Newark Nonprofits, City to Give Away 5,000 Thanksgiving Turkeys

Monday & Tuesday Events to Help Struggling Families


NEWARK, NJ — City officials, their community partners, and two nonprofit agencies are giving away nearly 5,000 free turkeys this week, along with vegetables and side-dish fixings so that struggling families will have food on their Thanksgiving tables.

Events hosted by the city’s Public Safety Division, Mercy House and United Community Corp. – two of the prominent nonprofits – will hand out thousands of free turkeys on Monday, Nov. 20th and Tuesday, Nov. 21st, in time for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Gov. Phil Murphy, Attorney General Matthew Platkin, State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan, and county Prosecutor Theodore Stephens are to join Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Fritz G. Fragé for one of the events, at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Newark Police Headquarters on Clinton Avenue to distribute 750 free turkeys.

“Thanksgiving is a special time of year. Unfortunately, not all families can afford to celebrate it,” said Mercy House Director Cheryl Riley, adding her wish that struggling people and families can “enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and create good memories with their loved ones.”

Here’s a rundown of giveaways:


● Noon, at the Training Recreation Education Center (TREC), 55 Ludlow St., city officials and the Public Safety Division – along with HelloFresh, ShopRite, Colavita, Table to Table, and WSL Produce House – will distribute 3,600 free turkeys, side-dish kits; recipe cards, and pasta–pesto side dishes. Recipients should preregister by contacting ward liaisons:

– North Ward: Stephanie Nieves 973-733-7616 or

– South Ward: David Carter, Jr. 973-733-3013 or

– East Ward: Annie Ferreira 973-733-8893 or

– West Ward: Al-Tarik Clark 973-733-7453 or

– Central Ward: Ursula Phillips 973-733-3393 or

● 1 p.m., at the 2nd Police Precinct, 1 Lincoln Ave., 200 free turkeys will be distributed, first-come, first-serve, to area residents by Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé, Police Chief Emanuel Miranda, and the Newark Police Foundation.


● 11 a.m. at Mercy House, 620 Clinton Ave., the nonprofit will distribute free turkeys and side-dish fixings such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, as supplies last. To support the giveaway, a private donor contributed $3,500 worth of turkeys and Nanina’s, a Belleville wedding venue, donated 20 large baskets of food.

● 1 p.m., at Newark Police Headquarters, 480 Clinton Ave., 750 free turkeys will be distributed first-come, first-serve, to area residents by city and state officials. The event is sponsored by the National Action Network and Newark Interfaith.

● 1 p.m. at the West Side Park Community Center, 600 South 17th St., the United Community Corporation (UCC) will hold its annual ‘Friendsgiving’ distribution to give away 200 turkeys, chickens, and a variety of other groceries to area residents. Coronavirus vaccinations will be available on-site for free to those who attend.

Some of the city’s nonprofits offered hopeful sentiments for the upcoming giveaways.

“It’s heartwarming and encouraging to see so many people come together to provide for those in need, especially at the holidays,” said Annette Miller, associate director of The Mercy House, who coordinated donation efforts for its Thanksgiving giveaway, one of its largest annual initiatives.

Contact Tony Gallotto at with news tips or interesting feature ideas about Newark, NJ.



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