For many families around the country, Thanksgiving is a day to gather around the table with your nearest and dearest to chow down on turkey... and about 10 different side dishes. It's a tradition many of us have enjoyed for as far back as we can remember, which inevitably also leads to many of us taking the celebration (and fare) for granted. For some families, purchasing a turkey isn't feasible, Thanksgiving or not. That's why various organizations have stepped in to help out, offering free Thanksgiving turkeys for low income families so they can enjoy the holiday staple regardless of their circumstances.
If a Thanksgiving meal isn't in the budget for your family this year, it's important to get your ducks in a row as early as possible — or turkeys, in this case. You'll want to contact different resources in plenty of time before Thanksgiving Day so you can ensure there's a turkey for you to claim, as well as work out all the details for picking it up or getting it delivered. Keep in mind that some turkeys are distributed the weekend or week before Thanksgiving, so you don't want to wait until the last minute. Plus, it may take a bit of investigation to figure out where your turkey is coming from, so give yourself plenty of time to get the details sorted.
Moving on to the most important detail: what organizations offer free turkeys for low income families? Different communities have different resources, but there are three main places you should check first: food banks, your local United Way, and churches, according to the Penny Hoarder. All three are typically hard at work organizing food drives around the holiday season, and they're absolutely your best best for Thanksgiving meal assistance.
If you're not sure where your local food banks are, head to FeedingAmerica.org. Here, you can get the information for food banks in your specific area, along with addresses, phone numbers, and websites to get in touch. Give them a call or stop in to get the details about their Thanksgiving donations. If one of these food banks can't help, they can surely point you in the right direction to someone who can.
Your next option would be your local United Way. The United Way does annual turkey drives around the holidays to help provide Thanksgiving meals for low income families, and they have almost 1,800 locations around the country. Find your local United Way via their website, and contact them about your turkey options.
If your family attends a local church, that's another excellent place to check about free turkeys. If you're not a member of that specific church, don't let that discourage you from reaching out for help. Many will hold food drives in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving specifically for this purpose, and you may even be able to get some side dishes, too.
And finally, look into what local organizations are up to this holiday season. The senior center down the street or the town high school may have something set up.
Of course, you shouldn't feel discouraged or ashamed if you're unable to afford a movie-ready Thanksgiving feast this year. You're certainly not alone, and once you start looking, you may find that many people and organizations are more than willing to help you enjoy a beautiful meal with your family, because you deserve to as much as anyone else.