CLARKSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany County Sheriff’s Department is providing free Thanksgiving meals to Capital Region needy families once again this year. It’s an effort that began during the pandemic and is even bigger this year.

“We just want to make sure everyone has a great Thanksgiving,” says Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

The now annual massive effort began last season during the the first holidays of the pandemic.

“Last year we did around 325-350 with the help of SYSCO and Old-World Provisions. And our staff comes in and we do it on Tuesday not Wednesday, so that our staff can make their own meals. So, today we gathered and are pushing out 500 meals,” Apple added.

The work is accomplished by Sheriff’s Department employees and volunteers at their Clarksville station with help from folks like Rachel Shaw.

“My mom works for the department. I come to all the functions.”

Rachels says the reaction to the meals is what drives her to volunteer.

“It’s seeing everybody. I am not going to see them get their meals today, but we do this for Christmas, too. So, it is nice to see.”

“Like I tell everybody, giving is contagious,” says Apple.

“We will serve a couple hundred meals in the Hill Towns. We got like a hundred going to Coeymans. And the rest is going to the inner city.”

Most of the meals were delivered Tuesday, but if you know someone who could use a one for the holiday, you can call: 518-487-5440 or Email: