No one should eat alone on Thanksgiving and if local outreach groups have their way, few in Monmouth County will.
Gwen Love, executive director for Lunch Break in Red Bank, said no one in need of a turkey dinner Thursday will be turned away.
Each year the combination soup kitchen, food pantry and outreach center feeds about 250 people in house on Thanksgiving and delivers approximately 200 more meals, mostly to homebound seniors in the Greater Red Bank area. All of that is in addition to turkey dinner care packages that are distributed prior to the holiday.
For the third consecutive year, Love said, Branches Catering of Long Branch is providing the food and the volunteers for the Thanksgiving dinner. Pilgrim Baptist Church and student volunteers from Red Bank Regional are helping deliver turkey dinners to seniors.
"We’re all about community," Love said. "Lunch Break was founded by 30 some people 28 years ago and over the years it's been the community that has really sustained us. We partner with so many organizations. It’s something the entire community has really embraced."
Lunch Break opens its doors at 11:30 am. Thanksgiving Day with meals served promptly at noon and throughout the afternoon. There will also be live entertainment, linen tablecloths and flower centerpieces donated by Sickles Market of Little Silver.
Love said its the community's help that keeps Lunch Break in operation, providing food to the area's needy. Food and clothing donations are welcomed at the center, though monetary donations are especially useful. Lunch Break is also looking for those interested in adopting families for Christmas. If you’re interested in helping, visit Lunch Break website or call (732) 747-8577.
Lunch Break is not the only kitchen open though. A number of local churches and organizations, including the Eatontown Community Center, are offering free Thanksgiving dinners, according to our friends at BizeTurtle:
Wednesday, Nov. 23
Noon - 2 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
503 Asbury Ave., Asbury Park
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
906 Grand Ave., Asbury Park
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
605 Asbury Ave., Asbury Park
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
1000 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Eatontown Community Center
72 Broad St., Eatontown
Noon - 2 p.m.
St Paul's UMC
80 Embury Ave., Ocean Grove
To register: 732-775-1125 x 10
Noon - 3 p.m.
703 Baltimore Boulevard, Sea Girt
Free, traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for seniors
The Knights of Columbus Msgr. Thomas U. Reilly Council No. 5611, of Spring Lake, will provide rides to all who need them. For reservations and rides: call Bob Phelan for reservations and rides (732) 681-1126
2pm - 5pm
The First Baptist Church of Manasquan
47-51 South Street, Manasquan
Open to all