HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A who's who of New York City's elected and community leaders joined Rev. Al Sharpton for the National Action Network's annual Thanksgiving celebration in Harlem.
Many expressed their appreciation on the holiday to give thanks to be back at the table for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
"Just to have a good meal compared to what we get in the shelter, this is a blessing," Elizabeth Mackey said.
Thursday's celebration marked the first time since the pandemic that an in-person Thanksgiving meal was served at NAN's House of Justice.
In 2020 and 2021, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals were packaged to-go and distributed at the Harlem site.
After the pause on the indoor dining, many guests appreciated being in communion once again with others as volunteers brought food and joy.
The line was long as Mayor Eric Adams thanked the crowd while Sharpton discussed crime, saying the community needs to work with the NYPD to end the violence.
"People hurting people in our community, robbing people, they are a civil rights violation," Sharpton said.
"When we go to the homeless shelters today, we are saying to them, 'where you are is not who you are,'" Adams said.
NYC Council speaker Adrienne Adams and city Comptroller Brad Lander were also busy serving plates.
There was a warm feeling over food, family, friends and another year to give thanks.
"This is my first year being here at NAN and I'm just happy and thankful to God," Joan Anderson said.