Friends of the Poor is proud to once again announce three community-based programs to help those in need this Thanksgiving: The Thanksgiving Dinner for Adults and Elderly, the Family-to-Family Thanksgiving Food Basket Program, and the Interfaith Prayer Service. In addition, we are thrilled that this year’s program incorporates several new collaborative partners.

The Thanksgiving Community Program has never been one to operate in a silo. From its humble beginnings feeding a few dozen community members, our Thanksgiving Community Program has relied on the generosity of area businesses, families, and other institutions to make the holiday special for those who often go without. The same is true today, 47 years later, as we prepare to again serve 3,500 cooked meals and provide 3,500 families with Thanksgiving groceries. Our regular partners have once again returned. As a sponsored work of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), the core of who we are flows from the values brought forth by the Sisters. In addition, we are sustained day in and out by the most giving community we could hope to be a part of: the Scranton Cultural Center, the Scranton Area Multifaith Ministerium, Gentex, Stirna’s, the Junior League of Scranton, Marywood University, University of Scranton, Lackawanna College, Chartwells, Hilton Scranton, Schiff’s Food Service, Schiff’s Marketplace, Scranton Housing Authority, City of Scranton, Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging, Waste Management, and dozens more who come together to provide the ingredients and support needed to create this nutritious holiday meal. This year, we officially welcome the Catherine McAuley Center and Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank as official partners for our Thanksgiving Community Program, proving further that we are stronger together than we ever could be alone. The Catherine McAuley Center will offer the support of their staff to each event to help us accommodate the projected increase in need. The Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank has also stepped in to provide the turkeys for the Thanksgiving meal.

The holiday celebrations kick off on Friday, November 17th at 7PM with the Interfaith Prayer Service at Temple Hesed, 1 Knox Road, Scranton, at 7 p.m.  All are invited and welcome to attend and take part in a beautiful service celebrating gratitude as the cornerstone of each of our faith traditions and the true meaning of the holiday we celebrate.

Sunday, November 19th gives University of Scranton students a peek into the inner workings of our Family to Family program as we join the University’s Center for Service and Social Justice to provide Thanksgiving groceries to 200 families in the Hilltop and Valley View Housing Developments within the Scranton Housing Authority.

Our Thanksgiving Dinner for Adults and Elderly will be distributed for the fourth year in a row take-out style. On Tuesday, November 21st in front of the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N Washington Ave, Scranton, PA 18503, from 2:30-5:30PM, anyone in need of a cooked Thanksgiving meal can drive-through or walk-up for a meal. No pre-registration or proof of income is required. Note that the 400 & 500 of N. Washington Avenue and Vine Street closed for traffic control. We ask that no one begin lining up earlier than 2PM, as we will be delivering approximately 1,500 meals to pre-registered, low-income seniors with the continued help of our dedicated volunteer drivers from the Junior League of Scranton.

The Family-to-Family Thanksgiving Food Basket Program, directed by the Robeson family, will pick up where the dinner leaves off the very next morning on November 22nd. Beginning at 9AM, we will provide all grocery items needed to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal to families in need in front of the Scranton Cultural Center. We will be there until 5PM or our supplies run out. This event will also be a drive-through, but we will have a dedicated tent with supplies and volunteers for those that need to walk up. No pre-registration or proof of income is required. Understanding that transportation is a barrier, we ask that those with access to their own vehicles serve as proxies for those who cannot get to the event.

We’ve all seen an incredible increase in need in our area over the last several years. The number of families seeking assistance from Friends of the Poor every day is astonishing, and the holidays add to that number. While many families struggle to make ends meet each week, the holidays bring with them additional expenses many simply cannot afford. We are making every effort to extend as much as we can to meet this need, but we cannot do it without the help of the dozens of organizations already listed and every member of our community who wants to share the magic of the holidays with a neighbor in need.

A $60 donation sponsors the cost for the average size family we serve. We are prepared to serve 3,500 families, and we must raise at least $250,000 to cover Thanksgiving alone, including food and other supplies. Donations of any amount help us towards our goal, and can be mailed to Family to Family, PO Box 13, Scranton, PA 18503 or given online at

Additionally, if any additional businesses or community groups would like to participate in the cooked Thanksgiving dinner portion of our programming, we are in desperate need of supplies, including microwavable, sealable takeout containers, individually wrapped disposable utensils, plastic grocery bags, and more. Please contact us via email ( or phone (570-340-6086) if you can support the event in any way.