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Ocean County free holiday and Christmas assistance programs.

Low income Ocean County families seeking free food, toys 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 free Toys for Tots, food baskets ,turkey meals, Angel Tree from the Salvation Army 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, shoes, 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
(732) 458-0220
A free Thanksgiving turkey 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.





Salvation Army
1738 Route 37 East
Toms River, NJ
(732) 270-8393
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. More on Salvation Army Ocean County assistance 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
Call 732-295-3630

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.

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.

Tuckerton Seaport
120 West Main Street
Tuckerton, NJ
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.

Ocean County Toys for Tots
The application process depends on whether the family lives in the northern or southern part of the county. Dozens of charities, volunteer groups, and others participate. Free unwrapped toys, games, books, tablets, clothes and more are part of the USMC Toys for Tots program. Apply at:

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
Manahawkin/Stafford, NJ
Thanksgiving dinners are served to students and their families.

Building on the Rock Community Church
89 Beckerville Road
Manchester, New Jersey, 08759
They help families in northern Ocean County. Call 732-664-3527
Girls and boys can get free Christmas gifts, toys, and holiday items. Some meals may be served too.

Sixth Street Baptist Church
Address is 15 6th St
Lakewood, New Jersey, 08701

Pathway of Life Ministries
One location is at 2119 Whitesville Road, Bldg 2, Toms River, New Jersey, 08755. Phone: 732-901-7100
Another site is at 1134 Route 166, Toms River New Jersey, 08753. Dial 651-587-2216
Both are part of the regional Toys for Tots program. Donations and money from the larger Ocean County community help low income parents, the poor, immigrants and others get gifts or free Christmas toys.





Saint Vincent de Paul of Ocean County
A number of churches participate. A thrift store, furniture, free winter clothes, and gift cards are combined with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. There is a food pantry and soup kitchen. Small holiday or birthday toys, gift cards and other items are given too. Continue with SVDP Ocean County assistance programs.

Ocean Inc.
Location is 40 Washington Street
Toms River, New Jersey, 08754
They support northern Ocean County.

Catholic Charities Ocean Community Services
200 Monmouth Avenue
Lakewood, New Jersey, 08701
Phone: 732-299-5053
Ocean County North area is covered as part of Toys for Tots.
There is also cash assistance, groceries, and more. 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.

American Legion
Main address: 348 Carr Ave.
Keansburg, NJ
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.

Overcomers Church
Mailing Address: 318 Sawmill Rd
Brick, New Jersey, 08724-1350
Phone: 732-903-4289
Small Christmas toys, books, games, electronics, clothing, winter hats, and more may be given out for free at Christmas. There are also Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

Island Hts United Methodist Church
Location is 111 Ocean Ave.
Island Heights
Call 732-929-0444
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
Phone: 732-477-5533


By Jon McNamara

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