10K turkey dinners dished out at Equinox Thanksgiving dinner

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Plenty of truck drivers, hundreds of volunteers, and 10,000 turkey dinners were dished out to those in need in our community for this year’s annual Equinox Thanksgiving dinner.

Volunteers with a big smile on their face preparing soup, trimming the turkey, and dishing out delicious cranberry sauce, like a well-oiled machine they work together to provide about 500 meals to those in need of a Thanksgiving Dinner.

“As a way for them to participate in a meal and help us with that,” Dorothy Cucinelli, CEO of Equinox, said. “We have some that do their own cards. We have some colleges that help us put together cards.”

There’s more to it than prep work or serving, kindness and compassion is a must.

“They actually encourage you to take your time and sit down with the people that you’re serving,” Isabella Kronau, of Albany, said.

Walter Emory wanted a little more than food when he went to the community dinner.

“I live by myself in my apartment. I didn’t want to be sitting at home alone at this time of year because it is very lonely,” Walter said.

No one knows better that art of giving than Norman Shapiro, he’s been the Chef for the Equinox Thanksgiving Day Community dinner for 32 years.

“There are homeless and wealthy people that come here, just to be with somebody, just to have company,” Shapiro said. “It’s quite a thing and not only that but when somebody homeless goes by and says God bless you, it blows your mind. We just love it and of course we get as much out of doing this service as they get receiving it.”

Shapiro and his team made turkey and a couple of hams. Some volunteers come back year after year, but there are newcomers too.

“You know we have a lot of homeless here and a lot of people who are hungry,” Carla Shields said. “We should do this every day, not just Thanksgiving, but it’s Thanksgiving so we give. It’s good and I love it. I love volunteering.”

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