Skip to Content

South Sound Holiday & Winter Assistance

South Sound Holiday & Winter Assistance

Sharing is caring!

Updated last: October 21, 2021. I’ll be updating this post frequently, so be sure to save it!

The holiday season is a magical time; the cheerful lights and decorations, the excitement of giving, the anticipation of getting together with loved ones for delicious holiday foods. Unfortunately, for a lot of folks the holidays are a very stressful time. From food insecurities, financial burdens and pressure of gift giving, or where to stay dry and warm.

The past 19+ months have been unforgettable and not in a good way. It’s been a difficult time; job losses, loosing loved ones, struggling to keep food on the table, school stress, childcare stress and so many more challenges.

Did you know that back in 2019 1 in 9 Washintonians struggled to put food on their tables? And hunger and food insecurities spike during the holidays!

This community we live in is so amazing and the willingness to help others even during a pandemic leaves me speechless! I’m proud to call the South Puget Sound my home!

Below you’ll find holiday and winter assistance for mainly Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties.

 

SOUTH SOUND HOLIDAY & WINTER ASSISTANCE


This has been such a difficult time and if you need a helping hand please check out the resources below. If you are local to me and need any help in anyway, please reach out to me!

 

THANKSGIVING MEALS

  • Anywhere
    Please reach out to your child’s school counselor for assistance if you haven’t already. 
  • Anywhere
    Please reach out to your local food bank to see if they have any holiday assistance programs. I’ll try adding any local info that I’m aware of, but I may miss some.
  • Anywhere
    Where:
    Local Buy Nothing Group & Helping Hands Washington FB Group, Others Helping Others in Pierce County Groups
    What: Reach out to your local group if anyone has extra foods for Thanksgiving dinner or maybe someone’s giving a meal away.
  • TBA! Pierce County
    Where:
    Tibbitsfernhill (Located in Tacoma)
    What: “All inclusive Free Thanksgiving “Meal” for Folks and Families trying to make ends meet. 
  • Pierce County
    Where: Eloise’s Cooking Pot (Located East Tacoma)
    What: Each year MADF gives away over 700 Thanksgiving meal boxes to those in need in Pierce County. These boxes are filled with all the traditional holiday trimmings needed for a family of four. 
  • University Place Residents
    Where: Families Unlimited Network 
    What: Contact F.U.N. for information. They serve families in the University Place area.
  • Tacoma
    Where: Tacoma Rescue Mission
    What: Please contact the Tacoma Rescue Mission for any information about a Thanksgiving meal.
  • Tacoma
    Where: Salvation Army Tacoma Corps
    What: For more information about what assistance is available and service locations, contact The Salvation Army in Tacoma at (253) 572-8452. This program is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration is not a guarantee of services.
  • Tacoma 
    Where: BASH(Bikers Against Statewide Hunger) Food Bank
    What: Please reach out to BASH for any information on a Thanksgiving meal box. November 19th is pick up day. Time info is coming soon. 
  • TBD! Tacoma
    Where: First Presbyterian Church
    What: They’re are providing gift cards to families to purchase their own Thanksgiving dinner. Contact: Sheila McEvilly at sheilamcevilly@outlook.com 
  • TBD! Tacoma
    Where: 9821 Ainsworth Ave So.
    What: Drive thru Thanksgiving Giveaway(turkeys, grab n go food bags and food boxes), masks required. 
  • More info coming soon! Puyallup 
    Where: Salvation Army Puyallup Corp
    What: REGISTER – Now accepting applications for Thanksgiving food boxes from the communities of Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Graham, Milton, Sumner and surrounds. Please call (253) 841-1491. Register for a Thanksgiving food box. Usually serves Puyallup, Milton, Graham, Sumner, Bonney Lake and surrounding. This program is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration is not a guarantee of services. 
  • Gig Harbor 
    Where: Greater Gig Harbor Foundation/Thanksgiving Basket Brigade, 7191 Wagner Way Suite 102, Gig Harbor, WA
    What: This year they’ll be providing $30 gift cards to a local grocery store so recipients can go and pick-up ingredients for their Thanksgiving meal (cards will be restricted to food goods only). For those that are unable to shop for themselves, they have some wonderful volunteers that have offered to shop and deliver. Please contact for more info and to sign up; basketbrigade@gigharborfoundation.org
  • TBD! Fife
    Where: New Horizon Church
    What: We are hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner for the greater community. Served family-style, the dinner is an uplifting event especially for those in need, but all are welcome to join us including children of all ages!
    When: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 6 PM – 8 PM
  • Auburn
    Where: 505 17th St SE, Auburn, WA
    What: The Auburn Food Bank partners with the Holy Family Church to give their clients a full holiday meal. Go here for more information.
  • TBD! Auburn 
    Where: Athens Pizza & Pasta
    959 East Main St.

