Greater NY Salvation Army Aims to Set Record for Largest Number of Meals Served this Thanksgiving

The Salvation Army Greater NY Division is expecting a record number of people coming into its metro-area centers for groceries or meals on the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day this year.  To prepare for this unprecedented amount of New Yorkers and families in need, the organization will hold an enormous feast that includes more than 25,000 meals to be served throughout the holiday week. 

The centerpiece of the event will take place on Thanksgiving Day, when The Salvation Army New York Temple Corps, located at 132-136 W. 14 St., Manhattan, will host a holiday meal to go from 11 am-2pm. Prepackaged meals, including turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cranberry sauce, and apple pie, will be distributed via grab-and-go for up to 1,000 guests. This is about double the number of meals provided last year. Care bags containing cold weather and personal care items will also be distributed.

The tremendous effort comes as New York state continues to experience a high unemployment rate. As of September, the state's unemployment rate was 7.1 percent, while the city experienced a whopping 9.8 unemployment rate that same time period, according to the New York State Department of Labor. 

Additionally, turkeys are predicted to be in short supply this year, according to The Salvation Army. But the organization is set to distribute more than 4,000 turkeys, which translates into about 53,000 pounds of turkey meat that will reach NYC communities and surrounding areas.

Throughout the holiday season, many local organizations are holding food drives and events to fight food insecurity. The annual Bethpage Turkey Drive is on Nov. 19, the West Side Campaign Against Hunger 2021 Turkey Challenge is continuing throughout the month, and food banks and pantries are in full swing collecting food and other necessities during this very busy time of year.  

“The holidays are a special time for so many New Yorkers to gather with loved ones and celebrate the importance of being together. But for some experiencing financial hardship or homelessness, a Thanksgiving meal is out of reach,” said Major Kevin Stoops, general secretary (COO) for the Salvation Army of Greater New York. “The Salvation Army strives to be a safety net for those needing hope, especially during the holidays, by filling the gaps for individuals and families.”

Since COVID-19 first hit in March of 2020, The Salvation Army Greater NY Division has provided more than 7.8 million meals to those in need.

Salvation Army Meal Distribution Sites in NYC and Nearby this Thanksgiving

In addition to the New York Temple Corps, other meal distribution events are planned throughout the New York metro area this Thanksgiving. These include:

New York City

  • Bedford Temple Corps will distribute meals Wednesday, Nov. 24, 12-2pm.; additional meals will be taken to the Bedford Atlantic Men's shelter.
  • Bronx Citadel Corps is planning a Thanksgiving food distribution Tuesday, Nov. 16, 10am-1pm and Tuesday, Nov. 23, 12-2pm. There will also be a Thanksgiving meal Wednesday, Nov. 24, 1-2pm.
  • Bronx Tremont Corps will hold a food distribution Friday, Nov. 19, 11am-1pm.  A Thanksgiving dinner will be held for the community Sunday, Nov.  21 at 2pm.
  • Brooklyn Brownsville Corps will hold a food distribution Saturday, Nov. 20 at 12pm and Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 2pm.
  • Brooklyn Bushwick Corps will distribute a meal Tuesday, Nov. 23, 12:30-2pm
  • Flushing Corps is serving meals Monday, Nov. 22 at 12:30pm.
  • Harlem Temple Corps will hold a Thanksgiving meal distribution Saturday, Nov. 20) at 11am.
  • Jamaica Citadel Corps will host a food distribution Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 10am and a meal Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 12pm.
  • Manhattan Citadel will host a Thanksgiving meal Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 1pm.
  • Port Richmond Corps will hold a food distribution Thursday, Nov. 18, 10am-3pm. A grab-and-go Thanksgiving dinner will be held Wednesday, Nov. 24, 11:30am-1pm.
  • Ridgewood Citadel Corps will distribute turkeys and groceries Monday, Nov. 22 at 10am.
  • Stapleton Corps will hold a grocery distribution Thursday, Nov. 18 and a prepared community meal service Monday, Nov. 22, both from 11am-2 p.m
  • Sunset Park Corps is holding a meal distribution Wednesday, Nov. 24, 10am- 12pm.

Long Island

  • East Northport Corps will host a Thanksgiving meal Friday, Nov.19 and a basket distribution on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

  • Riverhead Corps is distributing meals Tuesday, Nov. 23, 10am-1pm.

Ulster County

  • Kingston Corps is distributing meals Tuesday, Nov. 23, 12-1:30pm.

Dutchess County

Orange County

  • Newburgh Corps is providing meals Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 11am.

  • Port Jervis Corps distributes food boxes and turkeys from 9am-3pm by appointment only. A few slots are still available; call 845-856-3214.

Rockland County

  • Spring Valley Corps will host a drive-through turkey giveaway Thursday, Nov. 18 for 400 families in Rockland County. 

  • Suffern Corps is holding a distribution Saturday, Nov. 20, 12-1pm.

Westchester County

For information about volunteering at Salvation Army community centers, email For additional information, visit the website or follow The Salvation Army of Greater NY on Facebook or Instagram