Thanksgiving is one week away and Ocean County Hunger Relief in Toms River is still seeking 200 turkeys to provide free meals for families.

Frozen turkeys are needed by food banks in New Jersey. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Frozen turkeys are needed by food banks in New Jersey. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Executive Director Carol Latif said the non-profit organization manages 26 food pantries and needs the donations in addition to hundreds of turkeys coming in from other sources.

"These are tough times and people are holding back more than usual," Latif said. She's asking those eligible to receive a free turkey or ham with grocery store points to consider donating it.

"We have 10 places where someone can get a hot meal throughout the county for free, basically run in churches," Latif said.

Ocean County Hunger Relief also is working with Ocean County Vocational Technical School to provide meals for those less fortunate, according to Latif.

"The day before Thanksgiving, we will be handing out about 1,000 meals in microwavable containers. We work with the Board of Social Services and case workers, so we're going to have a list of where those people are that don't have cooking facilities, maybe homeless or stuck without transportation, no way to get anywhere and having no money or ability to cook their own turkey," said Latif.

Gift cards and monetary contributions also are welcome. Latif said those wishing to make a donation can call 732-505-HELP, or drop donations off at Ocean County Hunger Relief's Administrative Offices at 21 Germania Station Road in Toms River. Donations will be accepted until Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Ocean County Hunger Relief will be providing Thanksgiving meals at the following locations.

  • Church of Epiphany 615 Thiele Road, Brick. Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. RSVP 732-458-0220 before Nov. 22. Deliveries may be made upon request.
  • Salvation Army/Hearty Helpings 1738 Route 37 West, Toms River. Nov. 25 at 5 p.m.
  • Macedonia Baptist Church 143 John St., Lakewood. Nov. 26 at 11:30 a.m. Deliveries may be made upon request.  732-905-3878. Volunteers are needed. Please bring dessert.
  • St. Gregory's in partnership w/The Elks at 820 Arnold Ave., Point Pleasant Beach.  Nov. 26 at 12 to 5 p.m. Call 732-892-8105 to RSVP with number attending and if you need a ride.
  • Lacey United Methodist Church, 203 Lacey Rd, Forked River at 1 p.m. Nov. 26,  RSVP 609-693-5222.
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1500 Hooper Ave., Toms River. Nov. 26. Continuous Servings from noon to 4 p.m. Just walk in. 732-255-4455.
  • St. Martha Church, 3800 Herbertsville Rd., Point Pleasant. Nov. 27. Delivery or pick-ups by noon upon request.  Must call in advance 732-295-3630.
  • First United Methodist Church of Toms River 129 Chestnut St.,
    Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. You must call 732-349-8155.
  • Knights of Columbus Council 8415, Simon's Kitchen at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish hall at Grant and Central avenues in Seaside Heights. Nov. 26 from 1 to 2 p.m. Full Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Waretown United Methodist Church at the Waretown Volunteer Fire Company Hall at 117 Wells Mills Rd on the corner of Corliss Street in Waretown. Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.  RSVPs are nice but not necessary, 609-693-3134. This dinner is open to everyone. Walk-ins are welcome.

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