Turkey dinners for the poor Where to get a free meal, donate, or volunteer for the holiday

People from all around Hudson County will be pitching in this Thanksgiving to make sure that no one goes hungry.

Here are some of the local venues for free meals and volunteering. Some of them are open to needy people from all over the county, so check each listing to see.


Representatives from Weehawken’s Town Council will distribute dinners on Thanksgiving to the housebound and those without families. For more information call (201) 319-6005.

Jersey City

The Hard Grove Café at 319 Grove St. in Jersey City will be hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, and all the fixings. It will be held Thanksgiving day from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to any needy people in the community. The restaurant annually draws about 200 people. The Hard Grove is also still seeking volunteers to serve dinner. For more information call (201) 451-1853.

St. Lucy’s Shelter, 619 Grove St., Jersey City, will hold its annual Thanksgiving dinner for anyone in need on Thanksgiving Day at 3:30 p.m. The shelter accepts donations of food, supermarket gift certificates, winter clothing, and money throughout the year. Donations may be dropped off at the shelter. For more information, call (201) 656-7201.

The Square Meal Program at Let’s Celebrate, 46-48 Fairview Ave., Jersey City, will serve holiday meals to homeless and low-income families and individuals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 23, Friday Nov. 24, and Saturday Nov. 25; Christmas Eve; Christmas Day; and New Year’s Eve. Meals are also served the last Saturday of the month. For information, call (201) 433-5438 ext. 37.

The York Street Soup Kitchen, 89 York St., Jersey City, will accept donations of food, clothes or money. To donate, stop by the office on weekdays except Wednesday between 9 and 11:30 a.m. or visit www.yorkstreetproject.org. For more information, call (201) 451-9838.

Councilman Steve and Yraida Lipski and Coptic Community Services will host a traditional, complimentary Thanksgiving Dinner from noon to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The dinner will be held at the Coptic Community Center at 861 Bergen Ave. For more information, call (201) 433-8669.

Jimmy King’s Civic Association will be having their annual Thanksgiving Dinner from the homeless and shut-ins. Dinner will be served at the Sharing Place at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Hall at 440 Hoboken Ave., Jersey City from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving. For more information call (201) 963-1383.


The Hoboken Homeless Shelter, 300 Bloomfield St., will offer a dinner on Thanksgiving on Nov. 23 consisting of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes and vegetables, at 7 p.m. But that is just part of a full day of activities that the shelter is running, and they are also looking for volunteers to help out. The day includes a hot breakfast at a local church, coffee and donuts, a movie and popcorn from 10 to 11, Thanksgiving lunch from 1 to 2 p.m., board games and social time from 2 to 5 p.m., movies and popcorn from 5 to 7, and Thanksgiving dinner starting at 7 p.m. To volunteer or get more information, call Jaclyn Cherubini at (201) 656-5069.

East L.A. restaurant at 508 Washington St. will serve a free traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner from 12 to 2 p.m. to anyone in need. The restaurant is looking for volunteers to help serve lunch. For more information call (201) 798-0052.

Mario’s Classic Pizza at 742 Garden St. will be hosting a free traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The dinner is open to anyone in the community who needs it. Last year the event drew well over 100 people, and it is expected to grow again this year.

St. Francis Church at 308 Jefferson St. has a food pantry that serves 20 to 25 lunches daily for the homeless or unemployed. The parish also collects and distributes packages of food to needy families throughout the year and on the holidays. Those who request food for families are sometimes people who have just lost jobs, who are waiting for the arrival of their food stamps, or those referred to St. Francis by one of the homeless shelters in the area or by FAITH Services, the local Franciscan AIDS program.

Food donations are always welcome. They can be left at the rectory at 308 Jefferson St. Good choices include pasta, rice, beans, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti sauce, canned fish, meats, fruits or vegetables, and cake or biscuit mixes. The food pantry will be open on Thanksgiving. Reach them at (201) 659-1772.

