ALBANY, N.Y. – A local Thanksgiving Day community dinner that relies entirely on donations to help feed those in need still requires several food items.
The 44th annual Equinox dinner still needs canned yams, fruit cups, apple sauce cups, bags of potatoes, and carrots. Donations can be dropped off on Tuesday or Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 95 Central Ave. in Albany.
On Thursday, November 28, Equinox will host its annual Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner, feeding 10,000 Capital Region residents. The dinner is entirely funded by donations of cash, food, and in-kind services from individuals, groups, schools, congregations, and businesses.
The tradition began in 1969 when a small group of community leaders shared Thanksgiving dinner at the First Presbyterian Church in Albany with 200 college students unable to get home for the holiday. Today, the dinner includes a sit-down meal for 500 at the church as well as the preparation and delivery of 9,500 meals with all the trimmings.
Food prep and cooking will begin on Sunday, November 24, and continues through Wednesday night in the kitchens at the Empire State Plaza.
Early Thanksgiving morning, more than 1,000 volunteer drivers begin lining up at the Plaza to pick up meals they will be delivering to those who live within a 40-mile radius of Albany.
"The Equinox Thanksgiving Dinner has become a cherished tradition in our community, and is believed to be the longest running Thanksgiving community dinners in the country," said Equinox CEO Dorothy Cucinelli, Ph.D. "We offer many, many thanks to the more than 3,600 volunteers who make this wonderful event possible. Some of our volunteers have been with us for 10, 20, even more than 30 years – it's that commitment that makes this such an extraordinary community event."