Help for the holidays

Where to donate, volunteer, and get a free Thanksgiving turkey or meal

Each year, the Hudson Reporter provides information about where to get a holiday dinner if you are needy, and where to volunteer or donate supplies. Union City, Weehawken, Hoboken, and West New York have scheduled activities or opportunities to donate and get help if needed.


Last year, the town hosted its annual Seniors Thanksgiving Party in the community room of one of its senior buildings. At the time, 175 seniors attended. The party had dancing, entertainment and a Thanksgiving meal. The town also delivered full Thanksgiving meals on Thanksgiving morning to about 180 residents.

“A lot of families are shy about it. They don’t want to be stigmatized against.” –Richard Turner
Mayor Richard Turner was not sure last week when this year’s senior party would take place, although he said it’s typically the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
As for helping needy families in general, he said the city checks with local churches and organizations to see if they know of someone who may be in need of a delivered meal.
“A lot of families are shy about it,” said Turner. “They don’t want to be stigmatized against.”
For information on either program, Turner recommends calling the senior center at (201) 319-6059.
Also, each year, Assemblyman and Union City Mayor Brian Stack delivers thousands of turkeys to needy families in Hudson County. This year, he intends to deliver a record-setting 22,000. Volunteers will bring them door to door.
To request a turkey or get more information, call (201) 348-5755.

Union City

Mayor Stack hosted a party on Nov. 4 at Schuetzen Park to thank the members of his civic association and others who make his traditional turkey giveaway each year possible. The turkeys are available for anyone in his legislative district who needs one, and can be requested by calling the mayor’s office at (201) 348-5755.
The turkeys are paid for by the Brian P. Stack Civic Association.
The turkeys usually arrive by truck from various farms a few days before Thanksgiving, and are distributed by volunteers throughout the area. In some cases, volunteers deliver them floor by floor, apartment by apartment.
The city and other organizations are also hosting various dinners and events.
The city will host a senior citizens’ Thanksgiving party on Nov. 12 at noon at the Collin Powell School. The free event will have food, live music, and entertainment. For more information, call the mayor’s office at (201) 348-5755.
The Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation (PERC), which runs a local shelter, recommends the community gets involved by donating from a list of shelter items on the organization’s website.
“We are always looking for motivated folks to host collection drives and place boxes in the common areas of their buildings, schools, offices, etc. to help us get the supplies we so desperately need,” wrote Sarah Fishtein of PERC in an email.
The organization is hoping to provide the needy with warm clothes and foods as well as toiletry items.
Those wishing to donate can select items off the organization’s two lists: and or contact the organization at (201) 348-8150.

West New York

According to Commissioner Susan Colacurcio, West New York has several celebrations planned for the town’s senior citizens.
West New York will be serving hot turkey dinner for every senior building as well as hosting a senior Thanksgiving dinner at the local middle school.

“We want to make sure we honor them in every way we can for the foundation they have given our community.”—Susan Colacurcio
“It’s a great event and an important time of year for us, because we are very grateful for our seniors,” said Colacurcio. “We want to make sure we honor them in every way we can for the foundation they have given our community.”
The Thanksgiving dinner at the middle school will be Nov 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hosts will serve turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, Spanish rice, and flan, and there will be a live DJ and gift card giveaways.
Their will be a free shuttle to transport the seniors who wish to attend the middle school dinner.
Two organizations composed of kids will be the servers for the evening: MOMS, a high school community service group, and the Junior Police Academy.
“Its so important that the kids learn to work with the seniors,” said Colacurcio.
She said she expects 350 to 450 seniors to attend the dinner.
Then in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, the largest senior buildings will also have dinners hosted by the town. The dinner will also have giveaways and a hot meal and music for dancing. The three buildings with their own events are 5101 Park Ave., 6100 Adams St., 6300 St, and 6800 Jefferson S.t, 430 62nd St. But according to Colacurcio, the city has not yet determined which buildings will be served on which dates.
For more information, contact her office at (201) 295-5284.
And, again, anyone needy in the area can contact Assemblyman Stack’s office for a free turkey (see the Union City portion of this story).


Hoboken’s homeless shelter typically provides activities for its clients on Thanksgiving day and accepts donations of supplies. For more information please contact the shelter at (201) 656-5069.
Marilyn Baer can be reached at

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