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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Helping the hungry this Thanksgiving

Where do I donate food?

If you have some extra cans in your pantry, you can donate them to local Gainesville charities before heading home for Thanksgiving.

St. Francis House

413 S. Main Street

To celebrate Thanksgiving, St. Francis House will hold a feast from 10 a.m. until noon on Thursday. The downtown homeless shelter is accepting both nonperishable and refrigerated food items, including turkeys. Students can also bring clothes, towels and toiletries, or donate money online at

UF Field and Fork Food Pantry

564 Newell Drive

Located on campus next to McCarty Hall, the Field and Fork Food Pantry is open to any hungry UF student or faculty member. Students can bring nonperishable items to the pantry, which is open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays, according to its website. Toiletries, like shampoo and toothpaste, can also be donated. For more information or to donate money to the pantry, visit

What are good items to donate?

While you can donate canned corn, Thanksgiving-themed items are appreciated at local food banks. These items include:

Boxed mashed potatoes

Canned cranberry sauce

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Gravy packets

For green bean casserole: Canned green beans, canned mushroom soup, crispy onions

For cooking: Olive and canola oils, cooking spray

For candied yams: Canned yams and mini marshmallows

For pumpkin pie: Canned pumpkin pie mix, evaporated milk, pre-cooked pie crusts

What do I do if I can’t go home over the break?

If you can’t go home this Thanksgiving, you can get a free Southern-style meal Wednesday at the Salvation Army, 639 E. University Ave. Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q selected the Salvation Army as a recipient of its "Random Acts of BBQ," where the restaurant will donate meals to anyone in the community at 1 p.m. Call 352-240-6631 or visit the "Salvation Army — Gainesville Florida" Facebook page for more information.

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