Thanksgiving dinners for those in need

Bayonne continues tradition of giving

Thanksgiving dinners and events abound in Bayonne, where local charities, nonprofits, churches, government, and the Chamber of Commerce host events for the benefit of the needy. For those hoping to volunteer, the organizations mentioned in this article are always in need of help.

Thanksgiving Community Dinner

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Where: Back Bay Gardens, 535 Avenue A

When: Thursday, November 23, from 11.30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., doors open at 11 a.m.

Reservations are available for a community Thanksgiving dinner to be hosted by the Bayonne Chapter of UNICO National and the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF). The event is sponsored by BCB Community Bank.
The dinner is for Bayonne residents without anywhere to go for the holiday. The dinner will take place on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Back Bay Gardens, 535 Avenue A.
Tickets are free but required,so that organizers can provide the appropriate amount of food. The deadline for reserving tickets is Friday, November 17, one week before Thanksgiving Day.
“I would like to thank the BEOF, UNICO, and BCB Community Bank for working together on this Thanksgiving dinner,” said Mayor James Davis. “It is a sign of the generosity that we have in our community that a nonprofit agency, a business, and a community group come together to support this special dinner. I would also like to thank the individual volunteers who come forward to help.”
Tickets are available at the BEOF’s main office at 555 Kennedy Boulevard (open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and at the nutritional programs at Back Bay Gardens, 535 Avenue A, and the Senior Community Center, 16 West 4th Street (open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon).
The BEOF is Bayonne’s community action agency. UNICO is a nonprofit organization associated with the Italian-American community. BCB Community Bank is headquartered in Bayonne, and has branches in Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City, and other cities.

“It is a sign of the generosity that we have in our community that a nonprofit agency, a business, and a community group come together to support this special dinner.” – Mayor James Davis


Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Where: Temple Beth Am, 42nd Street and Avenue B

When: November 20

Bayonne’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service will be sponsored by Bayonne’s Interfaith Clergy, and hosted by Rabbi Cathy Felix of Temple Beth Am. The service will take place on November 20 at 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Am at 42nd Street and Avenue B.
“We live in a time with so much tragedy and so much negative energy that it is all the more important for us all to come together to take a deep breath and reflect on our blessings,” said Rabbi Cathy Felix.
“It’s the time to be generous to all who are in need. How sad that in the U.S. in the 21st century, we still have hunger and fear and people without decent housing, so Temple Beth Am joins with the entire community in supporting all the wonderful projects that we have to help the poor and the needy.”
Residents are asked to donate nonperishable food items. People of all faiths and those without religious affiliation are invited to participate. The service will feature music by St. Vincent’s Church choir, St. Peter’s Prep Vox, and soloists from Temple Beth Am.

Windmill Alliance Food Drive

Where: 155 Broadway, between 5th and 6th Streets

When: November 20 and November 21, all day

The Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation and HIGHWAYS, a project of the Windmill Alliance, will be giving out turkeys and groceries to Bayonne families for Thanksgiving during a pair of food drives. More than 200 turkeys have been donated so far, in thanks to UNICO, a Hillside food bank, and local Boy Scout troops who spread across the city in recent weeks for their annual “Scouting Food Drive.”
The city of Bayonne, which will also be participating in the food drive, is accepting food donations at the Office on Aging at City Hall at 630 Ave. C.
The BEOF and HIGHWAYS are accepting financial donations to help cover the cost of the project. Tax-deductible contributions for the food drive to HIGHWAYS should be made in checks payable to the Windmill Alliance. Donors should write, “HIGHWAYS holiday food drive only,” in the memo line of the checks, which can be sent to the Windmill Alliance, 141 Broadway, Bayonne, NJ 07002.
Tax-deductible contributions for the BEOF food drive should be made in checks payable to the BEOF. Donors should write “BEOF Thanksgiving food drive only,” in the memo line of the checks, which can be sent to BEOF, P.O. Box 1032, Bayonne, NJ 07002.
The City Hall food drive is called, “Cookie’s Food Drive” after the late Cookie Daughtrey who organized the drive for many years.

Saint Vincent de Paul’s Parish tricky-tray

Where: 979 Avenue C, between 47th and 46th Streets

When: Saturday December 2, 2017, noon to 4 p.m., doors open at 11:30

The parish’s tricky-tray theme this year is “Winter Wonderland.” Tickets are $35 and available at the rectory, and after all weekend masses. To purchase, call the rectory at (201) 436-2222 or stop by the parish. Wine glass painting and other activities will be featured. Checks should be made payable to Saint Vincent de Paul Church, with “Tricky Tray” written on the memo line of the check. Tickets will not be sold at the door.
The church opened a regular soup kitchen in May and is continually seeking volunteers for all seasons. For more information, visit

Friendship Baptist Church Thanksgiving dinner

Where: 41 West 20th Street

When: Thanksgiving Day, noon to 4 p.m.

Dinner is free and open to all. For transportation information or to have dinner delivered, please call (201) 779-2745 or the church directly at (201) 437-3233.

Residents can still donate to Chamber food drive on Go Fund Me Page

More than two dozen local businesses in Bayonne were thanked for their participation in the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Give Thanks” food drive during an event held at the Da Vinci Room on Thursday, Nov. 2.
The Hudson Reporter Assoc. newspaper group was one of the businesses that housed a collection container for the drop-off of nonperishable food items to be distributed to 12 food pantries across the city.
The drive was led this year by CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center and BMC Chief Operating Officer Catherine Shull Fernald. Chamber President Matt Dorans, Bayonne Mayor James Davis and Councilmen Sal Gullace, Gary La Pelusa, and Juan Perez attended the event.
Fernald said that the food drive is not over. Residents can donate to it until Nov. 16 on its Go Fund Me page at

Rory Pasquariello can be reached at

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