Gobble Gobble Give.

11 Nov

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and you know what that means: you’ll soon be eating the biggest, most delicious meal of the year followed by a  delightfully acceptable food coma immediately afterward. Unfortunately,  not everyone in this city will be able to celebrate and give thanks,  because they may not be able to afford the basic necessities, let alone a stuffed turkey with all the fixin’s. Luckily, there are a lot of  organizations that will be delivering food over the next week leading up to (and on) Thanksgiving day. Here are a few that may need your help:


Yorkville Common Pantry: Located on the Upper East Side/East Harlem line, this is one of the city’s largest food pantries. Every year they have a Turkey Drive that runs from late August all the way up to Thanksgiving Day. A $30 donation is enough to give Thanksgiving Dinner to a family of 5; YCP serves about 2,000 families in need, so as you can imagine, they need a lot of turkeys. They may also need a hand organizing and distributing the donations from their pantry. Please contact Stefana Soitos at 917-720-9722, or at ssoitos@ycp.org for more information about donating turkeys, and visit the website for information about the abundant volunteer opportunities they have available.


God’s Love We Deliver: They need delivery volunteers to deliver their clients’ meals and Thanksgiving baskets all over NYC and parts of New Jersey on the morning of Thursday, November 25th.  You must have a car and a partner to deliver. Please contact Emily at efindley@glwd.org for details. Sidenote: They will also be delivering their Winter Holiday meal on Friday, December 24th (aka Christmas Eve day). If you want to plan ahead, email Emily and let her know you’ll be able to help out.


City Meals-On-Wheels: Much like God’s Love, Meals-On-Wheels will likely need help preparing and delivering meals next week to the home-bound clients that they serve. Visit their website for more information about volunteering, and let them know you’re able to help on Thanksgiving.


Coalition for the Homeless: This organization delivers food, clothing and blankets by truck to 31 stops in Manhattan and the Bronx. The Grand Central Food program has three vans that operate 6:30-9:30 p.m. every night of the year, including Thanksgiving. Visit the website to see the full routes, and for more information about volunteering, please email volunteer@cfthomeless.org.


St John’s Bread and Life: This pantry is located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. There are a slew of volunteer opportunities available, so contact them and find out where they may need some extra hands next week (or in general!): the main Soup Kitchen serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, the food pantry is open 5 days a week, and the Mobile Soup Kitchen -a compact, mobile extension of Bread and Life- serves daily hot meals and provides outreach services to a number of New York City’s most impoverished communities located in East New York, Brownsville, Jackson Heights, Coney Island and Williamsburg.


Love Kitchen: Join the NYC Urban Project on Saturday, November 20th, as they pack and serve 500 lunches for those in need of a meal in Washington Heights for “Feed 500” from 9am-5pm. You’ll not only be packing the lunches, but you’ll take to the streets to deliver them while sharing a story or two. This is more than a food delivery to the needy; this is an attempt to connect you to the people that you’re helping, taking away the barrier of coming from different places, and just enjoying a meal. Visit the Urban Project website for more details about what you’ll need, and if you’re interested in volunteering please contact nycurbanproject@gmail.com . You can go solo or with a group, and if the 9-5 shift seems like too much, you’re also able to choose between a morning or afternoon shift.


Church of the Holy Trinity: On the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Holy Trinity will need volunteers to prepare and package food. On Thanksgiving day, volunteers heat and prepare food for takeout, and deliver meals to recipients’ homes. Shifts are spread out over various days and hours, so it looks like a good fit for someone with a busy 9-5 type job. To volunteer, email Lydia Colon. If you miss out on Thanksgiving, check out their website for more year-round opportunities.


Updated 11/11 Feeding NYC: They need over 300 people to help assemble, pack and deliver meals for Thanksgiving, and are hoping to reach 8,000 families this year. Visit their website to read more about the organization, and fill out this form to sign up for volunteering on November 23rd during one of the 5 shifts available. If you can’t make it on the 23rd, you can go to the Hudson Terrace on November 18th instead; Feeding NYC will be having a cocktail party to help raise money for all the Thanksgiving meals they’ll be giving out (tickets are $35 or $105. Details here)


Updated 11/23: Time Out New York listed some more opportunities on their website. Check it out for some last minute ideas!


So there you have it. Before you sit down for the gluttony that is a Thanksgiving Day feast, take a few hours to give back to others less fortunate than you. Trust me, it’ll make you feel truly thankful for all that you have.


Are you an organization that needs volunteers for the holidays? Do you know of opportunities available? Contact me at info@giveandgetnyc.com or comment below so I can add to this post!


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