Holiday Assistance Resources 2017

Find holiday assistance programs throughout Massachusetts.

Statewide

Mass 2-1-1

This online directory is an information resource for emergency food, rent, help paying your heating and utility bills, mental health counseling, health programs, public health and safety services, child care referrals, job resources, and other help for individuals, parents and families. Click on orange circle, “Search for Help”. Tip: use “holiday” under keyword search.
Call 211 for resources.

Project Bread Food Source Hotline

Project Bread screens residents of Massachusetts for eligibility for the SNAP Program, helps people apply over the phone and provides information on community food programs.  This hotline has translators available in 140 languages.
Hotline: (800) 645-8333
Phone: (617) 723-5000
TTY: 1-800-377-1292
Email: info@projectbread.org

Salvation Army Massachusetts Division

The Salvation Army endeavors to spread hope year-round while also acknowledging religious and national holidays. Provides children and individuals with clothing, toys and gifts. In addition, seniors and families may receive financial assistance to help them meet basic needs, such as vouchers for utilities, rent and grocery store / food pantry items.

Toys for Tots

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

By Area

Boston – Salvation Army

Thanksgiving sign up begins on

You will need to bring in the following information:

  • Picture ID for all the adults living in the household
  • Current utility bill (home phone, gas, electric, cable and water) – verifies where you live

**  Qualifying families are also invited to pre-register for Christmas Assistance:

Quantities are limited and registration is based upon a first come first served basis.

PLEASE NOTE: Registration and pickup location is based upon your zip code.

Christmas Castle preregistration begins October 26 through December 2. Families who qualify and preregistered food voucher winter coats and toys for children 16 and under. Distribution is at the Castle in the Back Bay area Monday Dec 10 – 12 time will be provided at time of registration.
Bring current utility bill, photo ID of all adults in the home, proof of financial need including MassHealth card, WIC, call for other forms, and birth certificate for each child under 16 in the family.

For more information call: 617-236-5260, if you don’t live in the zip code area they serve they will give you the contact information for the proper branch. The requirements may vary by office. Visit Salvation Army at 1500 Washington Street, Boston, MA.

Blackstone Valley/ Greater Milford area – Catholic Charities

Provides Christmas toys and gift cards for children ages 0-17.
Phone: 508-234-3800

Cape Cod Times Needy Fund

PO Box 804
Hyannis, MA 02601
Mission is to provide financial assistance to Cape Cod residents for basic human needs. They have a gift certificate program for Christmas.
Phone: (508) 778-5661 or (800) 422-1446
Email: info@needyfund.org

Essex County – Essex County Hunger Relief

Lists all soup kitchens and food pantries located in Essex County Massachusetts.

Globe Santa

Serves eastern Massachusetts. Families request toys by writing to Globe Santa, stating their family size and need. This must be verified and countersigned by a social service or religious agency that is currently registered with the Globe Santa fund.
Mail your request. Send your letter and completed verification form to the following address by November 30
Globe Santa
P.O. Box 55820
Boston, MA 02205-5820
Phone: (617) 929-2002
Email: santa@globe.com
Phone: (617) 929-2002

My Brother’s Keeper

Assistance is provided by delivery only— no pick-ups at our facility. The towns we service for our Christmas Assistance Program are as follows: Boston area south to Fall River and Cape Cod.
All requests are processed by phone. We cannot accept e-mail requests or requests made in-person at our facility due to staffing limitations.
Christmas Assistance Line
508-238-2562
September – December
call for up-to-date days & hours of operation

By Town

Amesbury – Our Neighbor’s Table

Free food is for both Thanksgiving and Christmas to families that would otherwise go without. Our holiday programs offer a variety of groceries to help families prepare a delicious holiday meal in their own home for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Registration opens 1 month prior to holiday distribution. Distribution dates are listed in the local paper, on our website, and in our office during the holiday season.
145 Main Street
Amesbury, Massachusetts 01913
Phone: (978) 388-1907

Beverly – Salvation Army

Provides services that include food pantries, rent payment assistance, electric bill payment assistance, gas bill payment assistance, utility payment assistance, Christmas baskets, Thanksgiving baskets and prescription. Will be taking applications for assistance for Thanksgiving and Christmas on October 17, 19, 21, 31 and November 2 and 4 from 12:00 to 2:45pm. You must bring photo ID, proof of all income, proof of all expenses, include all household members Birth certificates to all children under 13, health cards and social security cards for all household member. Pick up for Thanksgiving baskets will be November 22.
Address: 50 Elliot St
Phone: (978) 922-4522

BostonSalvation Army
Register Mondays/Fridays 9:00am-1:00pm and Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:00am-1:00pm and 4:00-6:0pm
Families who qualify can pre-register for Christmas assistance which includes; a food voucher for a Christmas dinner, winter coats for family members, and toys for each child in the household under the age of 16.
Distribution: December 18th – December 20th
At The Castle at Park Plaza – Pick-Up Times will be Provided at Registration
You will need to bring in the following information:
Picture ID for all the adults living in the household
Current utility bill (home phone, gas, electric, cable and water) – verifies where you live
Birth Certificate of each child in your household under the age of 16
Proof of financial need (Mass Health Card, WIC, SSI approval letter, Current pay stub, etc.)
Quantities are limited and registration is based upon a first come first served basis.

