NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Several organizations and groups across the city are opening their doors and their hearts in an effort to give everyone a hot meal this Thanksgiving Day.

Their kindness and generosity comes at a time when food insecurity in New Brunswick and beyond has increased because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The food and hospitality industry, as well as many others, have been hard hit by the pandemic. The subsequent layoffs and cutbacks have left many struggling to keep food on the table, according to the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS), which last week distributed 1,500 turkeys to two dozen partner agencies throughout the county.

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The Hillside-based Community Foodbank of New Jersey, for example, estimates that requests for food assistance have jumped by at least 40% compared to last year.

Here are some examples of generosity in New Brunswick planned for this Thanksgiving:

Salvation Army

The New Brunswick Corps will be doing a take-out breakfast on Thursday at their offices at 287 Handy Street.

The event will run from 8-11 a.m. and participants are asked to wear a mask and observe social distancing.

Tavern on George

The popular restaurant will be hosting an event it calls “Closed for Business, Open for the Hungry.”

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, the restaurant will be offering a free Thanksgiving lunch in its safe, warm, heated and socially distanced tent. You may also take your meal to go.

Tavern on George is located at 361 George St.

Elijah’s Promise

New Brunswick’s most visible food insecurity resource is planning to serve about 350 hot meals on Thanksgiving.

Turkey, potatoes, greens and mac and cheese are on the menu from Chef Curtis McNair.

Elijah’s Promise, which served 110,000 meals last year and expects to serve about 175,000 this year, is located at 18 Neilson Street.

Sudyam Street Reformed Church

Church members and their partners from the New Brunswick Police Department and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital distributed turkeys to the community earlier this week.

The church will be hosting a virtual event today at 7:30 p.m. on its Facebook page.