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Don’t go hungry this holiday

Where to volunteer, donate, or find a free meal on Thanksgiving in each town

Members of the Hoboken Police Department and the HobokenFire Department team up every year to bag and deliver Thanksgiving ingredients to those in need.

Every year, The Hudson Reporter provides information about municipalities in Hudson County that offer Thanksgiving meals for the needy, as well as organizations that need food or volunteers.

People in each town — including Secaucus, North Bergen, Bayonne, West New York, Union City, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken — have access to meals or volunteer opportunities either in their town or the next one over.

Various towns, organizations, and restaurants are offering everything from turkey deliveries to free meals around the holiday, for senior citizens and others.

Most towns, or churches in the towns, offer food banks or some sort of food donations. If the listings below can’t help, trying calling your town hall or local place of worship.

Various towns

State Sen. Brian Stack’s civic association will distribute over 22,000 Turkeys this year to anyone in the 33rd legislative district who needs one (including Weehawken, Union City, Hoboken, and parts of Jersey City). The turkeys usually arrive by truck from various farms a few days before Thanksgiving and are distributed by volunteers throughout the area. In some cases, volunteers deliver them floor by floor, apartment by apartment.

Stack, along with other officials and volunteers, will make house calls to deliver the turkeys and chat with residents. They will be delivered on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18. In order to get a turkey, call (201) 442-1244, or (201) 442-1597.

North Bergen

The Woodcliff Reformed Church at 7605 Palisade Ave. will host its 10th annual Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, in its gymnasium. A prayer service will take place at 11 a.m., followed immediately by the Thanksgiving meal.

“Our menu for this year is turkey with all the trimmings, lasagna, ham, roast beef, and desserts and beverages,” said Win Powers, director of the Woodcliff Christian Harvest food pantry. “We are hoping to serve at least 400 to 500 meals.”

Powers said the meal is sponsored in part by CarePoint Christ Hospital and the Sacco Foundation. They need financial donations and volunteers, including a coordinator who is an experienced chef to help coordinate the dinner.

“Someone with transportation concerns should give us a call because we might be able to help,” Powers said. Anyone interested in participating should call (201) 869-4555.

North Bergen Cares will conduct their annual Thanksgiving drive until Nov. 16. They collect nonperishable holiday items for families in need throughout North Bergen.

There are five dropoff locations for nonperishable food donations: Boulevard Diner at 9201 Bergen Blvd., BottleCo at 5665 Kennedy Blvd., North Bergen Town Hall chambers at 4233 Kennedy Blvd., and the North Bergen Public Library branches at  8411 Bergenline Ave. and 2123 Kennedy Blvd.

The organization will give away turkeys with all the trimmings on Monday, Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the North Bergen Recreation Center at 6300 Meadowview Ave. Proof of residency is required.

“Last year we gave out 1200 turkeys,” said Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “Donating and volunteering is a good thing to do this time of year. Some families are having trouble supplying a meal for themselves or their families and that’s why we are here to help.”

If you are a family or senior in need of a meal or have questions, call (201) 392-0229 or email afocaraccio@northbergen.org to register.

North Bergen will also deliver roughly 300 home cooked meals to those in need the day before Thanksgiving and The Nicholas J. Sacco Foundation will make donations to help local food pantries as they do every year. For more information on North Bergen’s Thanksgiving offerings contact the mayor’s office at (201) 392-2005.


This year Secaucus will give out about 120 baskets of Thanksgiving meals to those in need. On Thanksgiving Day, city officials will deliver about 60 home cooked meals for shut-in families as well.

In order to get a basket, the individual must qualify and call social services at (201) 330-2014.


Mario’s Classic Pizza at the corner of Eighth and Garden streets will be serving a Thanksgiving meal to those in need on Thanksgiving day starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m. They will serve the traditional turkey dinner including stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, coffee cake and more.

