Shelters ready to provide holiday dinners to homeless and underprivileged on Thanksgiving

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, numerous organizations around Boston will be providing meals on Thanksgiving to the needy.

“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” said Barbara Trevisan, spokeswoman for the Pine Street Inn in the South End, which is providing 1,500 meals to tenants in their shelters and the homeless on the streets.

More than 1,600 pounds of turkey will be cut and 43 gallons of gravy poured on Thanksgiving Day, as Pine Street provides holiday meals for the 760 tenants in the agency’s 36 transitional housing locations across Boston and Brookline.


“Our outreach staff will also bring turkey and cranberry sandwiches to those on the streets,” Trevisan said.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

This Thanksgiving — as they do every night — Pine Street outreach workers will visit locations around the city to provide food and medical service to homeless men and women or to transport them to shelters.

Also in the South End, Rosie’s Place, a shelter for poor and homeless women, has been preparing not only a dinnertime feast, but breakfast and lunch for their guests as well.

“Every year we plan a full day of Thanksgiving celebration with our guests,” said Rosie’s Place spokeswoman Leemarie Mosca. “We have been preparing food for days.”

Rosie’s Place is expecting around 150 women, some with children, to attend their restaurant-style meal, complete with entertainment from a local family.


“They’re a wonderful family who chooses to spend Thanksgiving with us,” Mosca said. “They come in and spend their day with the women and help serve the meals and just bring some festive cheer.”

The women’s sanctuary takes pride in serving homemade dishes, nothing canned or processed, and in serving it tableside so it’s more like a dining experience, not a cafeteria line.

“We know the holidays can be the most challenging times for our guests. So we create a place of hope and opportunity, ” Mosca said. “Our plan is that they will spend the holiday with us and we can make it easier for them.”

In downtown Boston, 30 volunteers will be turning the St. Francis House dining room into a cozy restaurant as they serve 500 people throughout the day, said Elizabeth Lund, spokeswoman for the house.

The shelter has received many food donations, including about 500 pounds of turkey, from the Greater Boston Food Bank, US Foods, and the restaurant Wagamama, she said.


“We become the home for people who don’t have anywhere to go,” Lund said. “Anyone who is hungry we welcome them in.”

In addition, office staff for the Boston Bruins will be delivering pies from Mike’s Pastry to all three of these locations and numerous others shelters across Boston.

Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at