Thanksgiving is typically a time where families come together, give thanks, share a lot of extravagant food and make warm memories, but unfortunately, not everyone enjoys those luxuries during the holiday. There are many families in the United States that struggle to put a meal on the table in general, let alone on Thanksgiving. If you fall into that category, there’s no need to worry because you can enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving meal just like everyone else.

Free Thanksgiving Meals

Low-income families can find free Thanksgiving meals in their local communities. The Salvation Army is a big proponent of providing free Thanksgiving meals to those in need, but you can also check in on local churches or other faith-based groups. Many of them also make and serve free meals on Thanksgiving, and/or the surrounding days of the holiday, for those that can’t afford to do so themselves. These meals are open to anyone from any walk of life. The bonus here? You can enjoy the holiday by making new friends and memories with other individuals that are in a similar situation as you and your family. The United Way is also another good resource for finding free Thanksgiving meals. While the organization may not offer the free meal itself, it often has an extensive list of churches, food banks and other organizations that are opening their doors to those in need of a home-cooked meal during the holiday.

Free Thanksgiving Turkeys

Believe it or not, there are ways you can get a free turkey for Thanksgiving! Some grocery stores run special holiday deals, but typically these require that you spend x-amount of dollars to receive the turkey. For example, HyVee and Kroger are running promotions where you can get a free 10-14 lbs. turkey with the purchase of a specific brand of ham. Winn-Dixie has a cheaper version of the free turkey deal. If you get your no-cost flu shot at Winn-Dixie, you’ll receive a free frozen turkey! Many food banks, food pantries, churches, charities and other organizations will also give away free turkeys during Thanksgiving, but you won’t need to spend money on other groceries to receive one. Once again, The Salvation Army and the United Way are good organizations to turn to for more information on what local places are participating in this kind of giveaway.

Donate and Volunteer

If you don’t find yourself in the situation where you’re in search of a free meal or a free turkey on Thanksgiving, you should consider donating Thanksgiving food items to the places in your community that are providing Thanksgiving meals or volunteering to help serve the meal to those in need. Next time you’re at the grocery store making that last shopping trip before the big day, pick up a few extra canned items like pumpkin, canned yams/sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, beans, soups, veggies, or even boxed stuffing, rice or pasta. Every little bit of food you donate to these helpful organizations means you’re helping another person have a happy holiday and a full, satisfied stomach. If you’d rather volunteer, these organizations can use all the help they can get! Not only will your set of hands help get more meals to more people, but you’ll also be giving back to your community and who wouldn’t want to help do that on such a holiday as Thanksgiving? Whether you’re in search of a free meal or a free turkey on Thanksgiving, or just want to donate food or your time to local organizations helping those in need, you can feel satisfied this holiday knowing you can celebrate happily in your community.