Long Island Group Planning World’s Largest Vegan Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy of Community Solidarity

Photo courtesy of Community Solidarity

Thanksgiving is coming, and for far too many people (and animals) — it’s a tragic time. Whether it’s turkeys facing slaughter or humans without enough food to feed their families, the holiday can be anything but enjoyable.

But Jon Stepanian, founder of Long Island, New York’s Community Solidarity (CS), wants to make it a joyful occasion for all. He and his team are planning the world’s largest vegan Thanksgiving this weekend, and intend to serve between 3,500 and 6,000 people.

“On one side, millions of animals are killed for Thanksgiving and on the other side there are thousands of people in our community who go hungry,” Stepanian tells Latest Vegan News. “We wanted to create an event that would help those people while promoting cruelty-free healthy living.”

The group (which is the nation’s largest vegetarian hunger relief organization) is known for its amazing food shares, which they hold weekly in different cities across Long Island. The shares are, essentially, vegan markets, and people can come and pick up the supplies they need, as well as enjoy delicious prepared vegan foods.

Technically, the Thanksgiving bonanza stretches from the 21st through 30th, but the biggest part of the weeklong effort will be an all night cooking party on Nov. 21 that culminates in a Vegan Thanksgiving Food Share in Hempstead on Nov. 22. Everyone is invited, and volunteers are welcome.

Last year’s event was huge, but CS is hoping this year’s is even bigger.

“Last year we shared over 85,000 pounds of produce, groceries and clothing with over 5,500 people in the first two hours,” Stepanian explains. “The line was 19 blocks long! We also shared a few thousand plates of gourmet vegan hot meals and desserts.”

People are welcome to show up the day of to help, to to attend any of the group’s other weekly shares in Farmingville, Wyandanch, Bedstuy, or Huntington. While the Thanksgiving event is a special occasion — it’s not unique for CS. The group shares free groceries with thousands of people every single day.

“There are over 180k people on Long Island who have trouble putting food on the table and during the holiday season the stress to provide for one’s family can be even greater. The average person coming to this year’s Vegan Thanksgiving Bonanza will be getting over $120 of free groceries; enough to provide for their families with their own Thanksgiving feasts in addition to all of their weekly grocery needs.”

On average, a person who comes to one of the CS shares each week will get most of the produce and groceries they need, and in a year, an average family of four will save $4,160, Stepanian says.

“That money provides wiggle room to make up that extra mortgage payment, or an unexpected expense. Over 18 years, those savings add up to over $74,880 or enough to send two kids to college!”

Now that’s something to be thankful for. To learn more about Community Solidarity and get involved with their efforts, visit CommunitySolidarity.org.

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Hannah Sentenac
Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

A wizard of words, lover of all living things and vegan mac 'n cheese master, Hannah is the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of LatestVeganNews.com. Her writing has appeared in Live Happy magazine, the Miami New Times, OneGreenPlanet.com, MindBodyGreen.com, and numerous other publications and websites. She's obsessed with Cocowhip, Just Mayo and Dandies marshmallows, and is totally addicted to the outdoors. You can reach Hannah directly at hannah.sentenac@gmail.com.

10 Responses

  1. Allison Holmes says:

    Thank you many blessings your way

  2. May says:

    We would love to do for Queens, NY – how can we get involved?

  3. Dilip Barman says:

    Hurrah for you! For some years now, I was unaware of any larger Thanksgiving than ours – we serve almost 1000 people, including about 650 at one seating. This year, we sold the 600+ tickets in just a few minutes! Check us out at trianglevegsociety.org/thanksgiving . Best wishes. –Dilip

  4. Barbara Scotto says:

    This is amazing. I’m in Freeport, how can I volunteer?

  5. Kimberly says:

    I created a Vegan Thanksgiving Network to spread the word about vegan Thanksgivings everywhere — if you know of a vegan Thanksgiving/Thanksliving in your area, please post it here:


  6. miriam says:

    If I live in nj can I still receive the groceries if I come. If so what would be the best day to come the 21st or 22nd.

  7. Matilda says:

    How can I get involved? Are volunteers needed?

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