The holiday season is a great time to celebrate with friends and loved ones. But what is meant to be a joyful time can be stressful for Greater Clevelanders without much extra room in their budgets.

The good news? Clevelanders are generous–there are plenty of ways to get or give some help this holiday season.

Signal Cleveland wants to highlight as many of those as we can. We are starting with opportunities Thanksgiving week and will continue through the end of year.

If you have a resource you would like to see here, contact us: or call: (216) 220-9398  

How to get a free Thanksgiving meal or free turkey in Cleveland


  • Faith Baptist Baptist Community Church and Center
  • 12 – 2 p.m. 
  • 2355 East 55th Street, Cleveland

Pastor Michael Vanek and staff will provide a hot meal at the community center to anyone wants one. Or you can take home a thanksgiving meal box with all the fixings.

  • Salvation Army
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • 15707 Doan Ave., East Cleveland 

Echelon, the emerging professionals arm of the Greater Cleveland Salvation Army, hosts this event. The service organization is always looking for volunteers. If interested, fill out this form or email:

If you want to make a donation, the Salvation Army lists non-perishable food items as the greatest need.

  • St. Edward High School
  • 5 – 6 p.m. 
  • 13500 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

Since 1994, faculty, students, parents and alumni volunteers have served community dinners on the fourth Wednesday of each month. They partner with the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corp. for their Thanksgiving meal, according to their website.

  • Third Federal Holiday Meal to Go (pick up only)
  • 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • 7100 Aetna Road, Cleveland 44105

The team at Third Federal are providing a Thanksgiving eve holiday meal to go.
Drive up or walk up to the bank headquarters for a free dinner.
Vehicles can enter through the 7100 Aetna Road gate. People traveling by public transportation or on foot can use a walk up gate and door – directional signs will be posted.

  • Ward 5 Hot Meal Distributions 
  • 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Phillis Wheatley Association | 4450 Cedar Ave., Cleveland
  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Elizabeth Baptist Church | 6114 Francis Ave., Cleveland

Hosted by Council Member Starr, with support from Burton Bell Carr Development  and the Friendly Inn, traditional holiday meals are offered at multiple locations.  


  • Catholic Charities Thanksgiving Hot Meals event 
  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • St. Augustine Hunger Center | 1400 Howard Ave., Cleveland 

People who would like to get a Thanksgiving meal are asked to call 216-377-3725 and provide their name, phone number, address and number of meals they are requesting. 

Catholic Charities is also looking for volunteers to deliver meals to homebound residents. You can sign up on their website.

For further details and questions, contact us at (216) 377-3725 or email

  • Mary Queen of Peace Cleveland 
  • 12 – 2 p.m. 
  • 4423 Pearl Road, Cleveland

The West Side church will serve meals in the parish center cafeteria. For more information, email

  • St. Boniface Parish (take out only)
  • 4 – 6 p.m. 
  • 3545 W. 54th Street, Cleveland 

This Thanksgiving meal is boxed for take out and available to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis. ‪

Editor (she/her)
Helen, a longtime journalist at News 5 in Cleveland and ABC News, brings knowledge of television news and community reporting to the Signal Cleveland newsroom. An alum of the University of Michigan’s Knight-Wallace Fellowship, Helen has been thinking for years about innovative ways to center news on community interests.