    What: Free Thanksgiving Meal Packed Up To Go! 9th Annual free thanksgiving meal to the community.
    When: November 26 10am-2pm
  • Kitsap Area
    Where: Salvation Army Bremerton Corps
    What: For more information about the Thanksgiving Food Boxes, please contact connie.baker@usw.salvationarmy.org This program is on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Bremerton
    Where: Bremerton Food Line 1600 12th Street, Bremerton
    What: Serving those in the Bremerton School District. They provide holiday food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • TBD! South Kitsap Area
    Where: Bremerton, Port Orchard, Silverdale area
    What: Come enjoy a Thanksgiving Meal. Dinner will be served November 25 4:00-6:00PM call 360-373-3000 “Our goal is 250 meals throughout Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Silverdale.”
  • Thurston County (Olympia)
    Where: 220 Thurston Ave NE 98501 Thurston County Food Bank
    What: Holiday meal baskets. 
  • Thurston County 
    Where: Salvation Army Olympia Corps
    What: For more information about what assistance is available and service locations, please contact The Salvation Army in Olympia at (360) 352-8596. This program is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration is not a guarantee of services.

 

EMERGENCY WARMING CENTERS & SHELTERS

Emergency Warming Centers, the list can be found here. A warm place to be for all ages, please take a look at the list and find your nearest location. 

Shelters & Residential Sites:

  • Nativity House
    Location: 702 S 14th, Tacoma 98405
    Phone: (253) 502-2780
    Limitations: Daytime Shelter
    Bus Line: 1 with a 0.5 mile walk / 3 with a 0.3 mile walk
  • The Rescue Mission
    Location: 425 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma 98402
    Phone: (253) 383-4493
    Limitations: None listed
    Bus Line- 1 / 53 / 53A
  • Salvation Army Lodge
    Location: 1521 6th Ave, Tacoma 98405
    Phone: (253) 572-8452
    Limitations: None listed
    Bus Line: 1
  • Victory Outreach
    Location: 502 E Division Ln, Tacoma 98404
    Phone: (253) 200-0857
    Limitations: None listed
    Bus Line: 1 / 42 with a 0.2 mile walk
  • YWCA
    Location: 405 Broadway, Tacoma 98402
    Phone: (253) 272-4181
    Limitations: Serves victims of domestic violence
    Bus Line: 11

 

CHRISTMAS GIFT ASSISTANCE

  • Please reach out to your child’s school counselor for assistance if you haven’t already.
  • Please reach out to your local food bank to see if they have any holiday assistance programs. I’ll try adding any local info that I’m aware of, but I may miss some.
  • Local Buy Nothing Group & Helping Hands Washington FB Group
    Details: Reach out to your local groups if anyone has stuff they want to part with or give away.
  • Your Local Fire & Rescue Department
    Details: Most Fire & Rescue Departments host a gift assistant program, contact your local Fire Department for more information.
  • TBD! Operation Santa(USPS)
    Details: To participate in the USPS Operation Santa program as a possible recipient of holiday gifts, all you have to do is write a letter, put it in a stamped envelope with a return address, and send it to Santa’s official workshop address as seen on the example envelope below. Letters will be accepted Nov. 16 – Dec. 15.
    Santa Claus
    123 Elf Road
    North Pole, 88888
  • Toys For Tots
    (Pierce, Kitsap & Thurston)

    Details: Pierce County Toys For Tots will be happening this year, and the website will be updated in the next couple days. Here’s the link when it is live and I’ll try to update it as soon as possible.
    Details: Kitsap County Toys for Tots will be happening this year, please check the website for all the info. Pre-registration is required, beginning Oct 4-Dec 10.
    Details: Thurston County Toys for Tots, Contact the local Toys for Tots Coordinator via email or phone for additional information. CLICK HERE to check the Contact Page for information.
  • TBD! The Peace Bus
    (Tacoma, Parkland, University Place, Lakewood)

    Details: “The Peace Bus is proud to present: Santa’s Sleigh. For those families in Tacoma, Parkland, University Place and Lakewood who are struggling financially, have your child write a Santa Letter explaining what they’ve done this year to spread love, peace and joy! At the bottom of the letter have them ask for any gift, $50-under, that they’d like for Christmas!
    Kids have from NOVEMBER 1ST to DECEMBER 1ST to mail in their Santa letters!!”
    Santa letters can be mailed to:
    THE PEACE BUS
    PO BOX 862
    TACOMA, WA
    98401
  • Toy Rescue Mission
    (Pierce County)

    Details: Christmas Program looks a little different this year, please check out the page for more info. We serve birth to age 15, children that live in Pierce County only, and be able to show proof of low income. Multiple distribution dates.
  • Salvation Army’s Hope Marches On
    Tacoma 
    Details: Please fill out the Angel Tree Application for your child 0-16 years, for Christmas assistance with help with gifts. You will need to show proof of residency and custody of child. Sign up between Nov 1-30. Toy Distributions will be on Monday, December 20th. This program is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration is not a guarantee of services.
  • Eloise’s Cooking Pot Food Bank
    (Pierce County)

