As New Yorkers cautiously celebrated amid the rising tide of Omicron-related COVID-19 cases, Citymeals on Wheels distributed close to 20,000 meals to homebound New Yorkers on Christmas.
A team of 300 volunteers scattered across the five boroughs delivering food to seniors while also checking in on them and offering some holiday cheer.
Beth Shapiro, executive director of Citymeals on Wheels, said the Christmas mission embodies the organization’s spirit which began 40 years ago through the vision of New York magazine food critic Gael Greene, who founded the organization in 1981.
“For four decades, Citymeals has nourished body and soul for older New Yorkers in need. They built our city and need our help now more than ever,” said Citymeals on Wheels Executive Director Beth Shapiro. “This Christmas is special because, not only did we deliver 20,0000 festive holiday meals to our isolated older neighbors, we’re also marking this important milestone. We are so proud to honor the vision of Gael Greene, who founded Citymeals back in 1981 to ensure a lifeline of meals for the city’s most vulnerable population. Since then, we’ve become woven into the fabric of the city and continue our essential mission.”
Since the organization was created four decades ago, Citymeals has grown into the largest nonprofit meals-on-wheels in America, having delivered 65 million meals to hungry New Yorkers. They work in close partnership with local community-based organizations and senior centers to provide for New Yorkers. in need.
Citymeals on Wheels has played a particularly important role during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing more than 5 million meals to hungry residents since March 2020.
Citymeals has delivered 65 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals since its founding. Today, Citymeals is the largest nonprofit meals on wheels program in the country. The organization works in partnership with more than 30 community-based organizations and senior centers across the city.
“The pandemic, and its evolution, further exacerbates food insecurity and economic instability that resilient but marginalized communities have been battling for years. Community-based organizations remain key in addressing citywide needs, during this holiday season and beyond. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve those seeking support this winter, along with our committed partners at Citymeals on Wheels, and our dedicated staff and volunteers,” said Gregory J. Morris, president and executive director of the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.
Those who receive assistance from Citymeals on Wheels are 60 years of age and old, and suffer from chronic disabilities and illness. Most of them live on their own, and 40% of all recipients rarely or never leave their homes.
You can learn more about Citymeals on Wheels mission by visiting their website, citymeals.org.