Low income Ocean County families seeking free food or gifts at Christmas or Thanksgiving have resources available to them. There are several charities as well as churches that provide assistance during the holidays to families living in poverty or that are facing an emergency. The programs vary by site, but there may be toys, food baskets, and similar support given.
When reviewing the list below, most of the churches will only provide a meal to those that apply, such as at Thanksgiving. In some cases a child may receive a small gift as well. Another service generally offered will be volunteers from a church delivering food to a senior citizen in Ocean County.
Other charities tend to provide Christmas assistance. Children from low income households may be given gifts, toys, games, winter attire, and other presents. This too will depend on the work of volunteers from across the county.
Church of Epiphany
Main address: 615 Thiele Road,
Brick, New Jersey
A Thanksgiving Dinner is served once per year, with a local delivery to the elderly, disabled, or homebound.
Catholic Charities - Community Services of Ocean County
200 Monmouth Ave
Lakewood, New Jersey 08701
Phone - (732) 363-5322
Needy families can get Easter baskets, Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving food and other help at the holidays.
1738 Route 37 East
Toms River, NJ
Several programs are offered in Ocean County. Adopt a Family may give children free toys for Christmas, and Hearty Helpings serves Thanksgiving meals. The non-profit also operate Angel Tree, offers shelter, support to veterans, and other holiday as well as year round programs.
Macedonia Baptist Church
143 John St.
Lakewood, New Jersey
Main phone number is 732.905.3878
St. Gregory’s Pantry - Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Call (732) 892-8105
Assistance includes toy distribution as well as holiday meals. Referrals are needed from churches or Ocean County DSS.
First United Methodist Church of Toms River
Address is 129 Chestnut St.
Dial (732) 349-8155 for reservations to the meal programs.
Saint Francis Community Center
4700 Long Beach Blvd
Long Beach Twp, NJ 08008
For applications, dial (609) 494-8861
Partnering with groups such as the United Way, the Gift of Warmth program provides presents, such as shoes, bedding, to children under the age of 19.
St. Martha Church
3800 Herbertsville Road
Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Lacey United Methodist Church
203 Lacey Rd.
Forked River NJ
Telephone number is 609-693-5222.
A Thanksgiving dinner with a turkey and toppings are served by staff.
Sponsored by Youth Ministry - Holy Cross Lutheran Church
1500 Hooper Ave.
Toms River, New Jersey
Phone – 732-255-4455
The Thanksgiving/Christmas meal program is available to the general public. There may also be stocking stuffers for children, toiletries, Clothing supplies, cleaning goods, and more.
Ocean County Sheriff Department
120 Hooper Ave.,
Toms River, NJ 08754
They hold toy drives. Donations are collected throughout Ocean County, and the gifts are given (for free) to children that qualify. The application form is. www.co.ocean.nj.us//WebContentFiles//83151d6e-a2aa-4d84-978d-67c30a44438b.pdf
120 West Main Street
Main number is 609-296-1623
Holiday programs are run. There is help available at Christmas, toys for children, games, and a holiday party held too. Clients are the working poor and even homeless.
Waretown United Methodist Church
27 Bryant Avenue
Waretown, New Jersey
Main phone - 732-773-4914
The charity, using volunteers, may have a free Thanksgiving food basket or voucher in Ocean County.
Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church
Location: 685 Hooper Ave
Toms River, New Jersey 08753
Call (732) 349-0018
Members of the church can apply for the Giving Tree.
Southern Regional Middle School
75 Cedar Bridge Road
Thanksgiving dinners are served to students and their families.
Main address: 348 Carr Ave.
A focus in on provide Christmas cheer to veterans in Ocean County and their families. The organization may give kids a toy, offer rides to the elderly, and provide presents to veterans in the hospital.
Island Hts United Methodist Church
Location is 111 Ocean Ave.
Meals are served a few days on each holiday. In some cases, a child may be given a small toy or gift at Christmas as well.
St. Thomas Church
135 Salmon St.
Brick, New Jersey
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