Where to Find Free Turkey Giveaways or Thanksgiving Dinner in NJ

Many organizations throughout New Jersey are offering free turkey giveaways, plus full, hot Thanksgiving dinners. Photo by Mommy Poppins
Many organizations throughout New Jersey are offering free turkey giveaways, plus full, hot Thanksgiving dinners. Photo by Mommy Poppins

As Thanksgiving approaches, some families may not have the financial means to enjoy the holiday meal they deserve, but help is available to those in need. Many churches, soup kitchens, and charities throughout New Jersey offer FREE turkey giveaways or full, hot Thanksgiving dinners this season. Read on for details on where to find these services, and if you're fortunate enough to have a full pantry and pocketbook, keep in mind that many of these nonprofits need help more now than ever, so consider reaching out to donate.

In addition to helping families fill their Thanksgiving table, we've also rounded up a collection of resources and organizations ready to supply FREE toys for the upcoming holiday season.

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Be sure to click through to each organization's site for full details, including event times, before heading out.

Where to Get a Free Thanksgiving Turkey in New Jersey

Salvation Army Trenton Citadel Thanksgiving Distribution – Trenton

Thursday, November 18
575 State Street
Head to the back parking lot at Trenton's Salvation Army headquarters for this drive-thru style Thanksgiving giveaway. No registration is necessary. Food is available first come, first served and includes a turkey and the rest of the Thanksgiving fixings.

Bradley Food Pantry – Bradley Beach

605 Fourth Avenue
Friday, November 19
The Bradley Food Pantry provides the Jersey Shore community with bags of groceries five days a week. The pantry distributes turkey and fixings to pre-registered families. Though the registration deadline for turkeys has passed, a drive-thru distribution of holiday foods is planned for Friday, November 19 from 1pm-3pm; all in need are welcome.

Fulfill Drive-Thru Thanksgiving Food Distribution – Neptune

3300 Route 66
Friday, November 19
Sponsored by local food bank Fulfill, this drive-thru event distributes full Thanksgiving meals to those in need, including a turkey and all the fixings. No registration is required, but organizers recommend arriving early as the car line does get long.

The Salvation Army of Atlantic City – Atlantic City

Monday, November 22
City Hall of Atlantic City, 1301 Bacharach Boulevard Local families can register between now and Friday, November 12, at the Salvation Army to receive one of 500 Thanksgiving Food Baskets to be distributed during the holiday week. Distribution is open to Atlantic City residents only.

New Hope & Friends Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway – Mulitple Locations

Monday, November 22
Newark's New Hope Baptist Church leads the charge on this Thanksgiving basket giveaway, which distributes food baskets to needy residents in Newark, Irvington, and Passaic. Donations can be dropped off at the church, 106 Sussex Avenue, on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-11am. If you or someone you know needs a basket, register Tuesdays-Fridays from 9am-3pm by calling 973-622-4547 or emailing agreen@newhopenewark.org.

Free Thanksgiving Turkeys The Community FoodBank of New Jersey
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey works directly with more than 1,000 partner agencies across 11 counties to provide food and other services to communities. Photo courtesy of the organization

Community FoodBank of New Jersey – Hillside

31 Evans Terminal Road No. 1
CFBNJ's mission is to fight hunger and poverty in New Jersey by partnering with local food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. To ensure every New Jersey family has a Thanksgiving meal, CFBNJ hosts its annual Turkey Drive on Saturday, November 20, and Sunday, November 21, in various locations statewide. Visit the website for donation and pickup locations.

8th Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive of Ocean County – Beechwood

816 Mizzen Avenue
Non-perishable food donations, frozen turkeys, and gift cards are being collected through Thursday, November 18, for Ocean County families. Those who would like to receive food should use the message button on the Facebook page or contact feedoceancountynj@gmail.com to request assistance.

Holmdel Turkey Drive – Holmdel

4 Crawfords Corner Road
Holmdel's Town Hall is once again collecting frozen turkeys to distribute to neighbors in need. Turkey can be dropped off at the administration office during normal business hours until Monday, November 22.

RELATED: Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving in New Jersey

Get a free Thanksgiving turkey from Jimmy Sumas Holiday Meal Program
Jimmy Sumas Holiday Meal program donates meals kits to hunger-relief organizations across New Jersey. Photo courtesy of the organization

Jimmy Sumas Holiday Meal Program – Multiple Locations

'Tis better to give than receive with the Jimmy Sumas Holiday Meal Program, which makes it easy to purchase a "holiday meal bag" at your local ShopRite. Meal bags are then distributed to local hunger relief organizations nearby. Donations are also accepted online.

Charitable Organizations Serving Thanksgiving Dinner in New Jersey

Galilee Baptist Church Thanksgiving Takeout – Trenton

440 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Saturday, November 20
All are welcome at this church-sponsored Thanksgiving take-out meal. In addition to hot plates of food, free clothing will be distributed.

Passaic Salvation Army Corps. – Passaic

550 Main Avenue
Thursday, November 25
All are welcome to a Thanksgiving lunch provided by the Salvation Army in Passaic. Event will be held rain or shine.

Originally published in November 2020.

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