On Nov. 17, Citymeals on Wheels hosted its 35th Annual Power Lunch. The event raised almost 3.7 million dollars for homebound elderly New Yorkers, paying for over 450,000 meals. Citymeals on Wheels works to combat food insecurity in the field of the elderly. One in ten elders in New York faces food insecurity for a myriad of reasons. The lunch at The Plaza accommodated 300 dignitaries in the various fields of entertainment, arts, business, government and philanthropy.
The lunch gave special honors to long-term volunteers Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, as well as honoring their corporate partner Bloomberg.
“We are proud to honor our longtime corporate partner Bloomberg and volunteers Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, who have helped nourish their homebound elderly neighbors for years,” said Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro. “We thank Citymeals’ many generous friends who joined us today to support the lifeline of nourishing meals and companionship we provide for older New Yorkers in need.”
The organization was founded in 1981 by Gael Green, who passed on this past year. She was deeply involved in all programs until her death. Since the beginning, over 67 million meals have been delivered, making Citymeals on Wheels the largest nonprofit meals on wheels program in the USA. The lunch played a big portion in honoring her, playing on her past as a distinguished restaurant critic.
“While this is our first Power Lunch without Gael, her spirit was with us today as we celebrated this annual tradition she helped begin 35 years ago bringing together Citymeals’ generous supporters in the fight to end elder hunger,” Shapiro said.
A few notable attendees at this year’s Power Lunch include Bara Tisch, Carly Zakin, Dan Colen, Dasha Zhukova, Deborah Roberts, Derek Blasberg, Donna Hanover and many more powerful names. A surprise donor gave 2.5 million to the cause.
14% of elderly New Yorkers out of the 20,000 recipients rely only on the one meal delivered daily by Citymeals to live on. However, their partnerships with local senior centers and community-based organizations seek to close that gap, offering companionship rather than just the given meals. Last year, the organization delivered and prepared almost 2 million emergency, holiday and weekend meals for the elderly in need.
To volunteer, donate, request meals for a loved one, or get more information, visit citymeals.org.