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Volunteers Serve Up Thanksgiving Dinner At Bowery Mission

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's a day to give thanks and look forward to the turkeys, pies and celebration of family and friends. But for tens of thousands, that meal will be at a soup kitchen.

The lines at the Bowery Mission on Manhattan's Lower East Side began hours before the doors even opened at 8 a.m.

There's everything from hot turkey to all of the trimmings and it's all made from scratch in a tiny kitchen.

"Nothing leaves this that isn't homemade. There isn't one drop of instant potato, we don't buy processed turkeys," volunteer Curt Hencye told CBS 2's Emily Smith.

While each serving costs less than $2, there will be about 15,000 meals served over the next four days. Typically, they'd serve about 3,000 over a four-day period.

One man said he's comes for a hot meal every year because he lives in a shelter.

The Bowery Mission always needs volunteers and it's not too late. All you have to do is give them a call.

Today, there are 800 volunteers, like Erin O'Brien who said her own turkey dinner can wait.

"To start your day off helping people who don't have as much as we do and then to go home and celebrate makes you appreciate it so much more," she said.

Especially since it means providing a meal first to the hungry, homeless or just plain lonely.

"It makes me feel like I am part of life and I thank God for Thanksgiving and another day," said one man.

Thanksgiving meals will be served from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Bowery Mission through Sunday.

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