Sister Norberta Hunnewinkel at the Hoboken Homeless Shelter at 300 Bloomfield St. will offer a dinner on Thanksgiving on Nov. 28 that will consist of a half-dozen turkeys, mashed potatoes, and equal quantities of stuffing, sweet potatoes and an assortment of vegetables at the shelter at 7:30 p.m. Hunnewinkel is anticipating more than 350 guests.
"Our goal is for everyone to be happy," Hunnewinkel said. "We are seeking volunteers and donations. We have businesses that donate, and we are thankful, but we still need more support from the community."
The Hoboken Shelter receives help every year from the Hoboken Clergy Coalition and the New Jersey Community Food Bank, according to Hunnewinkel. (See sidebar for phone numbers of the organizations listed in this article.)
Also, Craig Kneller from AT&T will coordinate a food giveaway at the Blimpie at 110 Washington St. in Hoboken on Thanksgiving day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Blimpie will offer sandwiches to the homeless and anybody who wants to utilize the offer.
"Thanks giving is the time when we need to think about those who need our help," said Kneller. "We at AT&T want to help the community and those who need a fresh meal during Thanksgiving."
In addition, the Hoboken Clergy Coalition will host their annual Interfaith Community Thanksgiving service on Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. at the United Synagogue of Hoboken at 115 Park Ave. Those who visit are urged to consider bringing canned goods and non-perishable supplies, as a collection will be taken for the In Jesus' Name Food Pantry.
The Salvation Army is another group helping the hungry in the community by hosting dinners at both Jersey City and Union City. Both dinners will be held this year on Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m.
Jose Cruz, a captain at the Salvation Army office at 515 43rd St. in Union City, said more than 1,000 people attend both dinners and about 50 people volunteer their time. Local supermarkets donate food products for the event, he said, and they prepare large buffets for the people.
"People come out and volunteer," Cruz said. "We always get our biggest crowd for Thanksgiving."
The dinner will consist of turkey, cakes, vegetables, and beverages, Cruz said.
In Union City, the Brian Stack Civic Association, as part of a 17-year tradition, is donating 5,000 turkeys to needy families. Stack, the city's mayor, has been helping many families throughout his active public career.
"Families call us and the majority of the time we are there for them," Stack said. "Thanksgiving is a very important family holiday."
The St. John's Shelter at 111 37 St. in Union City will have a dinner on Thanksgiving from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. It will be a traditional turkey dinner, according to director Tom Harrigan, and more than 125 people are expected to attend.
"People need our help. We not only feed the homeless, but many of our people here are the working poor," Harrigan said.
In Jersey City, Eleni's Restaurant on 626 Newark Ave. will be offering free meals on Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., sponsored by Jersey City Incinerator Authority Chairman Jimmy King.
Nick Tzouros, Eleni's proprietor, said he offers food to the public on Thanksgiving every year because he wants to give back to the community.
"I came to this country with nothing, and this country has been very good to me," Tzouros said during a recent interview. "This is my way of giving back to people that support me. It's the least I can do to help."
The First Reformed Church at 53 Centre St. in Secaucus will be offering meals to the elderly for Thanksgiving starting at 2 p.m.
Also, the Eastern Christian Church at 2811 Kennedy Blvd. in Jersey City will have its pre-Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. The church will offer the dinner from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
"Come enjoy a warm meal and receive some free gifts," said a church representative.
The Parish of the Resurrection on 370 Montgomery St. in Jersey City will also will have a turkey dinner for the homeless at 5 p.m.
The Bayonne Office on Aging will host a free dinner at St. Vincent Church's Robinson Hall on Thanksgiving day from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. People interested must call (201) 858-6119 in register for the dinner. The dinner attracts a yearly average of 300 people. Call first, as walk-ins will not be served.
To confirm the time and date of a dinner, or to find out if volunteers are needed, call:
First Reformed Church in Secaucus: 867-9178.
Salvation Army in Jersey City: 653-3071
Salvation Army in Union City: 867-4093
St. John's Shelter in Union City: 348-8150
First Reformed Church in Secaucus: 867-9178
The Brian Stack Civic Association in Union City: 863-8583
Catholic Community Services in Union City: 866-3208
Hoboken Homeless Shelter: 656-5069
Hoboken Clergy Coalition programs: 792-0340, ext. 13.
The Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Hillside: (908) 355-3663
St. Vincent Church in Bayonne: 858-6119
Parish of the Resurrection in Jersey City: 434-8500
Eleni's Restaurant in Jersey City: 792-0300
Bayonne Office on Aging: 858-6119
All area codes are (201) unless otherwise indicated.