What Is Community Action?
If you live in Red Hook or around Dutchess County, you've likely come across the term "Community Action" before.
Community Action is actually an informal name for the Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County, whose Northern Dutchess location is on 44 East Market Street (fairly close to the RHCC).
The mission of the Community Action Partnership (CAP) for Dutchess County is to partner with individuals and families to eliminate poverty and identify the resources and opportunities available to them to enhance their self-reliance.
Like the Red Hook Community Center, the goal of Community Action Partnership (CAP) is to serve the people of it's communities in the ways that they are able to through projects, programs, events and more.
One of their ongoing current programs that is extremely beneficial to Red Hook teens is their "Free Kids Summer Meal Program", which ensures that families "who receive free or reduced lunch" at school are given a "free weekly food package" for their children.
Across the United States, an estimated 22 million students receive free or reduced-price lunch during the school year, but only around 16% of those children have access to the same resources during the summer months.
This type of initiative from CAP will work to improve that percentage drastically in Red Hook.
Another upcoming event from CAP takes place this Friday (June 19th), where in coordination with the Food Bank of the Hudson valley, the Community Action Partnership will be leading a "Free Grocery Giveaway For Families In Need".
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate in the state of New York alone reached 14.5% in April, causing many families to fall on tough financial times. Food is estimated to account for 10.5% to 12.8% of the average budget for families across the United States and carry vary by up to 30-40% based on food availability, living conditions and cost of living.
Food For Thought: While you on a personal scale most likely aren't able to emulate the widespread and diverse impact of an organization like the Community Action Partnership, a look at their projects, programs community events and outreach should get you thinking.
Ponder these questions to yourself: "What can I do the impact my community for the better? How can I make the place where I live a more inclusive one? What simple tasks can I do on my own or with others to spread the positive message of community?"
Simple tasks like organizing a neighborhood clean-up project or working to create positive change in your own backyard can not only have rollover effects into other communities, but also inspire others from all generations, to follow your lead and create a better tomorrow.
For more information on the Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County, you can visit their website, which offers a section to donate funds to help their causes, a list of different ways to get involved via volunteer efforts and an upcoming events calendar.