Thanksgiving feast at L.A. Mission feeds 5,000 homeless

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An annual Thanksgiving feast hosted by the Los Angeles Mission served thousands of local homeless on Wednesday.

Endless slices of turkey and sweet potatoes, along with 80 gallons of gravy and 600 pumpkin pies, were all ready to serve at the annual Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration.

L.A. Mission Food Service Director David Thomas said he and his team worked for days to prepare meals for 5,000 people in need, much like he was a few years ago.

"It is so good to be clean and sober for the last 16 years and to be able to give back to somebody who's not able to feed themselves," said Thomas.

More than 500 staff and volunteers were also happy to make the holiday special for those less fortunate.

"I mean, it's rewarding," said Asha Culhane, a volunteer. "You know that you're out here improving someone's life, and you're making a difference - no better feeling, I don't think."

Celebrity chef Ray Garcia, who was voted Esquire Magazine's "Chef of the Year" for 2015, said he was happy to share his time and recipes to feed so many people.

Meanwhile, those in need said they were grateful for the warm Thanksgiving meal they otherwise would not have had.

"I feel like I'm thankful. I'm glad to be here," said one homeless man. "I don't have nowhere else to go."
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