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New Haven, Hartford, and Fairfield County free holiday assistance programs.

Churches, charities, and non-profits provide holiday meals as well as free Christmas gifts or toys to the needy. Dozens of locations in Hartford, Fairfield, and New Haven County Connecticut provide help to the needy, low income families, children, and senior citizens. Low income or struggling households can get free meals at Thanksgiving or Christmas, gifts, toys, gifts from Angel Tree or Toys for Tots and more is offered. While the resources are limited, and they depend on donations, assistance is offered.

Not only can someone stop by a non-profit to get help, some charities will also deliver meals and gifts to the homebound or seniors in Fairfield and nearby counties. Most of this is for the elderly or disabled in the region. If you are struggling with providing for your children during the holidays, whether Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, then assistance may be offered. Some of the common requests are for meals, holiday Turkeys, gifts, clothing, and similar goods.

Some of the leading agencies to contact for free Christmas toys, holiday food baskets or gift cards are noted below. If a center is not near you or do not have what you need, ask for referrals. As there are a number of charities across Connecticut that offer holiday help, and here is a list of other programs just focused on Bridgeport.

Community Dining Room
30 Harrison Avenue
Branford, Connecticut 06405
(203) 488-9750
Offers Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for Branford and Shoreline residents in need of assistance. Transportation or maybe home delivered meals may be served too.

Bridgeport Rescue Mission
Address: 1088 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
Main number is (203) 333-4087
The very low income and homeless may receive a free Christmas meal, holiday gift basket, or assistance at Easter too.




Hartford County Connecticut Catholic Charities
Various churches are part of this organization. They give free holiday food baskets (at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas). There may be free gift cards, Christmas toys, clothes, stocking stuffers as well as other gifts. They are gender and age specific. More on Hartford CT Catholic Charity assistance programs.

Salvation Army free holiday services
There are many centers scattered around Connecticut, each which offers help at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas as well as year round. There is an Adopt a Family and Angel Tree program. The charity provides financial aid during the winter to pay the bills and a homeless shelter. Children can get new, wrapped Christmas presents (free toys, games, books, electronics, shoes, clothes, etc.) and parents can be given a holiday meals or free gift certificates for shopping. Other aid is offered too.

  • Salvation Army - Human Services Bureau, Main address: 217 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106
    Call (860) 543-8413
    Numerous social services are offered. Some include Adopt a Family or free meals and Turkeys. Gift baskets may be passed out, and senior citizens get assistance as well.
  • Salvation Army - Greater Hartford South End Complex - Citadel Corps Community Center, Main address: 225 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106. Telephone: (860) 543-8413
    This location focuses on residents of Newington, East Hartford, Hartford, West Hartford and Wethersfield. Free gifts, toys, winter coats, the Angel Tree donation program, and more is administered from a thrift store and food pantry. A soup kitchen also serves meals.
  • There are other locations in the state. Find free holiday assistance programs in Connecticut.

Meals For The Needy - Zion Lutheran Church
27 Judd Street
Bristol, CT 06010
Main number is (860) 589-7744
Delivers meals to elderly and the homebound, provide gifts for children, Turkeys at Thanksgiving, and more.





Town Of Cheshire
84 South Main Street, Town Hall
Cheshire, Connecticut 06410
Main number is (203) 271-6690
Disabled and elderly may receive free meals, fruits, and holiday companionship.

New Hope Baptist Church
10 Doctor Aaron B. Samuels Boulevard
Danbury, CT 06810
Main number is (203) 748-5461

Saint Ann Soup Kitchen And Food Pantry
930 Dixwell Avenue
Saint Ann's Church
Hamden, CT 06514-4928
(203) 562-5700
In addition to a holiday dinner, it may have clothing, small gifts for children, toys, and more. Donations and volunteers are needed.

