Free Turkeys in New Jersey for Thanksgiving 2023

A number of New Jersey organizations offer free turkey giveaways this holiday season. Photo by Mommy Poppins
A number of New Jersey organizations offer free turkey giveaways this holiday season. Photo by Mommy Poppins
11/7/23 - By Laurie Rein

Free turkey meals in New Jersey offer help to families who may not have the financial means to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal they deserve. 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 now more 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.

Free Turkeys in New Jersey for Thanksgiving 20: Bradley Food Pantry
The Bradley Food Pantry provides the Jersey Shore community with bags of groceries. Photo courtesy of the Bradley Food Pantry

Where to Get a Free Thanksgiving Turkey in New Jersey in 2023

Salvation Army Trenton Citadel Thanksgiving Distribution – Trenton

575 State Street
For years, Salvation Army Trenton Citadel has held a drive-thru style Thanksgiving giveaway in the back parking lot. In the past, this drive hasn't required registration. Food is available first come, first served and includes a turkey and the rest of the Thanksgiving fixings.

Bradley Food Pantry – Bradley Beach

605 4th Ave.
The Bradley Food Pantry provides the Jersey Shore community with bags of groceries 5 days a week. For Thanksgiving, the pantry distributes turkey and fixings to pre-registered families. The 2023 distribution will take place on Friday, November 17, 2023, at the gazebo on Ocean Ave. and 5th in Bradley Beach from 10am-7pm. Registration runs through Friday, November 10, 2023. One must register in person during the operating hours of the pantry (M-F, 10am-noon; Th, 6-7pm). 

Fulfill Drive-Thru Thanksgiving Food Distribution – Neptune

3300 NJ-66
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, on Friday, November 17, 2023, from 12-3pm. No registration is required, but organizers recommend arriving early as the car line does get long.

The Salvation Army of Atlantic City – Atlantic City

City Hall of Atlantic City, 1301 Bacharach Boulevard
Local families can register in early November 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 – Newark

106 Sussex Avenue
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 on Sundays from 7-10am and Monday through Friday from 8am-1pm. If you or someone you know needs a basket, register Tuesdays-Fridays from 9am-3pm by calling 973-622-4547. 2023 distribution will be Monday, November 20, 2023, for registered households.

Free Thanksgiving Turkeys The Community FoodBank of New Jersey
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey provides food in many 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 18, 2023, in various locations statewide. Visit the website for donation and pickup locations.

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 16, 2023, for Ocean County families. Those who would like to receive food should use the form to request assistance.

RELATEDRestaurants Open on Thanksgiving in New Jersey

Get a free Thanksgiving turkey from Jimmy Sumas Holiday Meal Program
The Jimmy Sumas Holiday Meal program donates meal kits 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

New Hope & Friends Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway – Newark

106 Sussex Avenue
New Hope Baptist Church offers a free community dinner on Thursday, November 23, 2023, from 11am-1pm.