5 Ways to Donate a Thanksgiving Dinner to Someone in Need

The holidays are stressful as it is, but for families experiencing food insecurity the pressure to provide an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming or impossible. This season, several organizations are taking the stress out of Thanksgiving by providing meals to families across the country—and they're all accepting donations right now.

With just a few clicks, you can provide a Thanksgiving meal to a veteran, donate a full Thanksgiving dinner to a family of a child who is hospitalized, or give a meal to someone experiencing homelessness or food insecurity in your own community.

If you're in a position to purchase your own Thanksgiving dinner menu items as well as a meal for another family, here are five organizations to consider this season. If you're not able to give financially, several of them are accepting volunteers to pack and deliver meals. Plus, many locations are already accepting donations for their Christmas programs as well, so you can get your holiday giving taken care of in advance.

Related: 7 Food-Related Causes to Donate to on Giving Tuesday

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There With Care

There With Care is a Colorado-based organization that facilitates holiday meals for families of children in the hospital. It's a sweet way to make sure families can still experience the holiday tradition of a traditional turkey dinner while remaining close to the hospital. For $75 you can donate a meal to a small family or donate a meal for a large family for $125. And if you're already in the Christmas spirit, you can plan ahead to donate a holiday meal as well. There are also add-on options for holiday meals in the $10-20 range that will pay for fun activities like decorating gingerbread houses and making holiday treats.

Operation Turkey

A network of 30,000 volunteers makes sure everyone has a turkey on their table for Thanksgiving, regardless of their financial situation. This year, their goal is to provide 45,000 meals to families across the country, and are accepting donations as well as new volunteers. Right now they operate in seven states (California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas), but you can donate meals from anywhere in the world. You can also use their website to request a meal if you or someone you know is in need of food this season.


As a certified member of Feeding America, Harvesters provides food and supplies to families in the Kansas City metro area year-round, but they're currently packing and delivering holiday boxes for the upcoming season. Make a one-time donation or host your own virtual food drive using the links on their website. If you're local to the area, you can get the whole family involved with a box-packing event (which includes fun activities with Harvey the Turkey designed to help kids learn about giving back).

Feed the Need

This central Texas-based organization is working to provide Gobble Kits for local families who don't have the funds for a Thanksgiving meal this season. They're currently accepting $25 donations online, which funds a box of food for a family of six. The deadline to sign up for a Gobble Kit for 2021 has passed, but you can visit one of the eight local locations to receive a free hot meal.

Soldiers' Angels

Donate a Thanksgiving meal to a veteran and their families through Soldiers' Angels. They host monthly food distributions for low-income, at-risk, and homeless veterans in Atlanta, Charleston, Denver, Detroit, Orlando, and San Antonio year-round, and the November distribution helps provide a Thanksgiving meal. They're accepting volunteers in all six cities, but you can make a donation online anytime. They're also facilitating a holiday adopt-a-family that you can sign up for now as well.