As the holiday season approaches, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the times that separate the haves from the have-nots. Lower-income people often choose between celebrating holidays and keeping the lights on.
Fortunately, the spirit of giving and gratitude takes center stage. In Florida, this time of year is not just about celebrating with family and friends; it’s also about reaching out to those in need.
Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets and food and bill assistance are crucial in ensuring that everyone can enjoy the warmth and joy of the holiday season regardless of their circumstances. We will explore the importance of these initiatives in Florida.
Thanksgiving, Christmas Baskets, and Food Assistance
These initiatives support needy families, ensuring everyone can enjoy the festive season. If you can become a volunteer to help spread holiday cheer through generous food donations and assistance. Celebrate the season of giving by making a difference in the lives of those around you.
1. Christmas Come True in Florida
- Services: Provides new clothes, gifts, socks, toys, and Christmas dinner packages for financially struggling families in Flagler County.
- Eligibility: Families with at least one child under 16 and proof of Flagler County residency.
- Location & Contact: 2729 E Moody Blvd #103, Bunnell, FL 32110, United States. Phone: +1 386-313-6096.
2. Operation Hope of Greater Florida
- Services: Offers Christmas baskets and Thanksgiving dinners, benefiting over 1,200 children and 800 families in the Fellsmere community.
- Location & Contact: 12285 County Road 512, Fellsmere, FL 32948. Phone: (772) 571-0003.
3. The Salvation Army in Florida
- Program: Angel Tree program for low-income families, providing food, clothing, toys, and gifts.
- Additional Services: Hot Christmas treats in their soup kitchen and holiday dinner boxes with all necessary ingredients
- Location & Contact: 5631 Van Dyke Rd, Lutz, FL 33558, United States. Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
4. St. Thomas Episcopal Church
- Services: Offers free snacks to low-income families during the holidays. Baskets include ham or turkey with all the trimmings.
- Additional Support: Job placement, educational programs, and short-term financial assistance for rent and utility bills.
- Location & Contact: 5400 Belle Terre Pkwy, Palm Coast, FL 32137, United States. Phone: +1 386-446-2300.
These programs exemplify the spirit of giving and community support, ensuring that the holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness for all, regardless of financial circumstances.
Additional Florida Thanksgiving Food Assistance
- Services: Hot meals on Thanksgiving Day for families in need.
The Portico Café in Hillsborough County (1001 N. Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602) from 11 am to 2 pm.
Healing Hearts Cafe in Pasco County (6436 12th Street, Zephyrhills, FL 33542) from 11 am to 1 pm.
- Holiday Assistance: Offers holiday food, a frozen ham or turkey, fresh produce, and gifts for children 0-17 (December only).
- Eligibility and Registration: Open to families with minor children and seniors struggling financially. Required documents include proof of household head ID, address, need, and child documentation. Registration options are available online and in person at Metropolitan Ministries Campus, Family Support Center (3214 US-19, Holiday, FL 34691).
- Website for More Information: Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Assistance.
In South Florida, several community organizations actively provide Thanksgiving meals and assistance to those in need. These organizations embody the spirit of giving and community support, ensuring everyone can enjoy the holiday season.
Thanksgiving Meal Assistance in South Florida
The Holy Grill of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church
- 1111 E. Sample Road, Pompano Beach.
- Serving Thanksgiving turkey dinners with all the fixings.
- Date: November 22.
Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
- “Feed the Block” event.
- Avondale Park, 233 SW 6 Ave., Pompano Beach.
- Date: November 18.
United Way of Broward County
- 2023 Veteran Thanksgiving event
- United Way’s Way’s Colker Center, 1300 S. Andrews Ave.
- Date: November 20.
- Contact: 954-308-9261.
- Fully-cooked turkey meals with all the fixings
- Community Center, 100 SW 9 Ave., Fort Lauderdale
- Date: Thanksgiving Day
Community Church of Davie
Thanksgiving Bags of Hope distribution.
- Location: 6500 SW 47 St., Davie.
- Date: November 19.
- Contact: 954-581-0920.
Partnership of Fresco y Mas and Winn Dixie with Feeding South Florida
- Distribution of turkeys and Thanksgiving sides.
- Location: Lauderhill Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
- Date: November 13.
St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church
- Full, hot Thanksgiving meals.
- Location: 100 NE Mizner Blvd.
- Date: Thanksgiving Day.
- Contact: 561-395-8285.
- Service: Handing out Thanksgiving food.
- Location: Neighborhood Alliance in Homestead
- Date: November 14.
- Contact: 954-518-1857.
Hollywood Hills United Methodist
- Service: Thanksgiving bag distribution
- Location: 400 N. 35 Ave., Hollywood
- Date: November 19
- Contact: 954-962-7181
Oakland Park Kiwanis Club
- Service: Delivering cooked turkeys with all the trimmings.
- Date: November 16 and 17.
- Contact: 954-771-7315.
- Service: Filling boxes with a $30 gift card for turkey or ham.
- Location: 4871 Coconut Creek Pkwy., Coconut Creek.
- Dates: November 19 and 20.
- Contact: 954-296-2325.
These programs are a testament to the community’s commitment to ensuring everyone can celebrate Thanksgiving with a hearty meal, regardless of their financial situation.
Miami Thanksgiving, Christmas Baskets, and Help with Food
Here are five organizations in Miami that provide Thanksgiving and Christmas food assistance:
United Way Miami
Service: Provides over 1,000 Thanksgiving meal kits to low-income families through various agency partners throughout Miami-Dade County.
Contact United Way Miami Thanksgiving Drive 2023.
Salvation Army Corp Centers
Service: Offers a variety of holiday and Thanksgiving programs, including free groceries, hot meals, turkeys, hams, and other food items. Christmas assistance includes gifts and toys through the Angel Tree and Adopt a Family program.
Locations & Contacts: Multiple locations in Miami-Dade County, including addresses at
- 1907 NW 38th Street, 8445 Sunset Dr,
- 9790 SW 40th St, 2236 NW Miami Ct,
- 361 NW 67th St, 2300 SW 56th Ave, West Park,
- 7450 W 4th Ave Hialeah. Contact numbers vary by location.
Homestead Soup Kitchen
Service: Provides meals around Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, including turkeys, meats, pies, and other items. Small holiday gifts may also be available.
Location & Contact: 105 SW 3rd Avenue, Homestead, FL 33030. Phone: (305) 245-7448.
Miami Dade Community Action Agency & Human Services
Service: Offers various holiday assistance programs, including free Christmas gifts for kids and teenagers, gift cards for parents, and meals for the elderly or disabled. Assistance is available for low-income families, the unemployed, and the working poor.
Location & Contact: 701 NW 1st Court, Miami, Florida 33136. Phone: 786-469-4600.
Anderson Place Of Hope Outreach Center
- Service: Provides the Adopt a Family program, offering free games, books, clothes, and other goods.
- Location & Contact: 4700 SW 64th Ave A, Davie, FL 33314. Phone: 954-321-0909.
Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets and food assistance programs in Florida embody the true spirit of the holiday season. They are more than just a means of providing food; they represent compassion, community, and the act of giving.
These initiatives remind us of the power of kindness and the importance of looking out for one another. As we celebrate with our loved ones, it’s vital to remember and contribute to these programs, ensuring that all, especially those in need, share the joy and warmth of the season. Such acts of generosity and solidarity make the holiday season meaningful and memorable.
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