways most of us have never been challenged. Since this virus first reached our county, local residents, organizations and businesses have reached out to offer assistance, and we have created ‘Dutchess Responds’ as a single point of contact for those offering support to those who need it. Dutchess County is filled with altruistic residents looking to assist their neighbors during this time. If you have the means to help, I hope you’ll join our effort as #DutchessResponds to this evolving health situation.”
Part of this effort is the newly launched Dutchess Responds Fund, hosted by the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, which will help community partners provide critical support to residents experiencing hardships or quarantine restrictions as a result of the evolving health emergency.
Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley Interim President and CEO Nevill Smythe said, “We are fortunate that many in our community have a deep desire to help during these uncertain and unique times. The Dutchess Responds Fund offers an opportunity to reach out and help our neighbors. Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley has a long history of supporting vital causes, connecting generous people with community needs, and improving the quality of life for all. We are grateful to partner with Dutchess County Executive Molinaro and others to help during this critical time. We are especially grateful to the community-minded donors generously supporting these vital efforts. There will be short and long-term needs in our community as a result of this pandemic, and this fund will play a valuable role in providing immediate and ongoing support to those who need it.”
Town of Amenia Supervisor Victoria Perotti was instrumental in getting the fund started, as she has been rallying support from local Amenia residents, including the Silo Ridge community. The Silo Ridge community is targeting an initial goal of raising $500,000 to help with the initial launch of the fund. It is anticipated there will be long-term community needs to address even after the health crisis recedes.
Supervisor Perotti said, “The generosity of Dutchess County residents never ceases to amaze me, and our local community has already stepped up to support one another during this pandemic. I sincerely thank those who have contributed their resources and time to assist their Dutchess County neighbors, and we look forward to watching our Dutchess Responds efforts grow in the coming days and benefit even more residents.”
There is also a need for volunteers. The Dutchess Responds webpage offers two paths for volunteers. The first is for those with a medical background, the second is for those who wish to assist with delivering supplies to neighbors during the COVID-19 response. Those volunteer options are available on www.dutchessny.gov/dutchessresponds as well.
Medical volunteers, through the Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County (MRC), have been assisting Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) staff with disease surveillance, patient case and contact investigations, and patient monitoring. Non-medical MRC volunteers have been deployed to:
- staff the County’s Coronavirus Information Line (845-486-3555) Call Center;
- help drive food and medicine to those in isolation; and
- assemble PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits and other logistic support
Additionally, there will be a running list of groups and organizations that have coordinated a community relief effort in response to coronavirus/COVID-19. Any group or organization who would like to share information about their efforts are urged to email DutchessResponds@DutchessNY.gov to have it added to Dutchess Responds’ comprehensive list. Emails should include the following information:
- contact name and email address;
- address of the municipality or organization;
- phone number;
- detailed description of the effort(s); and
- accompanying attachments, such as flyers, as .pdf files only.
Residents in need of assistance
For those in need of assistance, particularly seniors or disabled individuals, a one-stop connection has been established between food resources in our community and those with a critical need for food and other necessities. The Dutchess Responds Food Connection is accessible through the www.dutchessny.gov/dutchessresponds website. Residents can also call the County’s Coronavirus Information Line (845-486-3555) and select Option 5.
A list of food resources, including food pantries, farmer markets and meal resources for school-aged children, is also available on the website.
Additionally, members of the Dutchess County Legislature have aided residents in their districts, particularly grocery shopping assistance for seniors. Residents who would like to utilize this assistance can contact the Legislature through its Facebook page or by emailing CountyLegislature@dutchessny.gov.
Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature Gregg Pulver said, “The Dutchess County Legislature is doing all we can to provide whatever assistance we can to our constituents during these anxious times. This pandemic is testing us as a community, but I’m confident we are up for the challenge. We must band together and support one another with whatever we are individually capable of. It is so heartening to see the generosity of our community in so many ways. Even seemingly small acts, like helping a senior citizen obtain groceries, can make all the difference.”
Dutchess County Government continues to provide residents the most current information and guidance on its website, www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus, its Coronavirus hotline, (845) 486-3555, and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
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Colleen T. Pillus
Dutchess County Executive Office
22 Market Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 486-2000 Fax: (845) 486-2021