ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The holidays can be a difficult time for families struggling across the region. According to Feed America, because of the COVID pandemic, more than 38 million people faced hunger in 2020

There are many ways you can make a big difference, especially when it comes to food:

  • Volunteer: food pantries and food banks see a large increase in demand during this time of year so any amount of your time can go a long way.
  • Donate food to a local food bank: healthy, non-perishable food is in higher demand this time of year. According to Feed America, some of the most in demand food items during Thanksgiving are: Boxed stuffing, Instant mashed potatoes, Canned vegetables, Dry macaroni, Cranberry sauce, and Canned Pumpkin.
  • Host a virtual food drive: every dollar raised can help provide up to ten meals.

If you’re looking to give back this holiday season here are some local places you can reach out to:

Feed Albany

Feed Albany is handing out 1,500 prepared meals through Thanksgiving. They’re also handing out 100 turkeys on Wednesday night from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at 203 Sheridan Ave in Albany.

Feed Albany is a 501(c)3 and NYS registered not-for-profit charity that connects at-risk and in-need individuals in Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer Counties to critical food resources through the distribution of prepared meals and groceries.”

Feed Albany’s Facebook

Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York recently kicked off their “37th Annual Holiday Hunger Appeal.” It runs from mid-November through Christmas Eve. People can make donations while doing their holiday shopping inside Crossgates Mall.

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York launched its 37th annual Holiday Hunger Appeal Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at Crossgates Mall.

The food bank is also a partner of the Troy Turkey Trot. Even if you’re not a runner or a volunteer involved with the race, you can still make a donation online.

Beyond the holiday, the food bank also hands out food to people in need throughout the year. They teamed up with Catholic Charities, among others, during the pandemic to hand out over 2 million pounds of fresh, frozen and shelf-stable food items to more than 196,000 people so far this year during their mass food distribution events.


The Capital Region’s largest and longest-running holiday tradition of providing a holiday meal to neighbors in need continues. Equinox is hosting the 52nd Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner, providing prepared meals, by local restaurants and caterers, to be delivered by volunteers. Officials say meals by volunteers will provide a contact-free delivery to recipients in 10 counties, within a 60-mile radius of Albany.

To volunteer, deliver meals, make donations, or inquire about meals contact Equinox’s Thanksgiving hotline at (518) 494-0131.

equinox thanksgiving preps

The Food Pantries for the Capital District

On average the Food Pantries for the Capital District provide enough groceries for a minimum of three meals per day, for at least three days for each person in the household. Around the holidays they also purchase both food and grocery store gift certificates to allow people to serve and enjoy their own special meals.

The Open Door Mission

The Open Door Mission is located in Glens Falls. The organization serves more than 1,600 meals a month, serves as a men and women’s shelter, and services an emergency food pantry that provides about 25,000 meals to over 2,560 individuals a year.

They are hosting the Glens Falls Gobble Wobble 5k run/walk on Thanksgiving morning to raise money for those struggling with hunger and homelessness.

CAPTAIN Community Human Services

CAPTAIN Community Human Services is a volunteer-driven organization located in Glenville, Clifton Park, Gloversville, and Saratoga Springs. During they holidays they run several programs to combat issues being faced by people of all ages. The organization has been creating “Thanksgiving Baskets” that will provide warm meals for families in need.