Free Meals & Volunteer Opportunities For Thanksgiving


Nobody should be alone on Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the holiday, there are a few opportunities for those without a feast to enjoy, to have the opportunity at free community Thanksgiving meals. And with this, comes the opportunity to volunteer to help make the events a success.

Although Thanksgiving isn’t until Thursday, November 28, those from the Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Equity (RISE) are hosting their community Thanksgiving on Saturday, November 23, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the RISE Center (58-03 Rockaway Beach Blvd). Those hoping to attend this meal were required to register in advance, and registration is now closed. However, those who are still interested in attending can stop by the RISE Center at 2 p.m. You will be seated if there is still food available. Those interested in volunteering can call the RISE Center at 718-327-5919.

Those behind We Care New York, which hosted a community Thanksgiving Dinner for the past seven years, are no longer in Rockaway. However, Rock and Wrap It Up is hosting a Thanksgiving meal at St. John Baptist Church (7405 Rockaway Beach Blvd.) on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All who need it are welcome to enjoy a meal and takeout plates and local rides home are available. Volunteers are needed. Volunteers are also asked to make a $10 donation to offset some of the costs. There will be four shifts for volunteers, starting at 8:30 a.m. for setup. If you’d like to volunteer, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 516-295-0670 for more info.

Beyond the Belt Martial Arts Academy and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is hosting a free community luncheon on Thanksgiving day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1827 Cornaga Ave in Far Rockaway. If eating, RSVP by calling 516-343-1873.

St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church (1920 New Haven Ave) in Far Rockaway is also hosting a meal at around noon on Thanksgiving Day, with the help of The Graybeards. All are welcome to attend. Volunteers are also welcome. Anyone interested in cooking can contact Jim Mullen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and if you’d like to help serve, call Jose Velez at 718- 637-7197.

Councilman Eric Ulrich is also stepping up to the Thanksgiving plate by hosting a free community Thanksgiving dinner for his constituents in Queens. The meal will take place at Villa Russo, located at 101-12 Lefferts Boulevard in Ozone Park, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. All are welcome to enjoy a meal provided by donations from local businesses. Those who don’t have transportation options, especially seniors and the disabled, can receive a lift. If you need a ride, call Ulrich’s office at 718-738-1083, no later than Tuesday, November 26.

Volunteers are still needed on the day of to help with transporting guests, as well as setting up and cleaning up the venue. To volunteer, contact Marjorie Coello at 718-738-1083, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..