Volunteers - Drivers

Instructions for Equinox
Thanksgiving Dinner Volunteers

Due to COVID-19:

We have come up with a socially distanced plan to carry on our cherished tradition, and make sure we can still safely deliver delicious Thanksgiving meals to thousands of our neighbors in need. While we continue to provide for our community, Equinox would also like to give back to our local restaurants and businesses that have supported our dinner over the years by purchasing T-Day meals from them—this would replace our in-person preparations. Although our “redesigned dinner” changes our need for meal prep volunteers, we still need your valuable help more than ever to make this year’s dinner a reality.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are not feeling well, please do not volunteer!!


  • Driving involves a long wait in line on the Concourse at the Empire State Plaza, likely 3 hours or more. Why? Food is packed cold. Due to limited refrigerator space the assembly line for packing begins around 7:30, just before we are ready to hand off to the drivers, so that the food maintains a safe temperature.
  • Some drivers arrive as early as 5:30am.  We recommend between 6:30am and 7:00am.
  • You should definitely be in line by 8:00am.  Meals will begin to move out at 8:30am.  Those that arrive later will likely deliver to a household with an Albany city zip code or not deliver at all.  
  • Essential to bring several containers such as plastic laundry baskets or boxes to transport the meals. Carts with wheels are very helpful.
  • Go to Concourse level with your baskets/boxes and get into the line for Drivers.


  • Free parking is available in “V” Visitor parking lot or another lot as directed that day if the “V” lot fills.  Expect there may be a line of vehicles waiting to get into the parking lot.
  • Additional parking is available on either side of the State Museum on Madison Ave.
  • Identification needed for State Police when entering the V Lot.


  • Dinner consists of Take-Out Container, box with pie & roll, gravy container & maybe bread. Make sure to get all parts of the meal.
  • Expect to deliver to 2-4 locations; each driver will deliver about 10 dinners.
  • Packs of meal delivery cards with names & addresses of recipients are arranged by zip code.
  • A GPS is recommended or access to Google Maps. Some directions are provided.
  • All meals MUST be delivered within 2 hours of departure from Empire State Plaza to remain safe.
  • If you deliver to an apartment building be sure to give meals directly to tenants NOT to people waiting in the lobby offering to help out.
  • Do not leave meals unattended. Recipients have been told they must be home starting at 8:30 am and lasting until their meal is delivered. You must hand the food to a person.
  • If listed recipient is not home, please find another person in need of the meal. Do not return the meal to the Plaza.



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