Where to find free Thanksgiving meals and groceries in East Bay

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Richmond community group The Black Neighborhood is handing out raw turkeys for Thanksgiving. Credit: The black quarter

For many households, Thanksgiving involves a large gathering of family and / or friends with plenty of food to go around the table. However, this is not the scenario for everyone, even in an area as abundant as the Bay Area. It’s up to churches, support organizations, and some charitable businesses to fill the void, providing groceries or hot Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

Given the ongoing pandemic, most organizations that organize groceries and meals giveaways only do take out. Some events may also require tickets or registration in advance. Be sure to check each event’s website and social media for the most recent information on restrictions, as well as the COVID-19 safety protocols you’ll need to follow.

Thanksgiving is of course also a time to give. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities in the East Bay, there are many events listed below that accept volunteers as well as donations. And remember, they need help year round, so consider volunteering to help outside of the holidays as well.

Community Giving Foundation Turkey Drive

What: The Community Giving Foundation will donate raw turkeys to the community.
When: Saturday, November 20, 8 a.m. to noon.
Or: Verdese Carter Rec. Center, 9600 Sunnyside St. (near 96th Avenue), Oakland
Make a donation / Volunteer: See their website to find out more to donate to the Community Giving Foundation.

College Avenue Presbyterian Church (CAPC) Annual Thanksgiving Community Meal

What: PACE will provide warm Thanksgiving meals to the community.
When: Monday 22 November from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Or: 3295 School Street (near Berlin Way), Oakland
Volunteer / Donate: To fill this form volunteer for CAPC’s annual Thanksgiving meal or donate online.

East Oakland Boxing Association (EOBA) Holiday Meal

What: EOBA will provide hot meals to the community, please register online.
When: Saturday, November 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until all meals have been distributed.
Or: 816 98th Ave. (near Pearman Street), Oakland
Make a donation / Volunteer: Learn more online on how to donate to EOBA.

Grandmother’s hands Thanksgiving community event

What: Grandma’s Hands soul food restaurant offers hot Thanksgiving meals. The event will also have music. Meals and groceries will also be delivered to those in need across Oakland. Event registration is available online.
When: Wednesday November 24 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Or: 7633 MacArthur Boulevard (near 77th Avenue), Oakland
Volunteer / Donate: For more information on volunteering or donating, please visit Grandma’s Hands’ Instagram pages.

Barbecue Horn Turkey Gift

What: Chef Matt Horn and his team at Horn Barbecue will provide raw turkeys to the community.
When: Monday November 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Or: 2534 Mandela Parkway (near 26th Street), Oakland

United Methodist Church of Lake Merritt (UMC) Thanksgiving Dinner

What: Lake Merritt UMC will provide hot Thanksgiving meals to the community.
When: Thursday November 25. from noon to 2 p.m.
Or: 1330 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, California 94606
Make a donation / Volunteer: To volunteer for the Lake Merritt UMC Thanksgiving Dinner, please fill in this form. Donations are accepted in line.

Monster Pho‘s 2nd Annual Pho for the People

What: Monster Pho will be distributing “Thanksphogiving” meals to the community.
When: Wednesday November 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Or: 3905 Broadway (near 40th Street), Oakland

Shiloh Church Food donation for Thanksgiving

What: The Shiloh Church will distribute hot meals to the community, please register online.
When: Monday November 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Or: 3295 School Street (near Berlin Way), Oakland
Volunteer / Donate: To fill this form volunteer for the Thanksgiving Food Giveaway at Shiloh Church. Donations can be done online.

Two-star market19th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner in the Sunond 2021

What: Two Star Market will provide hot Thanksgiving meals to the community.
When: Thursday November 25 at 1 p.m.
Or: 2020 boul. MacArthur (near Dimond Avenue), Oakland
Volunteer / Donate: To fill this form to volunteer.

Berkeley pantry

What: The Berkeley Food Pantry is open to all residents of Albany and Berkeley in need of food.
When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for visits and appointments, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. for home deliveries. Please note that the pantry will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Friday, November 26. For updated hours, please visit the website.
Or: 1600 Sacramento Street (near Cedar Street), Berkeley
Volunteer / Donate: To learn more about volunteering in the pantry, visit the website. You can donate to the pantry in line.

Berkeley Food Network Pantry

What: The Berkeley Food Network Pantry is open to all residents of Albany and Berkeley in need of food.
When: Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday and Wednesday 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please note that the pantry will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday November 24 to Saturday November 27. For updated timetables, please visit the website.
Or: 1925 Ninth St. (near University Avenue), Berkeley
Volunteer / Donate: To fill this form volunteering in the pantry. You can donate to the Food Network Pantry here.

Bay Area Rescue Mission Limitless Love Turkey Gift

What: The Bay Area Rescue Mission will provide raw turkeys to the community. Register for the event in line.
When: Tuesday 23 November from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Or: 123 Macdonald Avenue (near First Avenue), Richmond
Volunteer / Donate: To fill this form volunteer for future Bay Area Rescue Mission events. You can donate to the Bay Area Rescue Mission in line.

The black quarter 6th annual turkey campaign

What: The black quarter will offer raw turkeys to the community. Register for a turkey in line.
When: Sunday November 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Or: 2200 Macdonald Avenue (near 22nd Street), Richmond
Make a donation / Volunteer: To volunteer for Black Neighborhood’s Turkey Drive campaign, please complete this form. You can donate to The Black Neighborhood in line.



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