Holiday Cheer for Elderly New Yorkers

December 25, 2012

The efforts of Citymeals and our friends to make this holiday season brighter for elderly New Yorkers feel particularly poignant, given the challenges our city experienced this year. Hurricane Sandy left thousands homeless, without food, water, and power for days, even weeks. Many frail aged New Yorkers were more vulnerable than ever.

New York institutions--restaurants, chefs, retail stores and supporters--have been generous in giving time and resources to help our homebound elderly neighbors. On Thanksgiving Day, Citymeals partnered with eight restaurants throughout the city – six Dallas BBQ locations, Wildwood BBQ, and Tocqueville – to serve 280 meals. We had 300 volunteers deployed at a dozen meal centers, helping to deliver 17,264 Thanksgiving meals. and Chef David Burke also donated gourmet Thanksgiving meals to elderly New Yorkers.

Adding to the holiday cheer, Citymeals board member Dennis Riese continued his longstanding tradition and hosted a breakfast for hundreds of elderly New Yorkers at T.G.I. Friday’s. Meanwhile, to prepare for Hanukkah and Christmas, we delivered 14,694 Season’s Greetings boxes containing three shelf-stable meals and holiday cards designed by New York City school children. In the days leading up to Christmas, volunteers including several corporate groups, including Bloomberg, Bloomingdale’s, J Crew, Morgan Stanley, and GlaxoSmithKline, helped deliver meals and holiday boxes.

On December 20, Citymeals board member, renowned chef Daniel Boulud, along with six chefs from his New York City restaurants, cooked 300 meals for frail elderly on Manhattan’s Lower East Side who were affected by Sandy. Joining Chef Boulud to deliver the meals were Chefs William Cox (Bar Boulud), Aaron Chambers (Boulud Sud), Gavin Kaysen (Café Boulud), Eddy Leroux (DANIEL), Jean Baptiste Alexandre (DB Bistro), and Eli Collins (DBGB). Citymeals Board Member Robert Grimes and Beth Shapiro, Citymeals Executive Director, were on hand to help with the deliveries. To continue his tradition of giving throughout the year, Chef Boulud will be hosting his annual Sunday Supper on April 7, 2013 with all proceeds benefiting Citymeals. This year’s event will also honor the 20th anniversary of Chef Boulud’s restaurant, DANIEL.

On Christmas Day, 238 Citymeals volunteers helped serve and deliver nearly 7,500 meals. Beth Shapiro joined volunteers at Union Settlement in East Harlem, where nearly 400 meals were delivered to homebound elderly in the neighborhood.

Citymeals also partnered with several generous businesses during the holidays. Citarella, New York City gourmet grocer, collected donations for Citymeals at all five of their locations. New York event planner Bronson van Wyck launched a new line of provisions, including delicious cocktail mixes and dressings. Van Wyck generously donated all profits from holiday sales to Citymeals. Whimsical gift purveyor, Pylones, collected donations for Citymeals at all of its New York City stores. Longtime Citymeals friend, Maria Loi, hosted a special holiday lunch for 150 elderly New Yorkers at Loi Restaurant. The Loews Regency Hotel celebrated its last Power Breakfast before renovations with a donation to Citymeals. The January 9 inaugural breakfast at the temporary location, Park Avenue Winter, will also benefit Citymeals.

Thank you to everyone who thought of Citymeals and gave generously to ensure no New Yorker is left all alone without food because of old age or frail health during this season of joy or at any other time throughout the year. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013.


Recent Press Coverage about Citymeals’ Holiday Efforts: