More than 1,000 Guests Enjoy Free Christmas Meals

Contact: Trish Anderton, Director of Public Relations, Goddard Riverside | (m) 929-249-1449 

New York, NY (December 25, 2023)— More than a thousand plates of turkey, cranberry sauce, veggies and gravy were served as Goddard Riverside celebrated its first sit-down Christmas meal since the start of COVID.  

Hundreds of people ate at communal tables in the dining room. Other members of our programs whose mobility limitations kept them home enjoyed meals delivered by volunteers. Thanks to Goddard’s many donors and supporters, anyone can enjoy a meal for free. 

Some who came were homeless; others were new arrivals to the United States. Some have been coming for decades. All enjoyed a hot meal and a welcoming place to spend the holiday. 

Goddard Riverside has provided a free Christmas meal for some 30 years, and also welcomes the community for a hot dinner on Thanksgiving Day. More than 300 volunteers cooked, plated and served the meals. In the process they used: 

120 turkeys 
38 gallons of cranberry sauce 
44 gallons of cider 
50 pounds of onions 
580 pounds sweet potatoes 
765 cups of corn 
1,100 cups of stuffing 

More than 1.2 million New Yorkers struggle to feed themselves and their families, according to the anti-hunger organization City Harvest. “Food is fundamental,” said Goddard Riverside President Roderick L. Jones. “You can’t study, work or live to your full potential if you’re hungry. That’s why Goddard and our partners at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center are committed to helping people meet their food needs not just on Thanksgiving but every day.” 


Goddard Riverside strives toward a fair and just society where all people can make choices that lead to better lives for themselves and their families. Our programs serve more than 20,000 people annually, preparing children and youth for success; supporting self-sufficiency; enriching the lives of older adults; promoting behavioral health; fighting homelessness; and strengthening families and communities.