NEW YORK (CBS 2) — On a day when most will be enjoying a family feast, others would go hungry if not for soup kitchens.

Those locations are likely to be very busy Thursday, serving many who never expected to need a helping hand, reports CBS 2’s Jay Dow.

Even when Peter Donahue was working he was straddling the line between survival and raw poverty.

“Unfortunately, I was living paycheck to paycheck,” Donahue said.

Three months ago, Donahue lost his job and then his home. To his surprise, the computer consultant is now celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Chelsea.

“I always thought I would find a job fast enough or soon enough to recover financially,” Donahue said.

Donahue isn’t alone.

Half of New York City’s soup kitchens are turning people away this year.

“This may be the toughest year we’ve ever had,” Rev. Glenn Chalmars, Executive Director of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, said. “We are seeing different faces that we haven’t seen before.”

“The ones that had jobs, now, they have to bring their children to the soup kitchen,” Lucy Evashevski, a volunteer, said. “It’s very devastating.”

“It’s a very humbling experience to have to go to a soup kitchen,” Donahue said.

For Donahue – his time at Holy Apostles has also been an exercise in humility. But he hasn’t lost hope and is starting a new job on Monday.

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