Food Bank for New York City in desperate need of food donations

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Lucy Yang reports from Harlem. (WABC)

There is a call for more food donations in New York City just days before Thanksgiving, and a turkey giveaway Monday showed just how great the demand still is for food.

Carolyn Dubose lost her job in September. On Monday, she found herself in a food line for a free turkey. It was not easy on her pride.

"When you don't have enough to fulfill for your family, it's hard," she said.

Hundreds waited on West 116th Street for their Thanksgiving main course.

Celebrity chefs Mario Batali and David Chang from Momofuku handed out the birds with a smile.

"In the richest time, in the richest country of all time, it's perplexing why we can't take care of hunger," Batali said.

America might be the bread basket of the world, but the reality is that 1.4 million New Yorkers don't always have bread in their basket. And they don't always know where they will get their next meal.

"More and more working poor are finding their way onto lines for soup kitchens and pantries all over the city," said Margarette Purvis, of the Food Bank for New York City.

AShe says cutbacks in federal food stamps last fall had a heavy trickle-down effect in New York City, to the tune of 56 million meals families were not able to put on their tables.

The extra pressure on food pantries and soup kitchens was dramatic, with 60 percent of them reporting food shortages this year because of the extra demand.

As hunger pains growl louder, advocates are hoping for more generosity from those who can donate.

"It's just being a good neighbor," Chang said. "Helping people out on Thanksgiving day."

For more information and to donate, visit FoodBankNYC.org/

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