Turkey whole bird

Thanksgiving presents new challenges for families as they navigate safely hosting a holiday event during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What doesn’t change is the struggle many people will still have putting food on the table.

The Salvation Army, which traditionally offers a free Thanksgiving meal, isn't doing it this year. But there are still options for people to receive a free meal this Thanksgiving or get  help with a meal at their own home.

Meal kits

Loco for Local, a nonprofit created by Community Service Pastor Tina Chaput of My Church Sahuarita, is working to give free Thanksgiving meal kits to 200 families this year.

Their Turkey Dinner Dash Kit includes a turkey, five-pound bag of potatoes, box of  stuffing, two cans of green beans, mushroom soup, french fried onions, two cans of corn, cranberry sauce, two gravy packets and a pie.

Chaput said they can provide additional items for larger families. There are no requirements to receive a meal kit.

Those who would like a Thanksgiving meal kit can contact Chaput at 256-603-2988 or tina@locoforlocal.com. The latest she can take orders is Sunday night.

They will hand out the meal kits to those who have requested them at the Rancho Sahuarita Clubhouse on Monday from 3:30 to 4 p.m. 

Loco for Local is not faith-based and the meals are open to anyone in the community who needs one, she said.

Walmart program

Walmart has launched a free Thanksgiving meal program this year to help families.

Walmart has teamed up with Ibotta, a shopping savings app, to offer cash back rebates on classic Thanksgiving staples.

Download the Ibotta app or web browser extension, click on the “Free Thanksgiving Dinner” offer and purchase items on the list either in-person at Walmart or through their website. Once the items are purchased, scan the receipt in Ibotta to receive 100 percent cash back on the items.

The items included in the program are:

•Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom soup (10.5-ounce can)

•2-liter bottle of Coke

•All varieties of Butterball 3-pound turkey roast or $9.98 cash back on all Butterball whole turkeys

•McCormick turkey gravy seasoning packet (0.87-ounce package)

•French’s crispy onions (2.8-ounce package)

•Idahoan instant mashed potatoes (8-ounce package)

•Great Value stuffing (6-ounce package)

•Great Value cranberry sauce (14-ounce can)

•Great Value frozen green beans (12-ounce bag)

This offer is available while supplies last on the specified items. Cash back is available for one of each item. For more information, or to download the app, visit home.ibotta.com/thanksgiving.

Bags, Boards and Blessings 

Bags, Boards and Blessings, a local charity group, is hosting a free Thanksgiving lunch at Triple Play on Thanksgiving Day.

The lunch will include turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and stuffing, and is available to anyone. JM's Automotive and Triple Play will be doing the cooking.

Along with free lunch, Triple Play will have free golf, batting, arcades and free cornhole.

Triple Play will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Masks will be required and tables will be distanced. They will also have seating available outside.

Those who would like to support the meal can donate funds as an event sponsor. Checks can be made to Triple Play. Any surplus money will go towards Bags, Boards and Blessings’ Christmas Fund.

For more information, contact Triple Play at 520-625-7888.


Jamie Verwys | 520-547-9728 


Reporter Jamie Verwys grew up in Sahuarita and graduated from the high school in 2006. She lives in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2018.