Thanksgiving Meals and Volunteer Opportunities

A list of free turkey dinners, grocery relief, plus how you can give back this holiday season


Central Texas Food Bank conducts an emergency relief food distribution in April (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

As we head into Thanksgiving week, we've gathered a list of organizations distributing holiday dinners and emergency grocery relief for Austinites in need between now and turkey day. Some T-Day events, like H-E-B's Feast of Sharing, have been canceled due to COVID-19 precautions, while others have modified their operations for drive-through or walk-up distribution. And if you're in the position to volunteer, many of these orgs need help with setup, cleanup, and in some cases meal delivery, which we've also noted.

Givens Thanksgiving Dinner & Food Giveaway Bags of groceries will be distributed via walk-ups. Thu., Nov. 19, 11am-3pm. Givens Park, 3811 E. 12th. www.austintexas.gov.

Emergency Relief Food Distribution Central Texas Food Bank's events are primarily designed as drive-throughs, but you're also able to receive groceries via walk-up if you don't have a vehicle. Additionally, at Monday's distribution, Austin ISD will be providing meal packs for kids, which include meals for seven days, to cover the holiday break. Travis County Expo Center (7311 Decker): Thu., Nov. 19, 9am-noon; Del Valle High School (5201 Ross Rd., Del Valle): Sat., Nov. 21, 9am-noon; Toney Burger Activity Center (3200 Jones): Mon., Nov. 23, 9am-noon. www.centraltexasfoodbank.org.

LBJ High School Thanksgiving Meal and Harvest Fest Meals to take home will be distributed via a drive-through at the bus loop. Thu., Nov. 19, 6-8pm. LBJ Early College High School, 7309 Lazy Creek Dr. www.lbjechsaustinisd.org.

Hands for Hope El Buen Samaritano's annual event aims to provide holiday meals to 1,750 families. Make a contribution online or sign up to volunteer on distribution day. Sat., Nov. 21. El Buen Samaritano, 7000 Woodhue, 512/474-4448. www.elbuen.org.

Thanksgiving Drive-Through Dinner The Dove Springs Recreation Advisory Board will distribute food baskets including turkey, pie, and trimmings while supplies last. Sat., Nov. 21, 9-11am. Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez. www.austintexas.gov/dovesprings.

A.B. Cantu/Pan American Recreation Center Thanksgiving Dinner 300 meal boxes will be distributed through a no-contact drive-through (vehicles only, no walk-ups accepted). Vehicles may line up beginning at 9:30am at the corner of Fourth and Robert T. Martinez Jr. streets. Sat., Nov. 21, 10am-2pm. A.B. Cantu/Pan Ameri­can Rec Center, 2100 E. Third. www.austintexas.gov.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes Pre-Thanksgiving Meal This year's meal will be distributed outside in to-go containers to be consumed off-site. Haircuts and flu shots also offered. Mon., Nov. 23, 5:30pm. First Baptist Church of Austin, 901 Trinity. www.mlf.org.

Mission Possible Thanksgiving Lend a hand to those experiencing homelessness this year by donating to Mission Possible's Great Thanksgiving Banquet fund. Donations of $6 cover the cost of one meal, and $10 can provide a sleeping bag. Donation deadline: Sat., Nov. 21. Banquet (I-35 & Seventh): Sun., Nov. 22, 10am. www.mpaustin.org/give.

Bethany United Methodist Church Thanksgiving Meals Delivery At least 80 volunteers are needed to help deliver meals to families. Volunteers will pick up meals curbside at Bethany UMC and then drop them off for a contactless delivery. Sun., Nov. 22, 12:30-3pm. Bethany United Methodist Church, 10010 Anderson Mill. www.bethany-umc.org/thanksgiving-meals.

Operation Turkey Register online to help cook, package, and deliver food to those in need. The goal is to prepare 75,000 meals this year, so every hand helps. Request a meal online by Nov. 20 (expected delivery 10am-1pm). Meal prep: Wed., Nov. 25; meal delivery: Thu., Nov. 26. Citywide. www.operationturkey.com/locations/austin.

Feast of Giving Both meals and boxes of canned goods will be distributed via drive-through. Volunteer opportunities are also available. Thu., Nov. 26, 11am-3pm. St. Louis Catholic Church, 7601 Burnet Rd., 512/454-0384. www.st-louis.org.

Principe de Paz Thanksgiving Meal Meals will be distributed in to-go containers via drive-through and walk-ups. Thu., Nov. 26, 11am-1pm. Principe de Paz, 1204 Payton Gin. Free. www.pdpaustin.org.

Sunrise Homeless Navigation Center Thanksgiving Meal Meals will be served outside. Volunteer opportunities available to help with setup and cleanup. Thu., Nov. 26, 11am-1pm. Sunrise Homeless Navigation Center, 4430 Menchaca Rd. www.sunriseaustin.org/homelessness.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Thanksgiving 2020, Thanksgiving meals, grocery relief, Thanksgiving volunteering, meal distribution

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