Where to Give Back around Boston This Holiday Season

The Greater Boston Food Bank, Rosie's Place, and Community Servings are just a sampling of the charities looking for support this year.

The Greater Boston Food Bank is holding its seventh holiday food drive. / Photo provided

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to focus on the “giving.” Boston-area charities are looking for donations all holiday season long, from cat food and pasta to personal household items. Check organization websites for needs, drop-off times, and other details.


As the cold sets in, feral and outdoor cats need some extra food in their kitty bellies. Help out feline caretakers by donating canned and dry cat food to the Boston MSPCA Adoption Center between November 17 and 19 as part of “Catsgiving.” If you can’t get to the shelter, order an item for delivery from the nonprofit’s Amazon Wishlist. mspca.org

Greater Boston Food Bank

The food bank is working to end hunger in eastern Massachusetts through its seventh annual Holiday Meal Drive. A $20 donation provides a healthy holiday meal for a family of five, including turkey, green beans, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Between now and December 31, the organization aims to provide 12 million meals to those in need. gbfb.org

Pine Street Inn

Volunteers at the South End shelter make more than 2,000 meals for residents every single day, and the holiday season is no exception. Help provide a holiday meal by donating food—Pine Street Inn receives small donations seven days a week. Some of the most-needed items are whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce, and instant oatmeal packets. pinestreetinn.org

Rosie’s Place is the country’s first women’s shelter. / Photo provided

Rosie’s Place 

The country’s first women’s shelter is looking for gifts to warm up the holiday season. Bath and body gift sets, $25 gift cards, and blankets are just a sample of the items you can donate. About 12,000 women each year receive meals, shelter, and housing and education services from Rosie’s Place. rosiesplace.org

Boston Rescue Mission

The charity, which offers 150 residential beds and other services, needs monetary donations to make Thanksgiving dinners. Only $1.92 provides a hot, nutritious meal for Turkey Day. Volunteers are also needed for food preparation, serving, and cleanup. brm.org

A volunteer packs food at Community Servings. / Photo provided

Community Servings

This year, the organization will deliver 675,000 meals to neighbors who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves or their families. Until Saturday, November 18, Community Servings is also holding its “Pie in the Sky” bake sale—buy a pie for $30 to enjoy on Thanksgiving, and you’ll supply someone else with a week of food. servings.org

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

In addition to monetary gifts, you can make in-kind donations of canned goods, furniture, and clothing—among other items—to United Way this season. The organization works with partner agencies to determine where the donations are most needed and match them there. unitedwaymassbay.org

Volunteers pack bags of food for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. / Photo provided

The Elizabeth Peabody House Emergency Food Pantry

Support the pantry’s Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway, scheduled for Friday, November 17. The Elizabeth Peabody House will give out turkey, potatoes, carrots, and other produce to 390 families in the community. Keep the giving going by dropping off sealed, nonperishable food items every Monday between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and Wednesday between 1 and 4 p.m., or contact pantry@teph.org to coordinate. teph.org

Somerville Homeless Coalition

The organization is looking for in-kind donations of food, toiletries, and personal and household items. Most-needed items include peanut butter, canned food, tampons, and bath towels. Make sure to schedule a time to drop off the goods. somervillehomelesscoalition.org