Here are some of the local venues for free meals and volunteering. Some of them are open to needy people from all over the county, so check each listing to see.
In Union City, the Brian Stack Civic Association, as part of a 19-year tradition, is donating 5,000 turkeys to needy Union City families. Any Union City family that needs a turkey for Thanksgiving can call (201) 863-8583. Leave your name, address and a number where you can be reached, and someone from Mayor Stack's staff will arrange delivery.
Also, Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation (PERC) homeless shelter at 108 36th St. will serve dinner on Thanksgiving from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. It will be a traditional turkey dinner and, according to officials from the shelter, more than 125 people are expected to attend. PERC Shelter is a nonprofit interfaith organization whose mission is to provide food and shelter to residents in need. For more information, call (201) 348-8150.
The Salvation Army is another group helping the hungry in the community by hosting a dinner at its Union City location on 43rd Street on Tuesday Nov. 27. Volunteers will begin serving lunch at 6 p.m. According to Capt. Jose Cruz, they are expecting to serve more than 800 turkey dinners. Call (201) 867-4093 for more information.
The First Reformed Church at 53 Centre St. in Secaucus will be offering meals to the elderly for Thanksgiving starting at 2 p.m. The number is (201) 867-9178.
Secaucus also has an emergency food pantry gives food to needy families. It's located at 101 Centre Ave. Call (201) 330-2014 for information.
The Hoboken Homeless Shelter, 300 Bloomfield St., will offer a dinner on Thanksgiving on Nov. 24 consisting of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes and vegetables, at 7:00 p.m.
But that is just part of a full day of activities that the shelter is running, and they are also looking for volunteers to help out. The day includes a hot breakfast at a local church, coffee and donuts, a movie and popcorn from 10 to noon, Thanksgiving lunch from 1 to 3 p.m., board games and social time from 3 to 5 p.m., movies and popcorn from 5 to 7, and Thanksgiving dinner starting at 7:00 p.m.
To volunteer or get more information, call Jaclyn Cherubini at (201) 656-5069.
Mario's Classic Pizza at 742 Garden St. will be hosting a free traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The dinner is open to anyone in the community who needs it. Last year the event drew well over 100 people, and it is expected to grow again this year.
Councilmen Chris Campos and Ruben Ramos, along with Hoboken Director of Human Services Carmelo Garcia, will be distributing 300 turkeys on Monday, Nov. 21 at from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Church of God of Prophecy at Third and Jackson streets to the residents of the Hoboken Housing Authority and needy local families. The Hoboken Church of God of Prophecy can be reached at (201) 659-4119.
St. Francis Church at 308 Jefferson St. has a food pantry that serves 20 to 25 lunches daily for the homeless or unemployed. The parish also collects and distributes packages of food to needy families throughout the year and on the holidays. Those who request food for families are sometimes people who have just lost jobs, who are waiting for the arrival of their food stamps, or those referred to St. Francis by one of the homeless shelters in the area or by FAITH Services, the local Franciscan AIDS program.
Food donations are always welcome. They can be left at the rectory at 308 Jefferson St. Good choices include pasta, rice, beans, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti sauce, canned fish, meats, fruits or vegetables, and cake or biscuit mixes. The food pantry will be open on Thanksgiving. Reach them at (201) 659-1772.
The National Council of Jewish Women of Hoboken are seeking volunteers to assemble and deliver Thanksgiving food packages to needy people the Hoboken area. Assembly of the food packages will begin at 12:30 on Sunday (today), Nov. 20 at the Hoboken Multi-service Center at Second and Grand streets. There will also be a pre-project brunch at 11 a.m.; call for location. For more information or to RSVP call (201) 216-1620 and leave a message.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, the Hoboken Police Superior Officers Association were scheduled to deliver 50 turkey dinners to families in the Hoboken Housing Authority, Applied Housing and area senior buildings.
The Hispanic Firefighters and EMS Society will hold their annual Thanksgiving dinner on Monday Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club, 1 Canal St., Jersey City. For information, call (201) 674-4534.
St. Lucy's Shelter, 619 Grove St., Jersey City, will hold its annual Thanksgiving dinner for anyone in need on Thanksgiving Day at 4 p.m. The shelter accepts donations of food, supermarket gift certificates, winter clothing, and money throughout the year. Donations may be dropped off at the shelter. For more information, call (201) 656-7201.
The Square Meal Program at Let's Celebrate, 46-48 Fairview Ave., Jersey City, will serve holiday meals to homeless and low-income families and individuals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 24, Friday Nov. 25, and Saturday Nov. 26; Christmas Eve; Christmas Day; and New Year's Eve. Meals are also served the last Saturday of the month. For information, call (201) 433-5438 ext. 37.
The Salvation Army in Jersey City at 562 Bergen Ave. will be serving lunch at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Call (201) 653-3071 for more information.
The Parish of the Resurrection on 370 Montgomery St. will also have a turkey dinner for the homeless from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call (201) 434-8500.
The Hard Grove Café at 319 Grove St. in Jersey City will be hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, and all the fixings. It will be held Thanksgiving day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to any needy people in the community. The restaurant annually draws about 200 people. The Hard Grove is also still seeking volunteers to serve dinner. For more information call (201) 451-1853.
Jimmy King's Civic Association will be having their annual Thanksgiving Dinner from the homeless and shut-ins. Dinner will be served at the Sharing Place at St. Paul's Lutheran Church Hall at 440 Hoboken Ave., Jersey City from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving. For more information call (201) 963-1383.
The Bayonne chapter of UNICO National will hold its Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 3 p.m. in Assumption Hall of Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Kennedy Boulevard and 23rd Street, Bayonne. Free tickets will be available from the various Office on Aging sites or at City Hall. The chapter will make arrangements to deliver meals to the homebound. Call the Bayonne Office on Aging at (201) 858-6119.
Elsewhere in New Jersey
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company will deliver 1,000 Frozen Wampler turkeys to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Hillside, N.J. for distribution to families in need this holiday season.
The food bank itself can be reached at (908) 355-3663. For other places that accept donations to the needy and hungry throughout the year, check out a longer version of this story at www.hobokenreporter.com.