ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Equinox is making sure those in need have a delicious plate of food to enjoy on Thanksgiving. The Annual Equinox Community Thanksgiving dinner still went on, but they had to make a few changes thanks to COVID-19.
Due to social distancing guidelines, there was no community dinner at the First Presbyterian Church, but Equinox found a way to make sure everyone had a meal. “Because of COVID, we could not gather the nearly 4,000 volunteers that we traditionally do to help prep the meal at the Empire State Plaza,” says Christina Rajotte, Equinox Director of Development and Marketing. Equinox canceled the in-person preparations.
This year, Equinox reached out to local restaurants to help prepare the meals, and drivers from previous years volunteered to deliver them. Volunteers started to deliver the meals on Monday. “We were really excited to pivot, to change it, to reinvent it. Not only do the restaurants get some business, this community once again stepped up to help us raise the money, to pay for the meals from the restaurants,” says Rajotte.
Thanks to the generous community, Equinox was able to raise nearly $135,000 through its fundraising campaign. Since Monday, they delivered 10,300 meals across the Capital Region. Last Thanksgiving, they delivered a little under 11,000 meals. Additionally, St. Peter’s Health Partners and CDPHP and its food services partner, Eurest, donated 1,000 meals.
“We’re happy to be able to still help our neighbors in need during this very unprecedented time,” says Rajotte.
Equinox made a handful of changes to make this event possible this year, but Christina says the one thing that hasn’t changed is the spirit of giving.
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