ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Preparations are underway for Equinox’s annual Thanksgiving dinners. This year, on their 50th anniversary, volunteers are helping more families than ever.
For two hour shifts Sunday, and throughout the week, Capital Region community members are in the kitchen filling gravy cups, chopping onions, and carving turkeys.
Christina Rajotte, Director of Development and Marketing for Equinox, says they have a total of 4000 volunteers that make the dinner a reality.
Those volunteers have a big job. The number of people in need of a Thanksgiving dinner has greatly increased since last year, when 9500 meals were delivered.
“We anticipate we’ll be delivering 10,000 meals this year, and closer to total served of 11,000,” Rajotte told News10.
Rajotte attributes that to the colder weather starting earlier this year, which may have some people worried about leaving their homes to get food for Thanksgiving. She also noted the persistent issue of food insecurity.
But volunteer chefs are working hard, putting love into everything they cook, so that Capital Region families in need can have a fresh dinner, on par with a home cooked meal that has all the fixings.
“It’s actually kind of sad, but this, potentially, is the best meal some people will have all year,” Paul Strasser, a volunteer chef for Equinox told News10, “and that’s what drives me to make sure that the quality is there.”
Rajotte says the enthusiasm of the volunteers is key to having a successful dinner.
“It should be like you’re making it for your own family, so they don’t skimp on flavor, or amounts of food either,” Rajotte told News10.
If you are a person in need of a Thanksgiving meal, you can call the Equinox hotline at 518-434-0131.
Food preparations will continue all week until the big day on Thursday, when volunteers will deliver the meals right to people’s homes. They can also go the the First Presbyterian Church in Albany for a community dinner.