The tradition started roughly 20 years ago after restaurant owner Mario Albunia decided not to go to the Shore one year and stayed in Hoboken with a friend to make a Thanksgiving meal at the restaurant for themselves. “We made a 20 lb. turkey and we were eating and watching the game on TV, and people were walking in looking for pizza,” said Albunia. “We weren’t open but we invited them to sit down and have dinner with us.”

This year Albunia will make about 16 turkeys. Last year they served roughly 248 meals. To donate or to have a meal delivered on Thanksgiving day call (201) 659-0808.

St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church at 57 Eighth St. offers a Thanksgiving breakfast as part of their LunchTime Ministry, which runs every Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until noon. They will serve a big breakfast, including eggs and sausage, to over 100 people.

Volunteers are welcome on Thanksgiving or any other day of the year. Sign up in advance by emailing volunteers@stmatthewtrinityy.org. For those who want to donate, the ministry requests, socks, sugar, coffee, and milk.

Walk to Walk foundation will host a Thanksgiving meal for the area’s seniors and shut-ins on Nov. 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Multi Service Center at 124 Grand St.  According to foundation president Lisa Young, there will be a catered meal by Forkin’ Good Food and a Frank Sinatra impersonator to serenade guests. Last year the event had over 100 people. Young says she’s expecting about the same number this year.

Their 5013c is looking for monetary donations which can be made online at walktowalkfoundation.org.

The Hoboken Shelter will also serve a Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Executive Director Jaclyn Cherubini said volunteers are welcome from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to help serve and also dine with their guests. She said she expects about 100 guests and about 300 to 500 volunteers.

The shelter is always looking for donations, including milk, can openers, gravy, butter, plastic cups and forks, plates and napkins and coffee. It also has an Amazon.com wish list where people can purchase and ship donations directly to the shelter. You can find it at https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/MS7V6XV24L8X/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?

For more information or to volunteer, call the shelter at (201) 657-5069.

The Pilsner Haus & Biergarten at the corner of 15th and Grand streets will be hosting their annual Thanksgiving drive. Last year they provided 120 meals to families in need.

Those looking to donate can drop off non perishable food items at the restaurant or to several local businesses in town including The Hoboken Charter School at 300 First St., Remax at 321 Washington St., Prime Realestate at 98 Park Ave., Special Properties at 80 Hudson St, HBB at 100 Washington St., Avenue Residential at 1422 Grand St., Coldwell Banker at 323 Washington St., and Engle & Volkers at 89 Willow Ave.

They are also collecting frozen turkeys which can be dropped off at the Biergarten on Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. Those wishing to volunteer to help bag meals can do so Nov. 19 at the Biergarten. For more information contact Pilsner Haus & Biergarten at (201) 683-5465.

Party with Purpose will also be throwing their annual Thanksgiving feast at the Hoboken Boys & Girls Club at 123 Jefferson St,  on Monday, Nov. 19 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Those wishing to volunteer to help serve meals and interact with the children should contact Wendy Warren at wawarren1@partywithpurpose.org.

On Monday Nov. 19, members of the Hoboken Police Department and Hoboken Fire Department will provide about 150 Thanksgiving meal ingredients to Hoboken residents in the Housing Authority and Applied Housing buildings. ShopRite donates all the food, which the police and fire departments then put into bags and deliver to those in need.

“Some families are having trouble supplying a meal for themselves or their families and that’s why we are here to help.” –Mayor Nicholas Sacco

Jersey City

The Urban Mission Church will host a Thanksgiving Day meal on Nov. 22 from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. at 505 Newark Ave. For more information or to donate call (201) 217-4253.

At 124 Storms Ave., Monique’s Techniques and the Mo Hair Foundation will hold their 20th annual complimentary Thanksgiving dinner for the community on Nov.24 from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Senior citizens who will need a meal delivered should call (201) 433-0477.