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church - Grace Supper Gathering
46 Woodland Street
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 527-7792

Gifts of Love
Location is 34 E Main St
Avon, CT 06001
(860) 676-2323
The upstate region, including Hartford and New Haven County, are support. They offer a free Christmas “store” for shopping. Parents can select what their kids need for the holidays, whether educational games, books, toy trucks, school supplies, clothes, or other toys. All goods are free.

Hands On Hartford - Manna Community Meals
Main address is 45 Church Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1202
Call (860) 246-3700

Sterling House of Fairfield County
The charity helps children and their families, including at Christmas. The food pantry can serve holiday groceries or ingredients, there are free Christmas toys, books, and clothes as well as meals and more. More on Sterling House.





House Of Bread of Hartford County
1453 Main Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06120
(860) 549-4188
Christmas and Thanksgiving meals, toys, presents, and other support is available.

Free Marine Corps Toys for Tots
Children, generally under the age of 13, can get free Christmas toys, games, books, and more. There are dozens of collection points (ways to donate) as well as application sites. Boys can get free Christmas gifts (toys, clothes, etc), girls can get dolls, electronics, Legos, video games and more. Dial 211 to learn more or select a region below. There are application sites in New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Hartford and all across Fairfield and nearby counties.

Loaves And Fishes Ministries - Woodland Street Site, Immanuel Congregational Church
Location: 10 Woodland Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06105
Telephone: (860) 524-1730
Groceries, holiday meals, boxes of food and more is offered for low income and poor families.







Shiloh Baptist Church Soup Kitchen And Food Pantry
350 Albany Avenue
Hartford, CT 06120
Dial (860) 247-3767

Christian Community Action
Multiple churches make up this Norwalk and Stamford charity. Programs include financial aid, free gift certificates for food or Christmas gifts, clothes, Thanksgiving Turkey dinners and more. Clients range from inner city residents to single mothers seeking Christmas gifts for their kids to the homeless. Continue with assistance programs from Christian Community Action.

Walk In The Light Outreach Center
Address: 32 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 263-8847

YMCA of Meriden
110 West Main Street
Meriden, Connecticut 06451
(203) 235-6386
The non-profit will serve a turkey dinner to anyone in need on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas. They also coordinate delivery of a hot meal or food to the homebound.

South Church Christmas Dinner
Location is 90 Main Street
New Britain, Connecticut 06051
(860) 223-3691

Community Soup Kitchen At Christ Episcopal Church
84 Broadway
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 624-4594
Serves Christmas meals to New Haven County families. Meals, gifts, and small toys may be offered for children and infants too.





Norwalk Emergency Shelter - Manna House Of Hospitality Food Pantry And Soup Kitchen
4 Merritt Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Call the agency at (203) 866-1057

Faith Living Church Christmas Dinner
Location is 20 Grove Street
Plantsville, CT 06479
Call (860) 621-6452 for intake.

Bread For Life Soup Kitchen
Mailing address is PO Box 925
Southington, Connecticut 06489
Primary phone number is (860) 276-8389

New Covenant House Of Hospitality
90 Fairfield Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902-5021
Telephone: (203) 964-8228
Christmas meals, games, toys, and holiday events are held in Fairfield County.

Parents And Kids Foundation
101 North Plains Industrial Road
Wallingford, CT 06492
(203) 284-8299
Community Dinners are served at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. A ride may be offered to the feeding site as well. Also presents and small items (such as a stocking) may be passed out to children.

First Congregational Church Of Waterbury
Main address: 222 West Main Street
Waterbury, Connecticut 06702-1286
(203) 757-0331

Hands On Hartford
Address is 55 Bartholomew Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone - (860) 728-320
Assistance programs include a soup kitchen, housing, and holiday help. Low income families, the homeless and others can get free Christmas food, Thanksgiving meals, gifts and more. Get dolls, toy trucks, sneakers, Matchbox cars, board games, and so much more.





Greater Faith Church Ministries
Main address is 31 Prospect Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06107
Telephone - (860) 236-9673

Saugatuck Congregational Church
Main address: 245 Post Road East
Westport, Connecticut 06880
Telephone - (203) 227-1261

By Jon McNamara

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