6 Inspiring Ways to Feed Needy Families on Thanksgiving

Food & Party 9

feeding hungry on thanksgivingThe past few years have been a struggle for many, many, many people. As we head into the holidays, it highlights the inequity and makes your heart break for families who cannot even get the $50 to pull together a Thanksgiving dinner on their own. When your situation has gotten so tough that putting food on the table isn't a given, it can be incredibly difficult to figure out what you're thankful for, exactly.

Our own Jill Smokler, aka Scary Mommy, is on a personal mission to feed families this year by matching up donors with those in need. She's collecting money to buy grocery store gift cards for people who stop by (and there have been a lot of them) and let her know their struggles include not being able to afford Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah, you guys, it's heartbreaking.

Whether you join Jill in her effort or are looking for another way to give back for the holiday, here are 5 more ways to feed those in need you should consider.

God's Love We Deliver

A non-stop mission to feed the hungry, New York's God's Love We Deliver sends out over a million nutritious meals every year. There are special volunteer opportunities on Thanksgiving where you can make sure people who can't get out of their homes can still get a hot meal. I volunteered one year and it was incredibly satisfying to get to know people who are so grateful for your help. You can also donate if you're not in the area.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple's The Big Give

My family will be putting together baskets of Thanksgiving dinners to help feed 4,000 Los Angeles families in need this Thanksgiving. If you can't be in the LA area for the event, just one $25 donation will buy a meal for a family of four.

Homeless Shelters

Volunteering at a homeless shelter on Thanksgiving is a sobering experience. Not only will you realize just how fortunate you are, you can gain perspective on how big this problem is in your local community as you serve up turkey dinner. And then do something about it every other day of the year.

Food Banks

Something you can do right now, today, is to pick up some extra food at your grocery store and drive it straight over to your local food bank. The food banks have been short this year on supplies, and this time of year, it's even more welcome.

Your Local Church/Synagogue/Mosque

Most religious institutions have programs set up to help those in need on Thanksgiving. If you haven't heard what yours is doing, find out. If they aren't participating, set up a program to feed the hungry in your neighborhood.

Are you helping others this Thanksgiving?

 

Image via WishUponaCupcake/Flickr

family meals, food, thanksgiving

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Logan... LoganTroyMom

they do free thanksgiving and xmas dinner things here, give the frozen turkey and sides so you can celebrate at home, and give out free toys for people who cant afford xmas gifts for their little ones. My mom, who lives alone, has a job and food stamps, a 4bdrm house w an inground pool and a fancy new truck, can afford drugs and gas money to see her bf 90mins away, has decided to help herself to these free things, AND shes not even hosting dinner. But she wants to have a dish to pass at my sisters house and shes taking the free toys so she doesnt have to spend money on her grandkids toys. It makes me so mad and so sad for the family that NEEDS that and will be told, sorry, were out, because she is a glutton.

Logan... LoganTroyMom

they do free thanksgiving and xmas dinner things here, give the frozen turkey and sides so you can celebrate at home, and give out free toys for people who cant afford xmas gifts for their little ones. My mom, who lives alone, has a job and food stamps, a 4bdrm house w an inground pool and a fancy new truck, can afford drugs and gas money to see her bf 90mins away, has decided to help herself to these free things, AND shes not even hosting dinner. But she wants to have a dish to pass at my sisters house and shes taking the free toys so she doesnt have to spend money on her grandkids toys. It makes me so mad and so sad for the family that NEEDS that and will be told, sorry, were out, because she is a glutton. We're broke w nothing, but can budget toys and are going to relatives for dinner, and we are leaving it for those who NEED it. It makes me SOO mad!

KamiB79 KamiB79

We donated some food to our local food shelter.

frysh... fryshannon34

We donated food to the hnger drive but we do that all yaer not just holidays

ceciliam ceciliam

Absolutely will be donating food for Thanksgiving.

KTMOM KTMOM

Absolutely. :)

Bmat Bmat

Yes, but probably not enough.

aj23 aj23

yes

6millers 6millers

We contact our Community Center at the end of October and let them know we would like to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for 2 families. This year we will be providing for a family of 5 with both parents out of work and also for a single mother with 2 children that is struggling to make ends meet. We purchase all of the items needed for a traditional Thanksgiving meal and my children also help by making napkin rings or some other hoilday craft to add to the baskets. We drop them off to the community center the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and although we never know whom specifically is receiving the dinner we feel certain that we have been able to help someone have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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