Thousands of donated turkeys will feed city’s homeless and hurting

Members of the Bowery Mission prepare food, including having just received a shipment of turkeys from City Harvest. They are (l-r) Volunteers Jennifer Libert, Natalie Nash, Cherie Tjhan, and Carlie Baker with Chief Development Officer James Winans. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

There are thousands of people with very little money to buy food, let alone paying for a Thanksgiving meal or even buying a $20 turkey.

To help feed those who can’t afford to feed themselves, City Harvest— New York City’s largest food donation organization — began the deliveries of 22 truck loads of Thanksgiving meals for pantries around the city.

In one of those deliveries, City Harvest pushed carts of frozen turkeys and other foods to the Bowery Mission in Manhattan Thursday afternoon.

Workers cart boxes of food, including frozen turkey’s into the Bowery Mission in Manhattan. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Big delivery from City Harvest is loaded onto carts for the Bowery Mission. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

James Winans, chief development officer for the Bowery Mission, said they expect to feed 1,800 people on Thanksgiving and distribute food to facilities in all five boroughs. He said they may feed more than 8,000 people citywide. During the year, they feed people three times a day and provide half a million meals a per year.

“There are so many people who are homeless who never know when they are going to get a meal,” Winans said. “We not only want to provide them with a meal, but we also provide medical help, lodging and counseling.”

Referring to the September incident in which four homeless men were beaten to death in Chinatown — not far from the mission, he said, “this incident really renewed our resolve that this is a life and death mission.”

City Harvest is dedicated to feeding New York City’s hungry and for over 35 years has delivered food to help the nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity. This year, nearly 12,000 turkeys will be distributed by City Harvest’s fleet now through the week of Thanksgiving to food pantries, soup kitchens and other community partners across the five boroughs to ensure hungry New Yorkers have the opportunity to serve their families a traditional feast.

A homeless man with a shopping cart stands outside the Bowery Mission, seeking a hot meal. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
City Harvest will deliver thousands of Thanksgiving meals for the homeless and poor this holiday season. (Photo by Todd Maisel)