Message from the Executive Director

Spring 2015

Now that spring is finally here, New York City is abuzz with a renewed energy. This winter was especially difficult for all New Yorkers, but Citymeals was there to ensure our meal recipients were safe and nourished throughout the season. In addition to our regular deliveries, we provided an astounding 95,680 shelf-stable meals in response to the brutal weather.

In early March, Board Member Samantha Boardman, Editor-at-Large of Harper's Bazaar Derek Blasberg, art dealer Sarah Hoover and stylist Kate Young joined me at our Brooklyn warehouse to pack Passover boxes. You can watch a video from that day here. Each package we filled contained Kosher foods like beef brisket, matzo and macaroons. In total, Citymeals delivered over 4,200 boxes well in advance of the holiday so our frail aged would be prepared to observe Passover. Now, our warehouse team is gearing up to assemble shelf-stable food packages for Memorial Day.

Less than a week after I visited the warehouse, Chef Daniel Boulud, our board co-president, hosted 150 philanthropic guests at his 18th Annual Sunday Supper at Restaurant DANIEL. The event, themed Black Truffles and Blue Jeans, raised $720,000 Citymeals – enough to fund the preparation and delivery of nearly 112,150 nutritious meals.

This year Chef Boulud commemorated another milestone – the first anniversary of Chefs Deliver – with Harlem EatUp! Co-Founders Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz. Together, Chefs Boulud and Samuelsson collaborated on a menu and delivered their meals to homebound elderly living in Harlem. Harlem EatUp! is a new festival celebrating the food, culture and spirit of the neighborhood. Citymeals is one of the two charity beneficiaries of all festival events taking place from May 14-17th.

Now that Mother’s Day is right around the corner, we’re making sure isolated older New Yorkers are not forgotten. The majority of our meal recipients are women and, sadly, most of them live alone. These women deserve to be remembered for their valuable contributions to our great city. Please take a moment to write a kind note, and we’ll hand-deliver it along with her meal. Your thoughtful words will mean so much.

As the summer nears, we are looking forward to Cheftopia: The 30th Annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels. In 1985, renowned chefs Larry Forgione and Jonathan Waxman were spearheading plans for a benefit evening that would mark the eighty-second birthday of Citymeals Co-Founder James Beard and feature chefs from across the country. Sadly, he passed away just months before the event. Instead of canceling, Co-Founder Gael Greene and the participating chefs decided to honor Beard at the party.

Since then, we have honored James Beard — and the food world’s commitment to Citymeals — at our Chefs’ Tribute event each year. On Monday, June 8th, an extraordinary array of celebrated chefs will gather under the stars at Rockefeller Center for Cheftopia. At this landmark anniversary, the chefs will honor the past while looking to the future as they create dishes inspired by tomorrow’s food trends.

So far this year we’ve met many fascinating older New Yorkers, including Clarice and Agustin. They are centenarians – people who are age 100 or older. By the end of the year, Citymeals will nourish a total of 306 centenarians. If you would like to make a gift on behalf of our meal recipients who have lived a century or longer, you can do so here.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

With warm wishes,

Beth Shapiro
Executive Director