Giving back in NYC this Thanksgiving - Metro US

Giving back in NYC this Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving (and the holiday season in general) is, for most of us, a time of absolute insanity. We’ve got relatives coming and going (or are the travelling relatives ourselves), elaborate dinners to cook, football teams to cheer for, and Black Friday preparations to make. It’s completely easy (if not, at this point, totally expected) to forget to take a moment to stop, breathe, and look around at all of the things (cue the sappy holiday talk) to be thankful for.

In a city as fast-paced as New York, compounded with a holiday as fast-paced as Thanksgiving, stopping to appreciate what we have—and to give back to the many people who don’t have as much—can seem like a secondary priority. But, in reality, it’s what the holiday should be all about. Here are some awesome opportunities to get into the Thanksgiving spirit. Metro hopes you’ll take advantage. Happy holidays!

Yorkville Common Pantry

8 East 109th St., between Fifth and Madison

(212) 410-2264

When: Wednesday, Nov. 23rd, 3:30 to 6:30pm.

The Yorkville Common Pantry has been working to feed the hungry in New York for over 30 years, and this Thanksgiving season is no different. Seeking to feed a projected 350 people, the pantry will need as many hands on deck as it can get to serve nutritious, well-balanced meals to those who need them the most. Volunteers will be serving dinner and handing out groceries. For those of you who are unable to make it Wednesday, the entire week of Thanksgiving is a pretty busy one for the pantry: feel free to come by and lend a hand on any weekday.

City Harvest

Based in: 6 E 32nd St., 5th floor.

(646) 412-0600

When: Anytime between now and Thanksgiving Day

Although all positions to help out at City Harvest’s soup kitchens are filled, they are still offering all willing New Yorkers a great opportunity to give back: by bringing in canned goods/non-perishables to any FDNY or NYPD station, and Modell’s Sporting Goods Store in NYC, or the Daily News building lobby (4 New York Plaza), you’ll be contributing to feeding thousands of people in the city.

Greenpoint Reformed Churck

136 Milton St., between Franklin St. and Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

(718) 383-5941

When: Wednesday, November 23rd, 6:00 to 7:00pm

Greenpoint Reformed Church will be serving up a full Thanksgiving meal buffet-style, made entirely with donations received at the church doors. Volunteers are needed to help with food prep, serving, and clean-up. Anyone is welcome, and those unable to come this Wednesday may stop by to help any other Wednesday, since the church serves meals weekly.

Real Life Church

765 Manida St., Bronx

(646) 588-1112


When: Thursday, November 24th, 11:00am-4:00pm.

The Real Life Church will be serving up full Thanksgiving dinners on the holiday, and volunteers are needed from prep to clean up. Anyone is welcome to come in and lend a hand in the dinner or in the accompanying “shopping event.” In this second part, guests will be able to select from a variety of donated clothing (from the NYC Clothing Bank and Dress for Success). Volunteers may also donate personal care items.

Food Bank of New York

Main Office: 39 Broadway, Manhattan

(212) 566-7855


When: Anytime between now and Thanksgiving

Although hands-on volunteer opportunities have been filled, the Food Back is always accepting donations of non-perishable items and canned foods. You can either bring the items directly to the Food Bank or hold a virtual food drive. Speaking of virtual contributions, there is always the possibility to donate funds online.

Like what you read? Follow Maria Barbera on Twitter: @mariabarberanyc

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