Essex County free Christmas and holiday assistance programs.

Free Christmas gifts, toys, and clothes may be offered in Essex County as well as the city of Newark New Jersey during the holiday season. In addition, hot meals are served during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each and every one of these programs relies on donations from the community and they also need volunteers. They provide people and businesses the ability to give back, so please contribute or donate clothes and other items if you can.

Low income families, children, and seniors living on a fixed income are some of the main beneficiaries of the holiday programs offered by these mostly Newark agencies. Each location will have an application process in place and conditions that need to be met. The programs usually open during the fall months and provide help on a case by case basis. If you or your family need a hot meal, free gifts for your child or loved ones, clothes, or more during the holidays, contact one of these organizations for information.

Abiding Peace Lutheran Church
Main address is 305 - 311 Route 46
Budd Lake, New Jersey, 07828
Call (973) 691 - 9393
The church, which is a charity organization, provides free holiday food baskets and gifts at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The items and assistance is available for adults, unemployed and children from the immediate community and parish.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark
(800) 227 - 7413
Several holiday resources are available. Among them, they work with soup kitchens, food pantries, and emergency shelters in the Archdiocese of Newark. They ensure holiday meals, Turkeys, and the toppings are available. Another of their main programs is Help a Family at Christmas project, in which donors to Catholic Charities are linked with needy and low income families who would not be able to celebrate Christmas or the holiday period without outside support.





East Orange Community Development Corporation
490 Main St.
East Orange, New Jersey, 07017
Call (973) 266 - 5315
Offers referrals to pantries, feeding sites, and holiday resources. The non-profit also coordinates a number of Thanksgiving Basket and Christmas toys drives and distribution to needy families. Social workers are available on site as well for the less fortunate.

Goodwill Rescue Mission
79 University Ave
Newark, NJ, 07102
Main number is (973) 621 - 9560
Community Outreach & Family Services try to bring the joy of the holidays and the love of God to the low-income community. One year round program is known as Bread of Life. The non-profit may offer personal care and household items, free food and more to senior citizens and children in Newark, East Orange, and Irvington New Jersey. Also, Holiday Blessings is the umbrella name of several programs. They include Sharing Hope at Christmas, Operation Drumstick at Thanksgiving, and other special events for major holidays such as Easter, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Consortium
346 16th Ave.
Irvington, NJ, 07111
Offers hot Christmas meals, shelter, food pantry referrals, advocacy and case management. Resources and referral services also include holiday food and toy baskets, clothing, emergency financial assistance for bills (such as rent and heating), counseling, and other support during the winter and key holiday months.

Newark Now
89 James St,
Newark, NJ, 07102
Call (973) 733 - 3460
The Brighter Holiday Campaign provides free toys, clothing, food, and more during the holiday season. Assistance is for the most vulnerable citizens within just the city of Newark. The group also works with dozens of other churches, charities, and non-profit organizations throughout the city. Other resources include the Annual Winter Holiday Drive, Thanksgiving Community Food Drive, and also the Annual Holiday Party for children. The goal is to provide free assistance to hundreds of families per year.





Riverside Cares
317 3rd St,
Jersey City, New Jersey, 07302

Helping Hands Food Bank
(201) 798 - 0642
The main holiday programs include Thanksgiving Baskets & Coat distribution in December as well free Christmas Gifts for the children as per donations received. Some examples of the other resources offered include (TANF)/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or (FSP)/Food Stamp Program. Free clothing distribution is offered too.

Salvation Army, Newark Area Services
Location of the non-profit is 45 Central Ave
Newark, NJ, 07102
The main Holiday Projects and programs include the "Angel Tree", which provides free Christmas toys, gifts, games, books and more to children in the community. There are also free Thanksgiving turkey meals as well. Read more on Salvation army Essex County assistance programs.

Toys for Tots - US Marine Corps
Picatinny Arsenal 25th Marines Co G, MCRTC Bldg 3306
Dover, New Jersey, 07801
Main phone number is (973) 724 - 4700
The government organization is involved in the collection of donation new, unwrapped toys. These items are then distributed to non-profit agencies to benefit families in need. Dozens of businesses, charities, and non-profits participate in the Essex County and Newark Toys for Tots Christmas program.

United Deliverance Tabernacle
Main address is 202 Hawthorne Ave
Newark, NJ 07112
Main Number: (973) 297-0081
This is a free community food pantry, that also has free clothes, Christmas gifts, toys, shoes, winter gear and other assistance.

St James Social Service Corporation
Main address is 588 Dr Martin Luther King Blvd
Newark, New Jersey 07102
(973) 624-4007

Youth Consultation Service
720 Amboy Ave
Edison, NJ, 08837





United Way of Bloomfield
Address: 385 Broad St.
Bloomfield, NJ, 07003
(973) 748 - 1732
During the holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, will give free food to the poor, and direct those in need to other non-profit agencies that will help them.


By Jon McNamara

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