Free Christmas Gifts in Reading, PA
Salvation Army offers a program called Angel Tree. This program is offered in Salvation Army offices across the country, including the one in the Reading area. This program entails children from low-income families writing a wish list and then submitting this list to the local Salvation Army. A family that is looking to help out can pick a child and then buy them their gifts from the wish list. There are no income restrictions for this program, but it is designed for children from families that could not otherwise afford to get them gifts.
Toys for Tots is another well-known nationwide program that provides free Christmas gifts for children from low-income families. This program is run by the Marine Corps, but it is a separate charitable organization. Families that can afford to can provide donations of money or gifts to the Toys for Tots programs. Many Salvation Army locations will also participate in this program and help distribute the gifts.
Catholic Charities is a third nationwide charitable organization that has a holiday gift service for children from low-income families. While this organization is sponsored by Catholic churches, you do not need to be Catholic to benefit from their offerings. There is a local Catholic Charities office in Berks County, and they serve the entire area. They will distribute gifts according to the donations and items they receive during this holiday season. Supplies may be limited, so you may want to put your name on the list early if you are planning to get gifts for children through the service.
Free Holiday Meals in Reading, PA
Greater Berks Food Bank is a food bank that has a holiday meal service. They will serve hot holiday meals to people during Thanksgiving and Christmas periods. The service is in addition to their normal food bank, where families can get non-perishable items year-round, including during the holiday season.
The Salvation Army offers a holiday meal service as part of their wide variety of offerings. They will deliver special holiday food baskets to low-income families in the Berks County and greater Reading area during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Families that are looking to get their holiday meal through this service should sign up early because the supply is limited.
Food Banks in Reading, PA
The Salvation Army also offers a food bank. The Salvation Army Food Bank is the biggest and most popular in the Reading area. It is fairly well-stocked, but supplies do fluctuate based on the levels of giving. You should not count on a Salvation Army Food Bank without having a plan B if you need to utilize a food bank during the holiday. However, making this food bank you’re first stop might be a good idea because they usually have the most food to give out.
Catholic Charities also offers a food bank in the greater Reading area. Their food bank operates year-round and is intended for low-income families. It does not just have food, it also has common household items such as soap and detergent. As with all food banks, the availability of items can be inconsistent and there is a greater demand for items during the holiday season. However, the Catholic Charities is a fairly popular organization and their food bank is usually quite well stocked.
Boyertown Area Multi-Services offers a food bank for low-income families in Berks County, including Reading residents. As the name suggests, Boyertown Area Multi-Services also has some other services, such as energy bill assistance and a Meals on Wheels program for people who have trouble traveling to a food bank. They do have income restrictions for their services, and they will ask for proof of income before providing these services.
Greater Berks Food Bank, as previously mentioned, is a large food bank in the Reading area that also provides holiday meals. The way that greater Berks Food Bank works is fairly unique. They distribute all the food they received to local churches, nonprofits, and charities. These include some of the other organizations mentioned in this article. The charity can offer people from low-income families referrals to food banks, soup kitchens, and even organizations that offer hot and ready-to-eat Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.
Grace Hope and Mission is a charity and food pantry in the Reading area. Grace Hope mission is one of the food banks that offers items besides food to people from low-income families. They specialize in offering meals for the elderly, and other services for elderly residents of Reading. However, they do help out younger people as well. They have items such as baby formula and diapers in addition to food in the pantry. It may be a good idea to call them first and check to see what they have.
St. Ignatius Loyala Church, technically located in Sinking Spring, is another food bank that is located in the Reading area. Sinking Spring is very close to Reading, so Reading residents do not need to worry about traveling a long way to get to Saint Ignatius Loyola. They have a relatively small emergency food bank that is intended for people who are in severe crises. The volunteers that work the food bank can provide groceries, toiletries, and household items, and referrals to other charities that can provide some services that St. Ignatius Loyola does not.