Director of Development
Preparations for the 46th Annual Equinox Thanksgiving Community Dinner are well underway.
Started in 1969, Equinox’s event is the longest-running Thanksgiving community dinner in the country. Today, it includes a sit-down meal for 500 at the First Presbyterian Church in Albany and delivery of 9,500 meals to individuals and families throughout the Capital Region who are homebound, lonely or in other difficult circumstances. Food preparations begin on Sunday, November 22 and continue through Wednesday night, November 25 at the Empire State Plaza. Thanksgiving morning, nearly 1,000 volunteers line up on the concourse to pick up meals they will be delivering within a 40-mile radius of Albany.
“Equinox is honored to be the steward of this cherished community tradition,” said Equinox CEO Dorothy Cucinelli. “We are deeply grateful to more than 3,500 volunteers who make this event possible–some of whom have been with us for decades, including our head chef who has been a part of this tradition for 30 years!”
“We are thankful for our generous community. The dinner is funded primarily by donations from individuals, groups, schools, local farms, and businesses,” said Christina Rajotte, Director of Development. Equinox’s longstanding lead partners include Price Chopper (which donates more than 11,000 pounds of turkey and sponsors Project Soup), Hannaford Supermarkets (which donates 1,200 pies), New York State Office of General Services (which donates use of kitchens and space at the Empire State Plaza), and the First Presbyterian Church (which hosts the sit-down dinner).
The day after Thanksgiving, Equinox partners with The Food Pantries to deliver soup and leftover dinners to area food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. “During dinner preparations, our chefs coordinate Project Soup–making over 120 gallons of turkey soup to nourish our community throughout the winter months,” said Rajotte. “What an inspiring scene–the caravan of cars and dedicated volunteers from The Food Pantries arriving to pick up soup and additional meals. The Equinox Thanksgiving Dinner is a genuine community effort.”
To volunteer, make a donation, or request a meal, call the Equinox Thanksgiving Day Hotline at (518) 434-0131. For more information visit www.equinoxinc.org.