Equinox not delivering meals on Thanksgiving this year

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Janice Dewey of Watervliet says people will miss having Equinox meals delivered this Thanksgiving.

“I like it when they deliver,” she said. “A lot of people don’t have anybody in there. I live alone. I used to get them over in Cohoes. They bring them right to the door.”

Equinox will not be delivering meals this year, citing logistical challenges, and inflation, funding, and staffing and volunteer changes.

“Just the logistics of handling such a large scale operation have changed over the years,” said Christina Rajotte, Chief Development Officer for Equinox and Whitney Young Health.

It’s been a tradition for many people for many years, preparing Equinox meals for thousands of people or delivering them.

Christina Rajotte said many other meal options also became available, including the Albany County Sheriff’s Thanksgiving deliveries.

“So we’re confident with all of our community partners that we all can meet the community’s needs together, so we felt this was the time really to pivot back to our roots of holding a sitdown dinner at the First Presbyterian Church in Albany.”

What began in 1969 as a church meal developed into a large-scale operation, with thousands of volunteers at the Empire State Plaza.

Things shifted during Covid to delivery only of restaurant meals.

Last year, they delivered 10,500 meals with the help of 700 volunteers.

This year, for about 1,000, there will be a sitdown meal or takeout.

Lee Archibald of Watervliet says the change will affect a lot of people in her building who look forward to eating in the community room.

“Because when they deliver it, they put the meals in here and then they all eat together like a family does on Thanksgiving,” she said.

“Well, I think it affects a lot of people in this building. It doesn’t affect me, I go to my son’s house. But a lot of people will be missing out on turkey dinner because there won’t be any deliveries.”

The sitdown dinner will be on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Information will be coming out soon about how to make a reservation, takeout, and volunteering.