The average Thanksgiving meal will cost about $61.17 for a group of 10 this year, according to the Farm Bureau.

Nonprofits around Tarrant County offer a variety of ways to access free ingredients for the holiday dinner or get a hot meal. Plus, there are numerous opportunities to volunteer. 

Request a meal ahead of time

Tarrant Area Food Bank 

The food bank will host one final mega-distribution event before Thanksgiving, on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon, at True Love Sanctuary, 1911 Yuma Ave. in Fort Worth. You can sign up to volunteer at this event here

The food bank will host another mobile distribution event in nearby Denton County from from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, in Lot 20 on the University of North Texas campus.

If you missed these distribution events, the food bank also has several food pantries operating around Tarrant County. Hours and days of operation vary, so make sure to call the pantries ahead of your visit. You can find those phone numbers here.  

HIMFood Bank 

Mansfield’s HIM Food Bank offers grocery appointments on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You must fill out this application and bring a photo ID and proof of income to the appointment at 150 S. Sixth Ave., Mansfield. Online orders must be placed three days in advance.  

Operation Turkey Fort Worth 

The volunteer-run organization will distribute meals to residents who request them. You can expect delivery between 10 a.m and 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. You can sign up for up to 25 plates. Each plate represents a meal for one individual, containing turkey, stuffing, vegetables, pie and a drink.

You can volunteer to prep and distribute the meals Nov. 20-23. Get details to volunteer here

Holy Family Catholic Church 

The Fort Worth church will distribute Thanksgiving baskets from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 18, at 6150 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth. 

Christian Community Assistance Fort Worth

Christian Community Assistance is distributing Thanksgiving bags throughout November from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays at 1903 W. Bowie St., Fort Worth. You can call 817-921-9622 to make an appointment. 

The Salvation Army of North Texas 

The Salvation Army will have several food pantries open in Tarrant County ahead of Thanksgiving: 

Mabee Social Services Center will be open from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 1855 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth.

Arlington Corps Community Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 712 W. Abram St., Arlington

Northside Corps Community Center will be open from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 3023 N.W. 24th St., Fort Worth

Free Meals before and on Thanksgiving Day

Hillside Community Center 

Hillside Community Center will host a free Thanksgiving meal from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 21, at 1201 E. Maddox Ave. You can sign up to participate in the meal here

Inspired to Live Church 

The Arlington church will host a free Thanksgiving meal at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 2475 Ascension Blvd.. For more information, go here.

Christian Center of Fort Worth

Christian Center of Fort Worth will serve a free Thanksgiving Day meal from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and distribute a free bag of groceries. You can attend the meal at 4301 N.E. 28th St., Haltom City. 

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report in collaboration with KERA. She is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri where she majored in Journalism and Political...