Manhattan —

At 8:30 a.m. on a recent Saturday in Harlem, a man stood near the Antioch Church of God in Christ’s painted red steps, shouting a new number every few minutes. “Fifty-one!”

A crowd outside the church talked among themselves quietly, filling the air with clouds of breath in the cool temperatures, continually listening with one ear for their number to be called. “Fifty-two!”

“The earlier you come, the better stuff you get,” Eugenio Prado explained. “You come later, you get leftovers. But you always get something.”