Dutchess Outreach, one of the largest emergency food providers in the Hudson Valley, recently gathered more than 100 people to recognize the many volunteers and partners that help “alleviate the myriad difficulties poor people face every day.”
Omega FoodWorks was one of the organizations honored and presented with a Community Service Award for helping combat the unacceptable levels of food insecurity in our communities.
Since 2002, Omega has saved prepared meals that weren’t served in the Dining Hall to share with Dutchess Outreach’s Lunch Box. One of the most recent deliveries provided enough food for almost two weeks worth of Lunch Box evening meals. Omega’s annual donations are used to provide up to 5,000 meals that incorporate organically grown food sourced from Hudson Valley farms.
The theme of the evening was "volunteering is my superpower." In his opening remarks, Dutchess Outreach executive director Brian Riddell said, "Take a look around, take in what you see here, and if you’ve ever wondered or if anyone ever asks you, what does it take to provide 200,000 meals a year for people who often go without enough to eat, this is it! We’re all in this together. Everyone has a right to eat and to eat well, and united we take that stand and make it happen. If that’s not a superpower, I don’t know what is."
Omega FoodWorks general manager and executive chef Adam Cincotti accepted the award on Omega’s behalf, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to partner with Dutchess Outreach.
“When we have perfectly good food ready to be eaten that we can no longer use, we’re grateful to be able to bring it to the Lunch Box," he said. "It’s important to me that we work to eliminate food waste however we can. Partnering with Dutchess Outreach allows us to live into one of Omega's core values, sustainability, that we interpret through the lens of intersecting social, economic, and environmental issues.”
The Lunch Box serves midday, after school, and dinner meals to 200 people each day from the home base of Dutchess Outreach in Poughkeepsie, New York, a city where more than one in four households experience food insecurity.
Presenting the award, Dutchess Outreach board member Brandi Rider said, "Omega’s donations support Dutchess Outreach’s increased efforts to provide wholesome and nutritious meals."
© 2016 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies