*This post has been updated with 2021 information*
The fourth Thursday in November is a joyous celebration for Americans across the country. The heartwarming combination of feasting, family, and football renders Thanksgiving the definitive favorite holiday for many. However, for those working to overcome financial difficulties, Thanksgiving may not feel all that special or joyous. The American Farm Bureau announced that the cost of a Thanksgiving meal had decreased to a little under $5/person. The reduction in meal costs is welcome news, but every penny counts when you don’t know how you’ll be able to pay your bills at the end of the month.
Thankfully, churches and civic organizations across St. Louis and Southern Illinois are gearing up to provide free community Thanksgiving dinners this year. Regardless of your financial situation, there’s a hot plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing waiting for you. Organizations offering community dinners are listed by county below.
St. Louis County
Affton Christian Church
Due to Covid-19 concerns, Affton Christian Church will not be holding their annual community Thanksgiving dinner this year. The sincere hope is that the dinner will return in 2022.
Congressional Temple Israel
Congressional Temple Israel is offering Thanksgiving meals for those in need. Due to Covid-19, meals won’t be served in-person. Instead, individually packaged dinners will be brought to local organizations for those in need.
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church will also be offering free meals Thursday November, 22nd from 11:30am-1:30pm at the Church’s location in South County. Volunteers are needed and those wishing to volunteer can sign up online. St. Luke’s can be found at 2761 Telegraph Rd, St. Louis, MO 63125.
Saint Stanislaus Kostka Polish Catholic Parish
Saint Stanislaus Kostka is located just north of Downtown in Carr Square. The parish will be serving free Thanksgiving meals Wednesday, November 24th from 12pm to 2pm or until all of the food is gone. The address for the church is 1413 N 20th St, St. Louis, MO 63106.
St. Ferdinand Catholic Church
St. Ferdinand will be offering Florissant community members free Thanksgiving meals on Thursday, November 25th. Meals will be available from 11:30am to 1:30pm or until food runs out. Meals are only available via take-out this year due to Covid-19 concerns. Food will be offered until there is no more food available, so arriving earlier rather than later may be better. The church is located at 1765 Charbonier Rd, Florissant, MO 63031. You can donate to the cause or volunteer at the dinner by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Clair County
Faith Lutheran Church
This year Faith Lutheran Church is offering free Thanksgiving meals via drive-through due to Covid-19 concerns. Free meals will be available at Faith Lutheran Church Thursday Thanksgiving Day (November 25th) from 11am-1:30pm. Faith Lutheran Church is located at 520 E. Highway 50, O’Fallon, IL 62269.
Christopher Civic Center
The Christopher Civic Center will be hosting a community Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day (November 25th). Dinner will be available from 11:30am-2pm. The plan is to offer a dine-in option, but meals may have to be take-out due to Covid concerns. Volunteers and desserts will be needed for the event. Those looking to donate time or food can call (618) 724-7648. The center can be found at 208 N. Thomas St., Christopher, IL 62822.
Thompsonville First Baptist Church
Thompsonville First Baptist Church’s annual Thanksgiving lunch will take place Thursday, November 22nd from 11am-2pm. You can call (618) 627-2228 to have food delivered to you. The lunch will be provided at 21238 Shawneetown Road, Thompsonville, Illinois 62890.
Newman Catholic Student Center
Newman Catholic Student Center will be offering a Thanksgiving lunch Thursday, November 25th. Dinners will be available via carryout, delivery, or curbside pickup due to Covid-19 concerns. Meals will be available from 11am to 12pm. Those looking have a meal delivered will need to call (618) 529-3311 by Wednesday, November 24th. The center is located at 715 S. Washington St., Carbondale, IL 62901.
Knights of Columbus Hall
The Knights of Columbus will be offering Murphysboro residents a Thanksgiving meal from 11am-1:30pm on Thursday, November 22nd. The hall can be found at 707 Plum St., Murphysboro, IL 62966.
Central Christian Church
Central Christian Church has been offering their annual free Thanksgiving dinner for 25 years! Meals will be offered curbside to-go this year due to Covid-19 concerns. Meals will be available Thursday, November 25th from 11am to 1:30pm. The church is located at 301 N. 10th St. Meal deliveries can be scheduled by calling (618) 242-4185 before 12pm on Wednesday, November 24th.
Eagle House Ministries
Eagle House Ministries will be hosting their annual Thanksgiving Day meal on Thursday, November 25th Deliveries will go out 11am and meals will be served in-house starting at 12:30pm. Those interested in receiving a delivered meal should call (618) 658-0099. Eagle House Ministries is located at 3590 State Route 37 North, Buncombe, IL 62912.
First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church will offer free meals on Thanksgiving Day. Meals will be available from 12pm-2pm at 105 S. Mill St., Pinckneyville, IL 62274. You can call (618) 357-2255 by Tuesday, November 20th to make reservations in advance.
Immanuel United Methodist Church
The Immanual United Methodist Church will be providing the local Edwardsville Community with a free Thanksgiving meal on Sunday, November 18th from 12pm-2pm. The meal will include turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and hot rolls. The church is located at 800 N. Main St., Edwardsville, IL 62025.
Meadow Heights Baptist Church
Meadow Heights Baptist Church will be offering community Thanksgiving meals on Thursday, November 25th. Unlike past years, meals will only be available for local delivery. You can pre-request a Thanksgiving meal delivery by calling the church office at 618-344-4982. The church is located at 1498 Vandalia Street in Collinsville, IL.
First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Eldorado will offer a free Thanksgiving dinner to all Eldorado residents from 11:30am-12:30pm on Thursday, November 22nd. Those interested in receiving a delivered meal should call (618) 273-8206 by 3pm on Wednesday, November 21st. The First Baptist Church can be found on the corner of Jackson and 2nd at 1101 2nd st., Eldorado, IL 62930.
Ebenezer Community Church
The Ebenezer Community Church will host a community Thanksgiving at the Galatia Community Center from 11am-1pm on Thursday, November 25th. The community center is located at 210 W. Main St., Galatia, IL 62935. Meals will not be served in the community center due to Covid concerns. Curbside service and meal deliveries will be available. Home deliveries are available up to 15 miles from the center. Calls for deliveries should be made by Wednesday, November 24th.
First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Harrisburg will not be holding their annual community Thanksgiving dinner due to Covid-19 concerns. The church hopes to resume this tradition in 2022.
Carterville Community Center
Carterville Community Center’s community Thanksgiving will take place from 11am-2pm on Thursday, November 25th. There will be no indoor dining this year due to Covid-19 concerns. Meals will be available for carry-out and delivery only. Reservations and delivery requests can be made by calling (618) 985-2011 by 5pm on Wednesday, November 24th. The center is situated at 120 N. Greenbriar Rd., Carterville, IL 62918.
Herrin Civic Center
Herrin’s community Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day-long event filled with fun and food. Unfortunately, the event will not take place this year due to Covid-19 concerns. The hope is that the event will be able to resume in 2022. The center can be located at 101 S. 16th St., Herrin, IL 62948.
First United Methodist Church
The First United Methodist Church will be offering Johnston City residents a free Thanksgiving meal from 11am-2pm on Thanksgiving Day. Deliveries can be scheduled by calling (618) 983-5150. The church is located at 400 W. Broadway Blvd., Johnston City, IL 62951.
Marion Ministerial Alliance
The Marion Ministerial Alliance will host a community meal prepared by the St. Joseph Catholic Youth Group on Thursday, November 22nd from 11:30am-1pm. The meal will take place at 103 East Calvert St., Marion, IL 62959. Deliveries should be scheduled by calling (618) 993-8419 before 1pm on Wednesday, November 21st.
A Fresh Start For The New Year
A Bankruptcy Law Firm, LLC is a firm dedicated to providing individuals with financial relief through the processes of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Debt may have you down this holiday season, but it doesn’t have to haunt you into the new year. Consider contacting A Bankruptcy Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation. Together, we can review your financial situation and plot a course to help you eliminate your burdening debt.
Know of other churches or organizations offering community Thanksgiving meals? Provide information in the comments below.