Where to donate Thanksgiving turkeys, other goods in Connecticut

This Thanksgiving season, organizations across Connecticut are looking for food and monetary donations so they can help families in need for the holidays. These groups are looking for donations of Thanksgiving-related food items, like frozen turkeys, boxed stuffing, canned yams, instant mashed potatoes and more.

While food banks and pantries are looking for Thanksgiving-specific donations right now, they are always seeking and accepting food donations year round. Donors can locate their nearest food pantry on Feeding America’s website.

Here are the places to donate Thanksgiving food items this holiday season.

Wallingford and Bloomfield
Connecticut Foodshare

Connecticut Foodshare is running its annual “Turkey and Forty ($40)” campaign. The drive aims to collect frozen turkeys as well as monetary donations of $40 — up from last year’s “Turkey and Thirty ($30)” — in order to reach its goal of serving 50,000 people with a Thanksgiving meal.

From Nov. 16 through Nov. 20, turkeys and monetary donations can be dropped off at the two Connecticut Foodshare headquarters at 2 Research Parkway, Wallingford or 450 Woodland Avenue, Bloomfield. Otherwise, those looking to donate can check the Turkey and Forty schedule and locations here to find the local donation center closest to them.

These participating "Turkey and Forty" drive sites include over 20 additional locations throughout Connecticut spread over seven days from Nov. 14 to Nov. 20.

Bridgeport Rescue Mission

Bridgeport Rescue Mission has set its Thanksgiving goal at 83,330 meals. In order to help support its Great Thanksgiving Project, donations of stuffing, canned beans, canned yams and canned gravy (no glass) can be made to the headquarters at 1069 Connecticut Ave., Unit #2B., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New Haven
The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen

The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen is accepting donations of Thanksgiving meal items until Nov. 20. As of now, the group is looking for donations of reusable shopping bags, stuffing (boxed), green beans (canned), yams (canned), cranberry sauce (canned), corn (canned) and broth (turkey, chicken, or veggie). This year, the soup kitchen hopes to serve 1,200 meals to those in need in the greater New Haven area. Donations can be made in-person to 311 Temple Street, New Haven.

Hamden Thanksgiving Food Drive

The Hamden Thanksgiving Food Drive at the Keefe Community Center is accepting both monetary and food donations this holiday season. Food items the drive is specifically looking for includes turkeys, yams, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cornbread, canned/fresh veggies, pasta, 5 lb. bags of white potatoes, rice and tomato sauce. Donors can arrange a drop off with Community Services Program Specialist AnneMarie Karavas at 203-562-5129 ext. 1110. Monetary donations are asked to please make checks payable to "Keefe Center Gift Fund." 

Bike West Hartford Food Drive

Bike West Hartford is hosting a 5-mile bike ride and food drive for Thanksgiving. The ride, which is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m., is encouraging participants to bring non-perishable foods and baby formula to the event. It will start and end at the Parkville Market at 1400 Park Street, Hartford. According to its website, riders should load up with goods and, "together [they will] ride to fill up three little food pantries in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood, with a final stop at the Free Center (460 New Britain Avenue)." The ride will be a "slow roll" at around 10 miles per hour and all are welcome to participate.

Additionally, there will be another food drive at Free Center Hartford at 400 New Britain Avenue in Bridgeport from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. that rides are encouraged to give to as well.

Stamford and virtual

Stamford-based Inspirica is offering many ways to get involved for those looking to donate food for its "Harvest for Hope" campaign this holiday season. Donations can be made in-person at 141 Franklin Street in Stamford, or donors can participate in a virtual food drive at the link here. For in-person donations, Inspirica is looking for instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, candied yams, string beans/peas, corn, mixed vegetables, applesauce, coffee, tea and disposable aluminum roaster pans.

Chrysalis Center

The Chrysalis Center in Hartford is accepting Thanksgiving food donations up until Nov. 17. The following items are what the organization is looking for this holiday season: boxed or bagged stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, gravy, salad dressing, canned corn, canned sweet potatoes, canned green beans, hearty canned soups, muffin/cornbread/roll mix, juice (100% juice: apple, cranberry, grape), canned cranberry sauce and fruit cocktail. Donations can be made in-person at 255 Homestead Avenue in Hartford.

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop and Food Bank

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop and Food Bank is looking for turkey donations this holiday season. According to Facebook, the organization is giving out turkeys to families in need as the turkeys come in, and encourage anyone looking to donate to call 203-734-7577 with any questions. Turkeys can be brought to 237 Roosevelt Drive in Derby from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

In addition to turkeys, St. Vincent de Paul is looking for donations for things like 12 oz. gravy cans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, salad dressing, family sized mac and cheese and more. The full list of needed items can be seen here.

Multiple locations
Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union Food Drive

Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union is holding a food drive for non-perishable canned or boxed food items at all of its locations throughout Connecticut. Those interested can find the branch closest to them at the link here.