The Dutchess Outreach Fresh Market is a farmers’ market managed by Dutchess Outreach that sells Hudson Valley fruits, vegetables, and other local goods at affordable prices.
Through the operation of this program, we have cultivated close connections with our Hudson Valley Farmers. These relationships are critical in ensuring that we are getting the best quality foods out into our community and that our clients feel that they are a part of our beautiful local food system. These relationships don’t only benefit our clients, they bring incredible benefit to our local farmers-helping them irrigate communities with fresh foods.
Additionally, on the Dutchess Outreach Urban Farm, we’re growing food for our food access programs right in the center of the City of Poughkeepsie. By growing our own food, we’re growing community food security, increasing the availability of fresh local food for all.
This shopping cart represents a step in a new direction for the Dutchess Outreach Pantry – a place where people can now come to select the food they want and need!
Driven by the feedback we receive from the people who come to us for food assistance, and an army of forward-thinking staff and volunteers, we have been making steady improvements to all areas of our programs. Whether you volunteer with us or donate to the organization (or both), we want you to know about all of the work we have done together, as well as an idea of what we are imagining next.
While we operate several different food and emergency relief programs, the most significant transformations are now taking place in the Food Pantry and the community meal program known affectionately as The Lunch Box.
Throughout the pandemic, the Food Pantry and Lunch Box never stopped providing their critical resources of groceries and prepared meals. The Lunch Box immediately shifted its delivery model from a dine-in to a take-out method. Since COVID restrictions have been lifted we are often asked about when we will return to a dine-in model. The answer to that question is that we are still trying to figure that out.
Over the past year, we have served the same (or more) people than years without indoor dining restrictions. That is, the take-out model has not had a negative impact on the number of people who come. However, we understand that people dined with us for more than the food. There was a camaraderie and togetherness that was supportive to many, but not to all. We have been focused heavily on finding ways to hold on to the best parts of the dine-in model, while also providing a trauma-informed environment where all people feel safe and comfortable.
We are meeting with people who come to us for our prepared meals to best understand what they consider the most supportive dining model. We want to do everything possible to host a place where people can choose what they would like to eat, and how much. We want to explore delivery options, multi-day meal packages, medically tailored meals, and so much more. There are many exciting opportunities ahead, but it’s important that you know we are in the ‘exploration phase’ right now.