There are several agencies in the Lancaster Pennsylvania region that help with Christmas and holiday assistance programs. The following are the main programs, resources, and agencies to call for information or help.
The Water Street Mission can help make Thanksgiving more enjoyable by providing food and other resources. They take applications for food boxes, perishable items and meals for Thanksgiving. Some of the things you might need to show to be eligible for food assistance include a photo ID, a current bill with your address on it, and IDs for everyone in your household. You may have to do more than just sign up to get help. In addition to reviewing and screening all applications, Thanksgiving assistance will be based onneed and availability. This Lancaster non-profit provides information about services for people with disabilities. The dates to sign up will typically be in October.
If you need help finding resources in Pennsylvania, you can call 2-1-1 East. The organization will create a list of places that offer free Christmas and Thanksgiving meals. The listing for Lancaster families will be available in early November and December. Other resources may provide information on gifts and free winter coats for children. Most of the referenced aid will be free. Call 717.291.5462 for updated holiday information.
The organization will also provide several holiday meals around Thanksgiving and Christmas for people who may not have access to a traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Water Street Mission will be serving most of its meals to the needy at its dining hall on 210 South Prince Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This means that you don’t need a meal ticket to join in.
Ephrata Area Social Services provides information and resources to help low-income residents in the Cocalico and Ephrata School Districts. Residents of these areas who have children may sign up for free or low cost holiday and Christmas assistance. The Ephrata Area Social Services is a non-profit organization that helps people in need. They have a social worker who helps administer the programs. To learn more, please call 717.733.0345.
The Salvation Army in Lancaster can help people who are low income, working poor, seniors, and others to get help with things for the holidays. If a family in the area is in need of assistance during Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas, they can either call or go to the Salvation Army center at 131 South Queen Street in Lancaster. There they can find out what they need to do to sign up and what the requirements are. The program and deadlines will usually be set for early November. This is a phone number. The Salvation Army provides Christmas assistance to those in need through programs such as the Angel Tree, free gifts, coats for kids, and hot meals.
The Salvation Army also helps run the Toys for Tots program along with the US military. It has free gifts and toys for children.
Rockvale Outlets is running a campaign called “Share the Blessing” where people can nominate families or individuals who need extra care, cheer, and attention during the holiday season. Nominations need to be submitted and reviewed, and recipients will get extra care and attention.
The Lancaster County Project for the Needy is a program that helps people in need during the Christmas season. The agency will give out food boxes with things like turkeys, groceries, and other perishable items for a complete holiday dinner a week or so before Christmas. In general, you don’t need to sign up in advance, but it’s important to know that there aren’t a lot of resources available. The distribution of free meals and food is based on the principle of “first come, first served” to those in need. If you want to get a box, you should show up early. They usually start giving them out at 8am. The items have been distributed from Clipper Magazine Stadium or 650 North Prince Street in Lancaster Pennsylvania in the past.