    Details:
    Coming soon…
  • TBD! BASH(Bikers Against Statewide Hunger)
    Details:
    TBD
  • Families Unlimited Network Community Christmas (University Place)
    Details: If you are a family with a Child in the University Place School District then you qualify. IF your children are too young to be in school please contact our office directly for eligibility verification. Please contact your school counselor to register your family. If you do not have a child old enough for school contact us directly at 253.460.3134
  • More information coming soon! Gig Harbor FISH Program
    Details: Holiday Toy Program for kids ages 0-17 in the following zip codes. Register online or in person go to
  • Children’s Home Society
    (Vaughn)

    Details: They offer holiday assistance for Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula residents. Please reach out to 253-884-5433 for more information.
  • Salvation Army’s Hope Marches On
    Puyallup Area
    Details: Please fill out the Angel Tree Application for your child 0-16 years, for Christmas assistance with help with gifts. You will need to show proof of residency and custody of child. Sign up begins October 4th. This program is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration is not a guarantee of services.
  • Puyallup St. Francis House
    Details: Please contact them for more info on their Christmas & Holiday Gift Giving program
  • Puyallup Food Bank
    Details: Sign-ups for the Christmas gift program usually begins 3 to 4 weeks before Christmas. The receptionist will be able to give you more information in the November/December time frame.
  • Auburn Food Bank
    Details: Provides Christmas toys to low income families living within the Auburn School District for ages birth-12. Sign up here.
  • Salvation Army’s Hope Marches On
    Kitsap Area

    Details: For more information about the Christmas Gifts and Food Boxes, please contact connie.baker@usw.salvationarmy.org This program is on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Salvation Army’s Hope Marches On
    Olympia

    Details: For more information about what assistance is available and service locations, please contact The Salvation Army in Olympia at (360) 352-8596.

 

CHRISTMAS DINNER

  • Anywhere
    Please reach out to your child’s school counselor for assistance if you haven’t already. 
  • Anywhere
    Please reach out to your local food bank to see if they have any holiday assistance programs. I’ll try adding any local info that I’m aware of, but I may miss some.
  • Anywhere
    Where: Local Buy Nothing Group & Helping Hands Washington FB Group, Others Helping Others in Pierce County Groups
    What: Reach out to your local group if anyone has extra foods for Thanksgiving dinner or maybe someone’s giving a meal away.
  • TBD! Tacoma
    Where: BASH(Bikers Against Statewide Hunger)
    What:
    TBD
  • Tacoma
    Where: Eloise’s Cooking Pot Food Bank
    What: More info coming soon…
  • Tacoma
    Where: Tacoma Rescue Mission
    What: Please contact the Tacoma Rescue Mission for any information about a Thanksgiving meal.
  • Tacoma & Puyallup Area
    Where: Salvation Army
    What:
    Please fill out the Angel Tree Application for Christmas assistance with food.  Sign up for Puyallup begins October 4. Tacoma begins November 1. This program is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration is not a guarantee of services.
  • University Place Area
    Where: Families Unlimited Network Community Christmas
    What: Christmas Meal Boxes Provided. If you are a family with a Child in the University Place School District then you qualify. IF your children are too young to be in school please contact our office directly for eligibility verification. Please contact your school counselor to register your family. If you do not have a child old enough for school contact us directly at 253.460.3134
  • Graham (Bethel School District families)
    Where: Harvest House in Graham
    What: They provide Christmas dinner boxes each year for designated families. These boxes are made to order for each individual family and their needs, coming fulling loaded with all the fixing for a full Christmas dinner. Contact Harvest House and/or your child’s school to see if you qualify.
  • Olympia Area
    Where: Salvation Army Olympia Corps
    What: For more information about what assistance is available and service locations, please contact The Salvation Army in Olympia at (360) 352-8596. This program is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration is not a guarantee of services.
  • Kitsap Area
    Where: Salvation Army Bremerton Corps
    What: For more information about the Christmas Food Boxes, please contact connie.baker@usw.salvationarmy.org This program is on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Bremerton
    Where: Bremerton Food Line 1600 12th Street, Bremerton
    What: Serving those in the Bremerton School District. They provide holiday food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Auburn
    Where: 505 17th St SE, Auburn, WA
    What: The Auburn Food Bank partners with the Holy Family Church to give their clients a full holiday meal. Go here for more information.

 


 

If you’re looking for ways to get free food near Tacoma year round, please check out my list that I’ve been trying to keep up to date. From the Food is Free Project to local farms that have available food for free. 

I will continue updating this post as I receive more information. So, please save this post and share it with your friends and family! And please email or comment here with any information you may know of. 

Wishing you all a wonderful one this year! 

If you’re looking to help others this season, this is a great way to start. Reach out to any of the above. 

Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest
Find more PNW posts.

Sharing is caring!