All Around the World, Disney Feeds Communities in Need this Thanksgiving

Donating Food From our Kitchens to our Communities

BURBANK, Calif., Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Around the world, Disney is committed to giving to those in need. During this special time of year when people gather with loved ones, Disney is volunteering at local food banks and donating food from its kitchens to surrounding communities, sharing Thanksgiving meals as one of the many ways it makes a difference throughout the year.

“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.”

Food is an important part of the Disney experience. In addition to working with local organizations to provide free culinary training programs and materials to students to increase access to careers in the food industry, the company regularly supports nonprofits like Second Harvest Food Bank. In 2023, Disney teams all around the world sought ways to give back to their communities, from donating food to packing Thanksgiving meals at local food banks to hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for Floridians in need cooked by Walt Disney World’s very own chefs.

Here are some of the ways Disney Experiences is giving this holiday season: 

Disneyland Resort

  • Nov 18: To celebrate Family Volunteer Day, Disneyland Resort is 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.
  • Nov. 20-22: Disney VoluntEARS from the resort will participate in projects to support the local community leading up to Thanksgiving with SoCal nonprofit We Give Thanks.
  • Nov. 23: On Thanksgiving, Disney VoluntEARS will also support We Give Thanks at the Honda Center to provide Thanksgiving meals to the community.

Walt Disney World Resort

  • Nov. 11-19: 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 from Nov. 11-19 for public voting.
  • Nov. 14-18: Disney VoluntEARS are working alongside organizations like Heart of Florida United Way to pack and distribute thousands of meal kits for families in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.
  • Nov. 23: The culinary team at Walt Disney World is once again cooking up 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 and hope from domestic abuse. Disney VoluntEARS will serve those meals to residents on Thanksgiving Day – a tradition 25 years in the making. Walt Disney World is 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

  • 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.
  • November-December: Disney Cruise Line crew members will VoluntEAR at Kitchens for Good in San Diego (11/29), Children’s Hunger Network in Brevard County, FL (12/8) and Galveston Food Bank in Texas (12/21).
  • November-December: Disney Vacation Club cast members collected and donated nearly 500 food items to the Deep Well Project to be distributed to families on Hilton Head Island.

Disneyland Paris

  • November-December: Every week, Disneyland Paris is donating food to local charities, a continuation of its year-long food donation program. 

Hong Kong Disneyland

  • Sept. 26: Nearly 300 Disney VoluntEARS from Hong Kong Disneyland Resort worked with Rise Against Hunger, packing more than 86,000 food packets and donating them to the local community during the holiday season.

Shanghai Disney Resort

  • October: Shanghai Disney Resort is donating non-perishable food starting in October as an effort to reduce food waste and leverage high quality surplus food to bring Disney magic to community members in need. 

From the food donated to the hours volunteered, giving is at the heart of what Disney does. Disney Experiences gives back to the community throughout the year through 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 so much more. For more information, visit

About Disney Experiences
Disney Experiences brings the magic of The Walt Disney Company’s powerful brands and franchises—including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, ESPN, 20th Century Fox and National Geographic—into the daily lives of families and fans around the world to create magical memories that last a lifetime.

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on July 17, 1955, he created a unique destination built around storytelling and immersive experiences, ushering in a new era of family entertainment. More than 65 years later, Disney has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of family travel and leisure experiences, with iconic businesses including six resort destinations with 12 theme parks and 52 resorts in the United States, Europe and Asia; a top-rated cruise line with five ships and plans for three more; a luxurious family beach resort in Hawai’i; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business; the world’s largest children’s publishing brands; one of the world’s largest licensors of games across all platforms; Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.

These experiences are created by Disney Imagineers, the creative force behind experiences found in Disney theme parks, resort hotels, cruise ships and consumer products—including books, games and merchandise.

SOURCE Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

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