The Busiest Time of the Year
The Bowery Mission's 141st Thanksgiving on November 26, 2020 came at one of the most challenging times in our city's history. Our celebration looked quite different, but we still served delicious holiday meals to as many people as possible. At our Bowery Campus, to-go meals were safely served outdoors between 12-4 p.m. and guests had the choice to enjoy their hot meal onsite in ventilated outdoor dining tents. On Thanksgiving Day alone, The Bowery Mission served over 1,500 meals across multiple campuses in Manhattan.
The needs have been great — even more so because of COVID-19. Alongside social distancing, sanitizing and PPE, there was nourishing food, caring community, unconditional love and hope shared with each person who came to our Red Doors. We know that a special holiday meal served at the Mission can be the first step toward a new life out of homelessness, addiction or whatever need our neighbors face.
PHOTOS Gabe DeSanti and Michelle Palafox
"If you don’t have family or no one wants to open up the doors to you, The Bowery Mission will always be there to be your family....You can sit and eat and be around other people, and the staff don’t put on airs. It’s just a very good environment. And that’s so important now. It makes you look forward to so much."
— Duane, graduate of The Bowery Mission
The Impact of Your Support
Thanks to dedicated supporters, donors and volunteers, The Bowery Mission quickly adapted how we serve our community due to COVID-19. And, with such generosity, we were able to do the same for Thanksgiving. This care was more important than ever, as an estimated 1 in 7 New Yorkers have lost their job and more than 50,000 people are at risk of eviction during the pandemic. We are grateful for compassionate supporters like you who are showing our neighbors in need that they are not alone and that someone cares.
During the months of October and November, we served an estimated 65,000 meals at multiple campuses throughout Manhattan. This culminated with 1,500 meals served across all campuses on Thanksgiving Day alone.
On Thanksgiving, from our kitchens and with generous support from our partners, we prepared, served and distributed food including 450 turkeys, 2,000 pounds of potatoes, 500 pounds of vegetables, 300 pies and 50 pounds of coffee!
After the special celebration at the Bowery Campus, we hosted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for overnight emergency shelter guests at the Tribeca Campus.
Our Residential Program clients at our Upper East Side, Harlem and East Harlem Campuses also prepared and enjoyed Thanksgiving meals in community.
How We Prepared for a Pandemic Thanksgiving
"Our goal, especially this year, is to make sure that, even though things may look different than the past, our guests know that we've prepared everything with love. We want them to feel special. We still have the same mission and that is to make people feel loved, to make them feel special, and to make them feel like we are serving a king or queen."
— Susan, chef at The Bowery Mission
Ways to Support The Bowery Mission throughout the Year
Donate towards meals, radical hospitality and other critical care all year-round. A meal is just $1.59 each. Think about how many people you can help with your special gift today.
Create a fundraising campaign that will supply thousands of meals and other care for neighbors in need. Our online fundraising platform is a great tool for mobilizing your personal and professional networks to care for people experiencing homelessness and hunger in New York City. You can also find additional ideas for corporate and community fundraisers.
Host a giving drive to help our community. Learn about current needs and more at bowery.org/donategoods.
Join us in our work to empower others! Prepare or serve meals, tutor and mentor clients or participate in skill-based opportunities.
As Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year for The Bowery Mission, we are so grateful to all of our supporters and leaders in the community who make this care possible.