Mayor David Roberts, Councilmen Chris Campos and Ruben Ramos, Hoboken Director of Human Services Carmelo Garcia, Union City Mayor Brian Stack, and the Mile Square Civic Association will distribute approximately 500 turkeys on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Church of God of Prophecy at Third and Jackson streets. The free turkeys will be given to residents of the Hoboken Housing Authority and needy local families. The Hoboken Church of God of Prophecy can be reached at (201) 659-4119.

The National Council of Jewish Women of Hoboken is seeking volunteers to assemble and deliver Thanksgiving food packages to needy people the Hoboken area. Assembly of the food packages will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19 at the Hoboken Multi-service Center at Second and Grand streets. There will also be a pre-project brunch at 11 a.m. For more information or to RSVP call (201) 798-5771.

On Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m., the Community Church of Hoboken on Sixth and Garden streets will hold an interfaith Thanksgiving Service.

Non-perishable food items and children’s coats will be collected at the service and distributed at a later date through the In Jesus’ Name Charities. Money collected at the offering will be given to help the Hoboken Clergy Coalition shelter for the homeless. The coalition is composed of local clergy from Christian and Jewish congregations.

For more information, call Rev. Mary Forell at (201) 659-4499, Rev. Marvin Krieger at (201) 659-8119, or April Harris at (201) 792-2112.

On Saturday, Nov. 18 Jubilee Center in Hoboken will hold a Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 601 Jackson St. Those in attendance will be able to purchase an engravable brick for the center’s walkway. A single family brick will cost $250. A shared family brick will cost $125. Those in attendance will be treated to a mini dance performance presented by the Jubilee Dancers.

St. Peter and Paul Church is asking parishioners to bring non-perishable food donations to the Nov. 19 and 20 Mass. Suggested trimmings include canned vegetables, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, biscuit and muffin mixes, rice and boxed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, soups, applesauce and other canned fruit, pie filling, and pie crust and other dessert mixes. For more information email joe@soboleski.net

In Bayonne

The Bayonne chapter of UNICO National will hold its Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 3 p.m. in Assumption Hall of Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Kennedy Boulevard and 23rd Street, Bayonne. Free tickets will be available from the various Office on Aging sites or at City Hall. The chapter will make arrangements to deliver meals to the homebound. Call the Bayonne Office on Aging at (201) 858-6119.

The Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation will serve dinner on Thanksgiving Day at 12:30 p.m. in the community room of Backbay Gardens, 535 Avenue A off West 23rd Street. The BEOF will also deliver meals. For more information, call (201) 437-7222, ext. 13.

Union City

One of the county’s three homeless shelters, the Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation (PERC) homeless shelter at 108 36th St., will serve dinner on Thanksgiving from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

It will be a traditional turkey dinner. According to officials from the shelter, more than 125 people are expected to attend.

The PERC Shelter is a nonprofit interfaith organization whose mission is to provide food and shelter to residents in need. For more information, call (201) 348-8150.

Also in Union City, the Brian Stack Civic Association, as part of a 19-year tradition, is donating 5,000 turkeys to needy Union City families. Any Union City family that needs a turkey for Thanksgiving can call (201) 863-8583. Leave your name, address and a number where you can be reached, and someone from Mayor Stack’s staff will arrange delivery.

West New York

On Saturday, Nov 18 at 1 p.m., the City of West New York will sponsor a senior Thanksgiving Party at West New York Middle School at 201 57th Street.

For more information, call (201) 295-5100.


Secaucus has an emergency food pantry gives food to needy families. It’s located at 101 Centre Ave. Call (201) 330-2014 for more information.

In addition, the First Reformed Church at 53 Centre St. in Secaucus will be delivering meals to the elderly on Thanksgiving. For more information call (201) 867-9178.

Kipnis Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, with offices in Secaucus and Cliffside Park, is sponsoring an “Adopt a Family in Need” food drive. Food donations will be accepted through Nov. 30 at their offices at 150 Flanagan Way in Secaucus and 590 Anderson Ave. in Cliffside Park. Perishable items and cash donations cannot be accepted.


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