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Applications Now Open for ‘Dutchess Responds Fund’
Grants available to support nonprofit organizations meeting vital community needs during Coronavirus pandemic

Published: 4/10/2020

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, Communications Director

(845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro and Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley Interim President & CEO Nevill Smythe today announced the Dutchess Responds Fund has initiated a rolling application process to support nonprofits that have been providing critical support to the community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dutchess Responds LogoCounty Executive Molinaro said, “As we face the Coronavirus pandemic together, many have had to rapidly shift the way they deliver services from in-person to virtual platforms or have increased their outreach to ensure those who are disproportionately affected by this crisis have their critical needs met, such as access to food or medication. We are grateful to the nonprofit organizations who have already shouldered the burden of responding to the needs of our community and are proud to join Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley in offering these grants to support their efforts. If you have the means to help, I hope you’ll join us as #DutchessResponds to this health situation, and give what you can to the Dutchess Responds Fund.”

In collaboration with the Dyson Foundation, the first round of Dutchess Responds Fund donations, which exceeded $50,000, was recently distributed to numerous emergency food pantries and programs throughout the county, with a special emphasis on those that provide fresh produce and distribute or deliver food to those in need.

This revolving application process will allow current and future donations to the fund to support two priorities—Front Line and Service-Challenged needs. Grants will be available in increments up to $10,000 depending on funding availability.

Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley Interim President and CEO Nevill Smythe said, “We are fortunate so many in our community have stepped forward to support those most affected by this global pandemic. As the needs of our community continue to evolve along with this situation, The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and the Dutchess Responds Fund will be available to help provide the immediate and ongoing support necessary to help our community-based nonprofit partners continue to do their good work. We are grateful to County Executive Molinaro and the numerous donors who have helped support their neighbors in need through the Dutchess Responds effort.”

Front Line Grants

Front Line Grants will fund community-based nonprofits that have increased demand for services due to COVID-19. These nonprofits have deep roots in the community and a strong track-record serving residents who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis such as community-based health clinics; food banks and food pantries; meal delivery programs; homelessness services; and prevention programs. Groups working through nonprofits to provide emergency meals to vulnerable populations are also eligible to apply.

Service-Challenged Grants

Service-Challenged Grants will fund nonprofits that have modified in-person service delivery extremely rapidly due to COVID-19, and need assistance upgrading technology or sanitation protocols; or obtaining cleaning supplies or service personnel, such as youth or recreation centers; child or adult daycares; senior services; or community-based education programs.

Award decisions will be made with input from the County and other local funders. Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and are available online through Community Foundations’ website. For more information, contact Community Foundations at (845) 452-3077 or email

Since Dutchess County launched its “Dutchess Responds” initiative on March 24th, more than 170 volunteers have registered to help, in addition to more than 200 volunteers who registered through the Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess. More than 164 requests for food assistance have been received through the Dutchess Responds Food Connection Hotline and over 200 deliveries of food have been completed through the hotline, Dutchess Outreach, and Dutchess County Community Action Partnership.

To learn more about the “Dutchess Responds” effort and donate to the Dutchess Responds Fund, visit If you need assistance with food or other essentials, call the County’s Coronavirus hotline at (845) 486-3555 (for Spanish, press 9), and select option 5.

Dutchess County Government continues to provide residents the most current information on its COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard, and further updates and guidance are available on its website,, its Coronavirus hotline, (845) 486-3555 (for Spanish, press 9), and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.