Where to get a free turkey for Thanksgiving 2021 in the US this month

Bruno Cooke November 9, 2021
Where to get a free turkey for Thanksgiving 2021 in the US this month


As November 25 approaches, some Americans with less than average purchasing power may be wondering if anyone is offering free turkeys for Thanksgiving 2021. Thankfully, there are options available to those who can’t afford a turkey this Thanksgiving.

How can you find a free Thanksgiving meal?

May food banks offer free food on Thanksgiving – whether in the form of a prepared meal or a food box. 

And, even if your nearest food bank seems far away, some – called Mobile Food Pantries – will even travel to your community to reduce the distance.

Visit Feeding America to access their Find Your Local Food Bank search. 

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Food banks also often work in conjunction with faith groups, soup kitchens and food pantries, meaning you are unlikely to be very far from your closest free Thanksgiving meal.

Do they offer free turkeys for Thanksgiving 2021?

Of course, it depends on the food bank. But some do. 

Sometimes turkeys come in Thanksgiving food boxes; sometimes it is necessary to replace the turkey with another form of animal (or potentially vegetarian) protein.

Otherwise, you might receive a gift card or voucher to purchase a turkey from a store yourself. 

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In other instances, food pantries and soup kitchens may be on hand to serve a free hot Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. 

This could be the day before Thanksgiving, on the day, for the day after. Be aware that, because of the covid-19 pandemic, meals may be offered to-go rather than dine-in.

For more information on what’s available to homebound, disabled and/or senior citizens – i.e., those who are unable to visit food banks in person – in terms of free meals this Thanksgiving, visit Need Help Paying Bills’ webpage on the subject.

Meals On Wheels may be able to deliver a Thanksgiving meal to your home if you are unable to visit a food bank yourself.

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Beast Philanthropy held a turkey giveaway in Pitt County, NC on Sunday

10,000 frozen turkeys and more than 40,000lb of sweet potatoes. 

Jimmy Donaldson, aka Mr Beast, was behind the Thanksgiving turkey giveaway on Sunday that required five trucks to transport. The Jennie-O turkeys came from Minnesota.

“I think it’s really great that he’s giving out turkeys because some families can’t afford certain stuff so, sweet potatoes and turkey? That’s a whole meal,” a local high school student volunteer told WITN. 

“Yes sir, that’s a good meal right there.”

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Bruno is a postgraduate student studying global journalism, with research interests in the intersection of the media, storytelling, culture and politics. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Packs Light and Forge Press, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com. He is a Student Ambassador for Tortoise Media, a big fan of Freddie Mercury and a novelist – his debut novel, Reveries, is available on Amazon.