As Thanksgiving nears, many food banks offer free Thanksgiving meals to needy families. This may include turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, cranberry salad, and dessert; some programs can even include delivery.
The Salvation Army operates nationwide and may offer free Thanksgiving dinner in your area. For instance, Bronx Citadel Corps in New York City will hold a food distribution on Tuesday, November 16, and a meal on Wednesday, November 24.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is one of the world’s most visible charitable organizations, from red kettles and bell ringers outside malls to adult rehabilitation centers that help struggling adults overcome addiction and become contributing members of their communities again. Their goal of spreading hope, love, and redemption to people of all backgrounds means there are always causes they are working on tackling.
The Salvation Army is a non-profit religious organization founded by William Booth in London in 1865 as the Christian Mission. Over time, it shifted into its current form – now known as The Salvation Army with operations worldwide and an estimated staff of three million+ employees worldwide. Their founders used street preaching experience to reach out to prostitutes, gamblers, thieves, and drunks living on London streets.
Each center provides free meals and food boxes to low-income families and individuals in need, shelter for homeless individuals, emergency financial assistance, and disaster relief services, in addition to clothing distribution programs that include holiday assistance such as Thanksgiving turkeys or gifts for children as well as case management support services.
The Food Bank for New York City
The Food Bank for New York City is the city’s primary hunger relief organization, utilizing programs of research, public policy analysis, food distribution, and donations from fresh local produce, as well as contract warehouse services to warehouse and purchase wholesale food for community emergency food programs; hosting citywide food drives such as its Bank-to-Bank Partnership Food Drive or its Check Out Hunger campaign with local supermarkets – in addition to offering other services such as information and referrals regarding housing or job assistance assistance programs.
Community organizations and food banks across New York City provide free Thanksgiving food boxes to their clients. These meals often feature protein, like turkey, with sides like cranberries, gravy, and vegetables. You may have it delivered directly to your home or pick it up from a food bank/pantry; either way, they should be enjoyed on Thanksgiving, the day before, or the day after. In addition, The Food Bank for New York City distributes pre-cooked holiday meals directly to homeless individuals throughout the city.
Other nonprofits, churches, and smaller charities also offer free Thanksgiving meals. You can find these programs online; many food distribution sites focus on small areas with limited hours or volunteer runs.
The Food Bank for Lower Manhattan
The Food Bank for Lower Manhattan provides numerous programs to assist those living on low income in Lower Manhattan, such as food distribution, meals, and assistance with prescriptions, rent, and utilities. They also help families with children, immigrants, and senior citizens. Their goal is to ensure all residents in Lower Manhattan have access to nutritious food – they rely on donations and volunteers.
Many charities provide Thanksgiving dinners or food boxes free of charge to families in need. Program details vary widely depending on who benefits; typically, this assistance reaches low-income households, seniors, single mothers, and immigrants. Meals or food may be served directly at their location or delivered straight home.
These organizations are working harder than ever this year to help hungry New Yorkers. But with some holiday staples like turkeys doubling in price, they are facing many difficulties and making it even harder for families to afford Thanksgiving dinner.
While most primary pantries in New York City remain closed due to coronavirus fears, some local food banks and soup kitchens will open for Thanksgiving Day distributions. The Bronx Tremont Corps, Brooklyn Brownsville Corps, and Manhattan Harlem Temple distribute food. Additional services, such as meals to go or care bags during colder weather conditions, may also be provided.
The Food Bank for Central New York
The Food Bank for Central New York is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending hunger. Through an array of emergency food programs in eleven counties of Central New York and educational programs on nutrition and growing your food, they distribute food through emergency programs to provide emergency relief to local families in need. Their success has allowed local families to feed themselves without resorting to charity food pantries for aid.
This organization provides free Thanksgiving meals at various locations around the city, such as schools and churches. They also deliver food directly to homebound, disabled, and elderly recipients – though please note some programs have limited supplies – so be sure to sign up early if interested.
Some charities and soup kitchens also provide Thanksgiving meal boxes or gift cards that can be redeemed at any grocery store for groceries. These meals may be delivered on Thanksgiving, the day before, or the day after; typically, these are to-go options rather than dine-in.
This week, several city agencies, elected officials, and nonprofit organizations have been offering food distributions to Brooklyn residents. On November 17th, Stop & Shop joined New York Giants to provide food through Food Bank Turkey Express in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn. On Tuesday, Councilmember Crystal Hudson will host a free community turkey giveaway at Bed-Stuy Restoration Plaza from 3-6 p.m.