Free Turkeys in NYC: Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaways in 2023

Many organizations throughout New York City are offering free turkey giveaways, plus full, hot Thanksgiving dinners this season. Photo by John McCarten for the New York City Council
Many organizations throughout New York City are offering free turkey giveaways, plus full, hot Thanksgiving dinners this season. Photo by John McCarten for the New York City Council
10/31/23 - By Katie Nave

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and while the holiday is usually filled with over-the-top spreads and indulgent dinners, we know many local families are struggling and could use the help of one of these local organizations offering a free turkey in NYC. Inflation, job loss, mounting debt, and worse, have left many New Yorkers facing food insecurity. With that in mind, we've rounded up 13 local organizations that are stepping up to make sure all who need help filling their tables or getting a hot meal this Thanksgiving can. From free turkey giveaways to take-out options and low-cost holiday meals, here's where to get help this holiday season.

If you're fortunate enough to have a full pantry and pocketbook, consider donating to one of these exceptional organizations to help others across the city, and put the "thanks" in Thanksgiving by lending a hand at one of these local Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities. You can find more ways to spend the day in our New York City Thanksgiving Guide.


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While many of the organizations below focus on Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it's also worth noting help is available year-round. NYC has established a Food Delivery Assistance program if you meet certain qualifications. You can always locate your nearest food pantry and community kitchen by calling the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777 or dialing 311. The Get Food NYC map is also a handy site to bookmark.

Where to Find Free Turkey in NYC for Thanksgiving 2023

1. Catholic Charities of New York – Harlem

Monday, November 20
Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Community Center
This organization has an annual tradition of providing free Thanksgiving turkeys and trimmings. Call 888-744-7900 to register and for details like time of pickup.

RELATED: Best Free Things To Do in NYC this November

Free Turkey in NYC Salvation Army Harlem Temple Corps
Register in advance with the Salvation Army Harlem Temple Corps for a turkey and other delicious Thanksgiving foods, Photo courtesy of the Salvation Army

2. The Salvation Army Harlem Temple Corps – Harlem

Wednesday, November 15
This Salvation Army distributes Thanksgiving turkeys on Wednesday, November 15, at 10am. Registration is required. More information can be found by following its Facebook page. Thanksgiving assistance sign-up is taken on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 11am-1pm.

3. Gardiner Foundation Turkey Giveaway – Fordham, the Bronx

Saturday, November 18
St. James Park, East 193rd Street between Jerome Avenue and Creston Avenue
In past years, this organization has distributed 1,100 free turkeys, plus all the trimmings, to the community through its annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway.

4. Reaching-Out Community Services' Operation Gobbler Give – Brooklyn

Monday, November 20
This Brooklyn-based community organization is once again providing free turkeys and Thanksgiving trimmings to families in need at the 2023 Operation Gobbler Give. If you are interested in one of its Thanksgiving Day meals, you must be registered with its food program. If you would like to sponsor this event, please call 917-509-9055. You can also donate directly on its website.

5. New York State of Mind (NYSoM) Food Drive – Glendale, Queens

Saturday, November 18
This local organization hosts a food drive to distribute food, including turkeys, pies, and canned or boxed items to families in need. Contact to learn more.

RELATED: Thanksgiving Volunteer Options in NYC for Kids and Families

Free turkeys in NYC: West Side Campaign Against Hunger
West Side Campaign Against Hunger aims to distribute free turkeys and other holiday foods to more than 10,000 families. Photo courtesy of the organization

6. West Side Campaign Against Hunger – Upper West Side

Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew
In past years, West Side Campaign Against Hunger launched the Healthy Foods Holiday Challenge to ensure everyone has access to Thanksgiving meals with their families. It continues the tradition this year, with the addition of pork shoulder as an option, as well as cash vouchers for vegetarian customers to purchase their own favorite festive foods. Contact 212-362-3662, Ext. 126, or email closer to Thanksgiving for more details.

7. Masbia Soup Kitchen – Multiple Brooklyn and Queens Locations

This well-known organization operates both a food pantry and a daily takeaway dinner service (more on that below). Families who need food staples can sign up for a once-per-week pantry take-home package. You can get an appointment via the digital breadline on what's known as the Plentiful app (as well as at dozens of other food pantries in NYC). As a rule of thumb, pay particular attention to the time (morning or evening) when you book. All goods are first come, first served, and the pantry may have a limited supply of whole turkeys in addition to some raw holiday ingredients like butternut squash, pumpkin, and raw or cooked cranberries.

8. Goke Food Pantry – Brooklyn

Goke Food Pantry aims to give away 1,000 free turkeys this year during its Turkey Drive. Turkeys will be distributed on Saturday, November 18, starting at 9am on a first-come, first-served basis.

NYC Organizations Offering Hot Thanksgiving Meals

9. RISE Rockaway – Arverne, Queens

Saturday, November 18
RISE, 58-03 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, RISE hosts a Rockaway Thanksgiving Feast that is FREE for all who attend. Registration is required. Guests enjoy a sit-down, community-style feast. Servings are limited to three per household. Local Rockaway restaurants such as La Cevicheria and Cuisine by Claudette provide delicious Thanksgiving favorites for this community meal.

10. DOROT’s Thanksgiving Meal Delivery – Upper West Side

Sunday, November 19
DOROT delivers homemade Thanksgiving meals to homebound seniors citywide during Thanksgiving week and seeks volunteers to pick up and deliver the meals to each senior's door, then call or visit the senior to share holiday wishes. Volunteers must be age 18+ or families with children ages 10-17 who commit to following DOROT's safety guidelines. If you know a senior who could benefit from DOROT's aid, call 212-769-2850.

11. Xavier Mission Thanksgiving Dinner – Chelsea

Thursday, November 23 and Sunday, November 26
55 West 15th Street
While this meal is traditionally geared toward the elderly and disabled, no one is turned away from the holiday celebration. A second Thanksgiving Welcome Table meal is traditionally served the Sunday following the holiday, too.

RELATED: 25 Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving in NYC

Free turkey in NYC: Masbia
Masbia's kosher pantry distributes tons of supplies to needy neighbors. Photo courtesy of Masbia

12. Masbia – Multiple Locations

Masbia's emergency food program operates three facilities in Flatbush, Forest Hills, and Boro Park. The organization serves more than 2 million meals each year. All who are hungry are welcome to pick up dinner Monday through Thursday, from 3-7pm, and Thanksgiving favorites will be served during the holiday week. A ready-to-eat, hot turkey dinner is served on Thanksgiving Day and most likely they day before, too.

13. The Bowery Mission – Multiple Locations

Thursday, November 23
The Bowery Mission hosts its 143rd Thanksgiving dinner in 2023. Warm Thanksgiving plates are given to all those in need. All hot Thanksgiving meals are served on-site at the Bowery Mission's historic chapel. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available. Hot breakfast is also served at this location prior to the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal.

Originally published in November 2020

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