Volunteers must sign up beforehand online at https://timetosignup.com/monique2016/

Freeholder Bill O’Dea’s South Hudson Civic Association, Building Blocks of NJ, VOICE, National Honor Society and Key Club of McNair Academic High School, Phi Theta Kappa members of Hudson County Community College, and Fountain Of Salvation Church will provide 2,000 Thanksgiving meals this year.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 4 to 6:30 p.m., 500 meals will be packed and provided by the South Hudson Civic Association to the needy and homeless at 324 Communipaw Ave. On Thursday, Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1,500 meals will be packed and provided at 324 Communipaw Ave to be delivered to the needy, homeless, and to the inmates of Hudson County Corrections. And on Friday, Nov. 23, 300 Halal Turkey meals will be provided by Building Blocks NJ and VOICE from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 153 Monticello Ave.

Volunteers are needed to help with delivery of meals and the organization requests the donations of 150 pumpkin pies.

For more information, to volunteer, or to donate, contact Riaz Wahid at (201) 669-7608 or email him at riazonroad@yahoo.com. You can also contact Phil Kenny at (201) 352-1253.

St. John the Baptist and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel will serve their annual hot turkey dinners with all the fixings on Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m at 3026 Kennedy Blvd. in St. John’s school hall. Anyone who is housebound and would like a dinner delivered should call Jimmy King at (551) 580-4126. For more information or to volunteer call Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at (201) 435-7080 or St John the Baptist at (201) 653-8814.


The Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF) will host a Thanksgiving Day dinner on Nov. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Back Bay Gardens, 535 Avenue A. Tickets are free and can be picked up at the BEOF offices, 555 Kennedy Blvd. The event is sponsored by Unico and BCB and will include hot turkey dinners for everyone in attendance.

For kids, the Bayonne Division of Recreation will host a Turkey Toss competition on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Park on 27th Street and Avenue C.

Kids ages 12 and under will compete to see who can toss the most rings onto a turkey cut-out wooden board.

There will be four age groups: 4 and under; 5 to 6 years of age; 7 to 9 years of age; and 10 to 12 years of age. Prizes will be awarded for 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place in each division.

For more information, contact bayonnerec@aol.com.

Friendship Baptist Church at 41 West 20th St. will host a Thanksgiving Day dinner from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m.

They are offering transportation from various pickup locations throughout the city.

Transportation is Not Wheelchair Accessible.

To confirm transportation or to have dinner delivered, please call the church at (201)437-3233 or (201)779-2745.

Union City

Those in need can get a free Thanksgiving Dinner through Stack’s Civic Association, which will have five locations that will serve dinner from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Dinners are open to everyone and they will take place at St. Anthony’s Church at 615 Eighth St.; Miftaahul Uloom School at 501 15th St.; Robert Waters School at 2800 Summit Ave.; Washington School at 3905 New York Ave., and Roosevelt School at 4507 Hudson Ave. For more information, call (201) 442-1060, (201) 442-1244, or (201) 442-1597.

Union City will also host Thanksgiving luncheons for seniors. They will be Nov. 14 at  3700 Palisade Ave. at 12 p.m. and 522 22nd St. at 1 p.m. as well as Nov. 15 at 1509 Bergenline  Ave. at 12 p.m. and 1009-1015 Central Ave. at  1 p.m.


The township delivered Thanksgiving meals to over a hundred seniors last year and plans to do so again this year. It also hosted an annual Seniors Thanksgiving Party in the community room of one of its senior buildings. This year, the party will be the weekend before Thanksgiving. Contact City Hall for more information at (201) 319-6005.

West New York

West New York will serve hot turkey dinner at senior buildings and host a senior Thanksgiving dinner at the West New York Middle School, 201 57th St. The dinner at the middle school will be on Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hosts will serve turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, Spanish rice, and flan, play music, and host a raffle.

On Nov. 19, three separate Thanksgiving luncheons will take place in senior buildings at 5101 Park Ave., 6100 Adams St., 6300 St, and 6800 Jefferson S.t, 430 62nd St. The luncheons will begin at 3:30 p.m. For more information, contact City Hall at (201) 295-5144.


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