On a day when most would prefer to be indoors, hundreds waited on a chilly line along The Bowery to do just that and get a holiday meal.

For many, Thanksgiving turkey and sides would be unattainable if not for the Bowery Mission, which has been helping the homeless and hungry since the 1870s. It's their 139th Thanksgiving Day celebration.  

"We are doing this every day. Three meals a day, seven days a week at three sites. But what's exciting about today is we get to have the New York community join us, to really show a heart to everyone that walks in," said David Jones, president and CEO of the Bowery Mission.

The Bowery Mission serves 9,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day alone, 18,000 during Thanksgiving week. Many are served in their historic chapel, where homeless individuals like Gregory found an escape from the cold, and a hot meal.  

"We are appreciative, and everything is very nice," said one person spending Thanksgiving Day at the Bowery Mission.

Five hundred volunteers help cook and serve all of these meals on Thanksgiving, among them NY1 Inside City Hall host Errol Louis, who has made it a tradition with his son Noah, his nephew and brother-in-law.



"We make the best life for them that we can, but there's another side to life in the city, but we want to make sure that they feel connected, and there's a sense of responsibility and obligation as well," Louis said.

In the kitchen, among those lending a hand with 780 turkeys, 7,200 pounds of potatos and 2,400 pounds of stuffing was Adam Richman, host of Secret Eats on the Cooking Channel, and also a native New Yorker. 

"This kitchen has the skills and the precision of all of the high-end dining you are going to find uptown," Richman said.

"This operation takes us at least a week to get ready," said Rafael DePalma, executive chef at the Bowery Mission. "We started cooking on Sunday and even as early as last week we started cutting turkeys to get ready for today."   

In addition to getting a warm, delicious holiday meal, everyone who comes to the Bowery Mission on Thanksgiving also gets a coat.