Set another place at the table

Pantry listings from

Look up pantry listings at

I love the way some food banks send out little place cards (often with children’s artwork) to solicit donations around Thanksgiving. The idea is that your donation will help bring Thanksgiving to families that might not be able to afford it otherwise, thereby setting another place at the table.

Several years ago, knowing I had far too many possessions, I suggested to my closest friends and relatives that we make donations to each other’s favorite charities instead of buying “stuff.” They embraced it and we’ve gleefully done it ever since. What a relief to not worry about picking out the right gift for someone!

If you want to make donations at holidays (or volunteer somewhere), here are some good options in the local area (taken from my Good Deeds page on this blog). And if you want to find a food pantry in another party of the country so you can surprise someone with a charitable gift, visit to find hundreds of listings.

From my years of volunteering with Taste of the Nation (now part of No Kid Hungry), here are some local organizations that you might support, plus a few area pantries:

Mercer Street Friends Food Bank

Trenton Area Soup Kitchen

Isles Community Gardening Program


Montgomery Township Food Pantry

South Brunswick Food Pantry

Crisis Ministry Hunger Prevention Program

Meals on Wheels of Trenton/Ewing

5 thoughts on “Set another place at the table

  1. This is a great idea all around, Faith. I’ve been wanting to suggest this to a group of my friends, and I think the best way to do it is to email them your post. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Faith, I am volunteering to serve dinner at the Cornerstone Kitchen which I did last year as well on the day before Thanksgiving. As for Thanksgiving itself, I started out with a virtual “empty plate”; but have by now three invites; and I will try to make all three of them over the course of that one wintery day.
    Joan G

  3. Oops,
    It seems I am not serving at the Community Kitchen on Wed. before Thanksgiving; but on the Christmas Day luncheon instead – from 1 onwards.
    Joan G

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