By: Brenda J. Brockett and Elizabeth Mensch

Did you know that there are two food pantries in Rhinebeck to help area residents in need?

The Rhinebeck Reformed Church Food Pantry began in 1991 and serves approximately 100 households.  The Episcopal Church of the Messiah’s Food Pantry began in 1995 and serves over 190 households.

Each pantry is staffed by about ten volunteers and is open year round to serve area residents with non-perishable canned/boxed food items, along with pet food, paper goods, toiletries, eggs, bread, dairy products, frozen meats, and fresh produce when available.   Donations are gratefully accepted from retailers, local residents and the community garden as well as from food drives sponsored by The Dutchess County Fair, the U.S. Postal Service, the local Boy Scout Troops, and Starr and Morton Libraries.

Both pantries have pre-packed bags of food for residents who are caught in an emergency situation or who cannot use the pantry during posted hours.  No one leaves without food; everyone receives information about area food pantries and other sources of available aid.

For continued help, the Reformed Church requests an ID with a current address for all family members; they must live in the Rhinebeck School District. Exceptions are made at the discretion of the Pastor and pantry director.

The Church of the Messiah has the same ID requirement, but also accepts residents of nearby areas in Staatsburg, Clinton Corners, lower Red Hook and  Hyde Park as well as Rhinebeck and Rhinecliff.

The Reformed Church Food Pantry is open Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m.-Noon. The church is located at 6368 Mill Street on the corner of Route 9G (Mill Street) and South Street.  For information call the church at 845-876-3727

The Church of the Messiah Food Pantry is open Fridays from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The church is located at the corner of Route 9 and Chestnut Street. The food pantry is behind the church in the Parish Hall. For information call the church at 845- 876-3533.