How Disney is helping communities around the world this Thanksgiving

Disney is helping communities worldwide by volunteering at local food banks, donating food from its kitchens, and sharing Thanksgiving meals.

Disney is helping communities in Hong Kong
Photos courtesy of Disney

Food is an essential part of the Disney experience, and Disney teams worldwide are giving back to their communities this Thanksgiving by donating food, packing meals at local food banks, and even hosting a Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Disney chefs.

“Giving is who we are as part of the Disney family,” said Chef Gregg Hannon, culinary director at Walt Disney World. “We believe that everything we do to make magic can also make a difference, which is what I see happening when we provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need in our Central Florida community. Gratitude is something that we all have in common on Thanksgiving. As a culinarian working at Disney for 26 years, I am extremely proud to work for a company and be part of a team that gives back in such an important way.”

Here are some of the ways Disney helping communities around the world this holiday season:

Disneyland Resort

On Nov. 18, 2023, Disneyland Resort celebrated Family Volunteer Day by bringing together more than 250 VoluntEARS and their families to participate in an annual food packing event to support families in need through OC Food Bank.

Disney is helping communities in California
Disneyland Executive Chef Adam Brown prepares food donations for Second Harvest Food Bank.

From Nov. 20-22, 2023, Disney VoluntEARS from the resort will participate in projects to support the local community leading up to Thanksgiving with SoCal nonprofit We Give Thanks.

On Nov. 23, 2023 (Thanksgiving Day), Disney VoluntEARS will also help We Give Thanks provide Thanksgiving meals to the community.

Walt Disney World Resort

From Nov. 11-19, 2023, Walt Disney World cast members and their families participated in CANstruction Orlando, where they created an 8-foot-tall recreation of Orange Bird out of 11,000 cans of food, which will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida The structure will be on display in Icon Park on I-Drive through today for public viewing.

Disney is helping communities in Florida
Walt Disney World VoluntEARS package food donations for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

From Nov. 14-18, 2023, Disney VoluntEARS worked alongside organizations like Heart of Florida United Way to pack and distribute thousands of meal kits for families in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.

On Nov. 23, 2023 (Thanksgiving Day), The culinary team at Walt Disney World will prepare 1,000 Thanksgiving meals for residents at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Harbor House of Central Florida, an organization that helps pull people to safety from domestic abuse. Disney VoluntEARS will serve those meals to residents on Thanksgiving Day – a 25-year tradition. Walt Disney World is also extending its Thanksgiving celebration this year with Coalition for the Homeless and inviting families from the Youth Center for a special preview screening of Disney’s “Wish” before it debuts to the world.

Disney Signature Experiences

Throughout November, Disney Cruise Line is investing in the Bahamas Feeding Network and their efforts to feed families in Nassau, Abaco, and Eleuthera this holiday season.

In November and December, Disney Cruise Line crew members will VoluntEAR at Kitchens for Good in San Diego, Calif. (Nov. 29, 2023), Children’s Hunger Network in Brevard County, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2023), and Galveston Food Bank in Texas (Dec. 21, 2023).

In addition, Disney Vacation Club cast members collected and donated nearly 500 food items to the Deep Well Project to distribute to Hilton Head Island families. 

International Disney Parks

  • Disneyland Paris – Every week in November and December, Disneyland Paris is donating food to local charities, continuing its year-long food donation program.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland – On Sept. 26, 2023, nearly 300 Disney VoluntEARS from Hong Kong Disneyland Resort worked with Rise Against Hunger, packing over 86,000 food packets for the local community during the holiday season.
  • Shanghai Disney Resort – Beginning in October, Shanghai Disney Resort has donated non-perishable food to reduce food waste and leverage high-quality surplus food to bring Disney magic to community members in need.
Disney VoluntEARS at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
Disney VoluntEARS at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort work with Rise Against Hunger to pack more that 86,000 food packets for the local community.

Disney gives back throughout the year with wish granting, character visits and donations to children’s hospitals, charitable giving, investing in youth and workforce development programs to support the next generation, conservation, sustainability, and much more.

Click here for more information about all the ways Disney is helping communities worldwide.


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