Where to find a free Thanksgiving meal in metro Atlanta

Atlanta Community Food Bank hosting event to help feed families for Thanksgiving
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Atlanta Community Food Bank hosting event to help feed families for Thanksgiving

Here’s a list of locations offering food assistance through the holidays.

Through community partnerships and donations, organizations, counties and cities across metro Atlanta offer free or reduced-cost holiday meals for people who need them.

Here are a variety of locations offering Thanksgiving meals and food assistance through the holidays.

North Fulton Community Charities

North Fulton Community Charities is hosting several food distribution days before Thanksgiving. According to the charity website, last year’s holiday assistance program supplied food to 650 families. The effort is sponsored by the Georgia Power Foundation and DataScan.

Free Thanksgiving food bags may include items such as canned beans and corn, potatoes, baking mixes, soups and turkey.

When: Distribution times vary Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A full schedule can be found at nfcchelp.org/thanksgiving-food-distribution.

Where: St. David’s Episcopal Church, 1015 Old Roswell Road, Roswell.

Info: nfcchelp.org, 770-640-0399

DeKalb County

Those in DeKalb County can visit a variety of locations Saturday to pick up a free 20-pound Thanksgiving meal box. A total of 4,000 boxes are first-come, first-served and will include items such as eggs, fruits, vegetables and chicken.

The food distribution is part of the county’s COVID-19 response. Locations include James R. Hallford Stadium in Clarkston and six area churches. All locations are drive-thru and no proof of residency is required.

Times: 9 a.m. until gone

Where: Locations in Clarkston, Decatur, Stonecrest, Stone Mountain, Tucker and Atlanta. See addresses on the DeKalb County website (dekalbcountyga.gov) .

Info: dekalbcountyga.gov, 404-371-2000

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The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta hosts a past meal distribution event.

Credit: The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta

The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta hosts a past meal distribution event.
Caption
The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta hosts a past meal distribution event.

Credit: The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta

Credit: The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta

Gwinnett County

The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a free Thanksgiving giveaway drive-thru Monday in partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Perdue, among others. Supplies are first-come, first-serve and no prior registration is required.

Times: Noon-5 p.m. or until gone

Where: Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville

Info: facebook.com/gwinnettsheriff, 770-619-6500

Feeding GA Families

Every Monday evening, this Atlanta-based organization offers a drive-thru pantry program for people in need. On Monday, additional food bags will be available at a drive-thru Thanksgiving meal event. These free bags will include Thanksgiving-specific goods as well as fruits and vegetables, and there will be enough to serve approximately 200 families.

There’s no prior registration or eligibility required, but individuals or families must be present in order to receive a box. Feeding GA Families can cater to gluten-free preferences or other food allergies.

Times: 6-8 p.m.

Where: 2514 W. Point Ave., Atlanta

Info: feedinggafamilies.org/thanksgiving

Caption
Feeding GA Families hosts a food drive in November 2021.

Credit: William Joyner

Feeding GA Families hosts a food drive in November 2021.
Caption
Feeding GA Families hosts a food drive in November 2021.

Credit: William Joyner

Credit: William Joyner

The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta

The Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving meal is served in downtown Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. No prior registration is required.

Times: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Where: Red Shield Services, 469 Marietta St. N.W., Atlanta

Info: salvationarmyatlanta.org, 404-486-2700

East Point Thanksgiving Brunch

Hosted by Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham, the city of East Point’s third annual Thanksgiving Brunch requires no prior registration. The event on Thanksgiving Day is a partnership with Chick-fil-A of East Point and 100 Black Men of Atlanta, among others.

People can expect to dine inside or outside and enjoy live entertainment.

In addition to food, people can drop off donations for a winter coat drive. Necessities include blankets, socks, jackets and toiletries.

Times: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: East Point First Mallalieu United Methodist Church, 2777 East Point St., East Point

Info: eastpointcity.org/event/thanksgiving-brunch, 404-270-7091

Through the holidays

These organizations continue to offer meals and food pantries regularly during the holiday season.

MUST Ministries

Meals are served at the Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen at 55 Elizabeth Church Road in Marietta every day for lunch. Admittance to the Elizabeth Inn shelter is required for breakfast and dinner service.

MUST Ministries also hosts mobile food pantries. There will be food distributions in Marietta, Atlanta and Kennesaw through November and December. A full calendar of mobile pantry operations can be found at mustministries.org/mobile-pantry. Operations will halt on Christmas.

For more information, people are encouraged to call their closest program services center, which can be found at mustministries.org/get-help. People should bring a form of identification and a Social Security card if possible.

Caption
Atlanta Community Food Bank workers distribute food donations.

Credit: file

Atlanta Community Food Bank workers distribute food donations. The Food Bank works with over 700 nonprofits to serve more than 755,000 people each year.
Caption
Atlanta Community Food Bank workers distribute food donations.

Credit: file

Credit: file

Atlanta Community Food Bank

There are a variety of food pantries and distribution sites open throughout the holiday season.

For a full map of partnering food banks and mobile pantries in and around Atlanta, visit acfb.org/get-help. People can also text “FINDFOOD” (COMIDA for Spanish) to 888-976-2232.

Open Hand Atlanta

Specializing in prepared meals and programs that emphasize access to healthy food, Open Hand primarily assists low-income seniors and medically eligible clients with free meal delivery services tailored to their needs.

Not everyone is eligible for free meal delivery services, but people can get more information by contacting the Open Hand client services department at 404-872-6947.

Meals on Wheels Atlanta

Focused on providing food assistance to people with physical or financial challenges, which typically means community seniors, Meals on Wheels Atlanta serves its clients through the holiday season.

In order to sign up someone in need, people should contact a program most accessible to them. A full database of participating organizations can be found at mealsonwheelsamerica.org/signup/find-programs.

If you know of other nonprofits not listed offering food and holiday meal-related volunteer opportunities in November or December, please contact us at coveringpovertysite@gmail.com.


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