The Salvation Army South End Corps Serves:

Back Bay/Beacon Hill: 02108, 02114, 02116, 02117
Fenway/Kenmore: 02123, 02115, 02215
Central: 02109, 02210, 02111, 02112, 02113, 02123, 02134, 02135, 02163
South End: 02118

Burlington – People Helping People Holiday Program 

Thanksgiving During the month of October, families may sign up at the People Helping People Food Pantry. Meals are distributed at the United Church of Christ Congregational on Lexington Street the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
For more information, contact Jane McIninch and Christie Ventura at 781-270 6625, burlingtonpantry@gmail.com
Wish Tree Program
During the month of October, families may sign up for the Wish Tree Program. Gifts are provided for children from infants through senior year of high school. Each child receives a sweatshirt, pajamas, four wishes, hat and gloves, books and miscellaneous toys.
For more information or to volunteer,
Please contact Judy Walsh at 617-797-6786 or by judyw621@gmail.com.

Charlestown – The Kennedy Center Community Resource Center (CRC)

The CRC is located at 55 Bunker Hill Street in Charlestown and is open to the public Monday through Friday 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The CRC staff provides a wide range of antipoverty and social services on both a scheduled and drop-in basis. Services are offered for Charlestown residents. Winter coat drive for both adults and children.
Annual Holiday Gift Drive that provides seasonal gifts for over 400 children from low income families. For more information contact the Director of Community Services 617-241-8866 EXT. 1352 cgalvin@kennedycenter.org.

Dorchester – Action for Boston Community Development

Many locations throughout ABCD’s network of neighborhood sites offer holiday meal assistance in the form of food baskets, turkeys, and food supplies that low-income families need to cook and serve holiday meals in their homes. Holiday Meal services are usually available during the Thanksgiving season and in December. Contact the sites listed below for specific information on availability and application. Holiday Meal services are available at the following ABCD neighborhood sites. Click on one of the links below to learn more information about sites offering this service.

Allston Bright NOC
Citywide Boston Hispanic Center
Dorchester NSC
East Boston APAC
Roxbury/N. Dorchester NOC (formerly Elm Hill)
Jamaica Plain APAC
North End/West End NSC
Parker Hill/Fenway NSC
SNAP/South End NSC
South Boston APAC
ABCD South Side

 Fall River – Citizens for Citizens, Operation Christmas

Provides toys to parents of children from birth to 12 years of age to be given as gifts at Christmas. (Serves surrounding towns of Somerset, Swansea and Westport).
Custodial parent of children may apply.
Documentation Needed: Medical cards or social security number.
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Must apply in person.
Address: 264 Griffin Street, Fall River, MA 02724
Contact Barbara Travis
Email: btravis@cfcinc.org
Phone: (508) 679-0041

Haverhill – Salvation Army

Provides services that include food pantries, rent payment assistance, electric bill payment assistance (in December), gas bill payment assistance, utility payment assistance, Christmas baskets, Thanksgiving dinner and prescription.
Christmas Castle: The Salvation Army provides assistance at Christmas time to help parents meet the needs of their children. Toys and clothing are provided to families with children up to the age of 14. A voucher to assist with Christmas dinner is provided with amounts depending on family size. Assistance Applications will be taken November 1st, 2nd and 3rd as well as December 1st and 2nd.
Distribution of gifts and vouchers will be at The Salvation Army, 395 Main Street, Haverhill on Monday, December 19, 2016.
Assistance is available for those who live in Haverhill, Merrimac and Groveland.
Address: 395 Main St.
Phone: 978-420-4192

Hopkinton – Project Just Because, Inc.

The Holiday Wish List Program allows needy families to request toys, gifts, and other assistance at Christmas and Easter. Holiday gift program opening October 22, 2016 See website for application.
P.O. Box 36 86 South Street
Hopkinton, MA, 01748
(508) 435-6511

Lawrence – Neighbors in Need

Must be a client of the food pantry or referred by a caseworker from a local social service agency. Food pantry may provide holiday meals and Christmas/Thanksgiving baskets to those in need. Offers deliveries for homebound people.

