Here is a startling statistic from USA Today: The number of Americans attending food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% over the last five years. Thanksgiving is one the occasions when those soup kitchens and food pantries get inundated with large numbers of people wanting a special meal. If you want to volunteer with your children, there are tasks you can do to help like stacking food, setting tables, cleaning up, dropping food off or picking donations up. If one of the ones on our list below don’t work for you, try your local one to see what their needs and requirements are. *****We also have a list of dedicated family volunteer opportunities for the holidays here.
Where to volunteer:
Food Pantry Lists
Here is another helpful list that has food pantries including those for seniors.
God’s Love We Deliver (all areas)
God’s Love We Deliver needs people with vehicles to help make thanksgiving deliveries in Brooklyn. God’s Love cooks and delivers special holiday meals to clients with serious illnesses and their families on Thanksgiving and Christmas. If anyone is interested, or would like more info, click here.
Neighbors Together Soup Kitchen (Bed-Stuy)
Neighbors Together Soup Kitchen at 2094 Fulton Street needs volunteers to help prepare and serve lunches and dinners. Contact them at 718-498-7256 or see their info here.
Park Slope Christian Help (Chips) (Park Slope)
This soup kitchen, food pantry and clothing location are taking names of volunteers for Thanksgiving but desperately need volunteers for Sandy efforts too. Please call them at 718-237-2962 or see their info here.
St. John’s Bread and Life’s Soup Kitchen (Bed-Stuy)
They need volunteers for Thanksgiving but also for packing up toys and food for 1,200 families for Christmas. For the Christmas packing, the children must be ages 12 years and up because they will have around 400 volunteers. They do need help with donations too (food, hygiene products, toys and clothing). To volunteer call them at 718-574-0058 or see their website here.
Greenpoint Reformed Church (Greenpoint)
The GRC needs volunteers year round daily but especially needs volunteers on Tuesday Nov. 20 – 10am to 7pm prep for food pantry Wednesday Nov. 21 – 10am to 6pm distribute food pantry food and prep for Thanksgiving eve dinner Thursday Nov. 22 – they will be closed. The Church of the Ascension is hosting the Thanksgiving day dinner. You contact them directly if you would like to help with their dinner. You don’t need to call ahead to volunteer- just show up and they will have enough work for you! Their full information is here.
Church of the Ascension (Williamsburg)
The soup kitchen needs help on Thanksgiving Day to set up for the meal. They are in Williamsburg. Volunteers can call 718-389-3831 or find more info here.