If you are a client and would like to sign up for your holiday meal, please sign up the week of November 7-10, 2017 for Thanksgiving and December 5-8, 2017 at the pantry where you usually get your food.
“Infant In Need” program provides formula, diapers and clothing to low income families.
Address: 276 Essex Street, Lawrence, MA 01841
Phone: (978) 685-8321

Lawrence – Salvation Army

Provides services that include food pantries, rent payment assistance, electric bill payment assistance, gas bill payment assistance, and utility payment assistance. Offers Santa fund, Angels, and Adopt-a-family. Need to apply in person and bring photo ID, proof of address, school letter stating children are in school, custody papers, if applicable, proof of income and birth certificate for children. Ages 0 – 12. Deadline is Oct 16 and may be extended.
Address: 250 Haverhill St
Phone: (978) 682-8038

Mansfield – West Side Benevolent Circle

Provides assistance to Mansfield residents which includes holiday gifts/toys for children in 12th grade and under. Also provides Christmas baskets to elders. The application deadline is October 31. If you need assistance please call them at 508-339-3397.
P O Box 506, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: (508) 339-3397

Newburyport – Community Service of Newburyport, Inc.

Provides food pantry, multi-service center (up to 10 nonperishable canned food items per week, used clothing and practical items). Distributes gifts to needy children (up to age 14) at Christmas. Serves the towns of Newburyport, West Newburyport, and Newbury.
The Red Stocking Program distributes presents to children in need in cooperation with church groups, civic clubs, businesses, and individuals. Children must be age’s infant to 14 years old and reside in Newburyport, Newbury, or West Newbury.
Sign-up begins in October. Please bring a photo ID and proof of address. If you would like to donate to this program, call 978-465-7562 during office hours.

Trees for Christmas Vouchers are distributed to families in need for beautiful Christmas trees provided by
Christmas Tree Santas. Vouchers are available in October and November and trees may be picked up in December.

North Andover – Eagle-Tribune Santa Fund

Donations allow the fund to provide vouchers to use for buying gifts, clothing, and toys. Businesses (such as Target) and individuals contribute. If you have questions about the fund, please contact Gina DelliColli at 978-946-2000.
Address is 100 Turnpike St
North Andover, Massachusetts, 01845

Northbridge – Northbridge Association of Churches Pantry

Provides Christmas toys and baskets for families with children ages 0-17. Emergency food pantry, one visit per month for residents. Food pantry open Tuesday and Thursday.
For Christmas toys contact Catholic Charities at 508-234-3800. Confirmed information above regarding toys.
Senior Center
20 Highland St
Whitinsville, MA 01588
Phone: (508) 234-4599

Norwell Food Pantry / Kids In Need and Holiday Adopt-a-Family Programs

“Kids In Need” is a year round program for any child in Norwell whose family may be having difficulty providing some necessities. Thanksgiving baskets are provided to Norwell residence pick up on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving from 2-4pm. You must bring proof of residency and a photo ID. To apply for the “Holiday Adopt A Family” the sign up begins in November each year, ends a week before Christmas, and gifts are delivered to Town Hall mid-December. Only callers who leave a voicemail message will have their calls returned.
Address: PO Box 644, Norwell, MA 02061
Phone: (781) 690-5050 or (781) 659-7878
Email: norwellfp@aol.com

Pittsfield – The Christian Center

Holiday Angel Program Holiday gifts for families with a focus on often-overlooked teens. Thanksgiving Program Hundreds of food baskets distributed in addition to hundreds of meals prepared for traditional meal served at The Christian Center and also delivered to sick and shut-in on Thanksgiving Day.
(413) 443-2828

Roxbury – Salvation Army

Thanksgiving Basket
If you and your family reside in Boston and are in need of assistance for a Thanksgiving meal, please come pre-register at a local Salvation Army site. Families who qualify will pre-register to receive a turkey along with all the fixings to enjoy the traditions of Thanksgiving in the comfort of their own homes. Each basket includes a turkey, fresh vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce, a pie, coffee and a roasting pan.
Items Required: Photo ID for all adults living in the household, current utility bill (home phone, gas, electric, cable and water) to verify where you live.
Application Period: TBD
Zip Codes Served: Roxbury: 02119, 02120, Roslindale: 02131, Hyde Park: 02133, 02136, 02137, West Roxbury: 02132

Christmas Castle:

Families who qualify will pre-register for Christmas assistance which includes: a food voucher for Christmas dinner, winter coats for family members and toys for each child in the household under the age of 15.

Items Required: Photo ID for all adults living in the household, current utility bill (home phone, gas, electric, cable and water) to verify where you live, birth certificate of each child in your household under the age of 15, proof of financial need (Mass Health Card, WIC, SSI approval letter, current pay stub, etc.)

Application Period: TBD

Zip Codes Served:Roxbury: 02119, 02120, Roslindale: 02131, Hyde Park: 02133, 02136, 02137, West Roxbury: 02132

Distribution: Held at the Park Plaza Castle in the Back Bay from Monday, December 10th – Wednesday, December 12th. Specific times will be provided upon registration.

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are needed to set up, escort clients, “personal shop” for coats and toys and more.Several shifts are available. Please contact Kimberly Santos at Christina.Shaughnessy@use.salvationarmy.org to sign up or click here for more information.

**Quantities are limited and registration is based upon a first-come first-served basis.

*If your zip code is not in this area of Boston, please visit this link,  for other Boston locations.

For more information please call: 617.536.7469.

Scituate Community Christmas

Scituate Community Christmas is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization formed to help provide food and new Christmas gifts to Scituate families who are faced with economic hardship or other circumstances during the holiday season. Since 1989, Scituate Community Christmas has served hundreds of families needing assistance. The organization’s focus is children and the elderly without family in the area. There is a strict residency requirement; all recipients must reside in the Town of Scituate.
PO Box 704
Scituate, MA 02066
Phone: (781) 545-7108
Email: info@scituatecommunitychristmas.org

Springfield – Holiday Meals, Open Pantry

“Holiday Meals” program provides Christmas meals, Thanksgiving meals, and Easter meals. Home delivery is available to those who are homebound. Deliveries of meals can only be made to people in Springfield who are elderly and homebound or homebound because of a disability. Contact program for deadline for requesting home delivery for Thanksgiving and for Christmas.
There are no reservations required for the sit down meal. All are welcome to eat, donate their time, money or baking skills.
415 State Street, Springfield, MA 01105
Phone: (413) 737-5354
Email: opcs@openpantry.org

Springfield – Salvation Army

Toys for Joy

Towns Served: Agawam, East Longmeadow, Feeding Hills, Hampden, Indian Orchard, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Palmer, Monson, Springfield, Three Rivers, Ware, West Springfield, Wilbraham, Westfield, Southwick, Belchertown

Sign-Ups: November 27th through December 1st, 9:00am-3:00pm.
Registration takes place at The Salvation Army, 170 Pearl Street, Springfield.
Required Items:
1) Birth Certificate (original or copy) or passport for all children 16 and under.
2) Proof of financial need (MassHealth card, WIC, SSI approval letter, etc)
3) Proof of ID for parent/guardian
4) Proof of current address (within last 30 days)
Distribution: Will take place December 11th through 15th; times will be given out upon registration.
Please call 413-733-1518 if you have any questions.

Taunton – .Corline Cronan’s Family, Inc.

The Corline Cronan’s Family coordinates donations of food, turkeys and volunteers for a hot meal for the homeless, less fortunate, lonely citizens on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter holidays. Meal site is Coyle Cassidy High School.
Meals are also delivered to shut-ins. All attendees can take away a second meal, a bag of canned and non-perishable groceries, as well as gently used clothing. In addition, new items such as blankets, knit hats, gloves, and personal hygiene have been provided at various times.+-
Phone: (508) 823-8443

Taunton – Citizens for Citizens, Operation Christmas

Operation Christmas distributes toys to parents of children from birth to 12 years of age to be given as gifts at Christmas. Must be pickup by custodial parent.
Must have application signed by school department, DTA, DCF, or an appropriate human service agency to document a need.
Serves Taunton, Raynham, Dighton and Berkley.
1 Taunton Green, Taunton, MA 02780
Phone: (508) 823-6346
Director: Debbie Araujo, daraujo@cfcinc.org
Applications available after November 1st.

Woburn – Council for Social Concern

Charitable, community-based agency for Woburn and Winchester residents. Provides information, referral, food assistance, childcare options, and family skill building services. “Holiday Basket” is available to Woburn and Winchester residents. The deadline is November 3. Call for an application. Home delivery is available for elderly and homebound residents.
2 Merrimac Street, Woburn, MA 01801-1606
Phone: (781) 935-6495

Worcester – The Friendly House

Many services are offered to the low income. Food, meals, holiday baskets, and referrals are just some of the examples of services.
Thanksgiving Sign up for food basket -October
Toys for Tots sign up- November
36 Wall Street
Worcester, MA, 01604
Telephone number is (508) 755-4362

 

Worcester – Toys For Tots

Administered by the Oak Hill Community Development Corporation. Call and give Worcester zip code and they will direct you to location.
Phone: (508) 754-2858 – Please do not leave phone messages. Due to call volume, phone messages will not be returned.
We are open Monday-Friday 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m and are located at:
74 Providence St.
Worcester, MA 01604
Apply in person or online from November 1 to December8. Must bring child’s birth certificate, parent’s picture ID, proof of receiving assistance.

 

Fact Sheet last updated on: 10/26/2017