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Citymeals on Wheels Celebrates a Major Milestone Delivering Its 60 Millionth Meal
37-year-old organization continues mission of providing home-delivered meals and companionship to homebound elderly New Yorkers
June 25, 2019 (New York, NY) – Today, Citymeals on Wheels marked a major milestone in the organization’s 37-year history with the delivery of its 60 millionth meal. The charity, which was founded by culinary icons Gael Greene and James Beard in 1981, is dedicated to providing a continuous lifeline of home-delivered meals and vital companionship to the city’s homebound elderly.
To mark the significant moment, Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro delivered the ceremonial meal to 80-year-old Dorothy Driscoll, who has lived in the same apartment on the East Side for more than 40 years. After a long career as an emergency room nurse, Ms. Driscoll experienced an emergency of her own last fall. She collapsed at home and was found unconscious by her Citymeals deliverer, who alerted authorities and helped her get to the hospital. Ms. Driscoll is just one of the 18,414 older New Yorkers who rely on a nourishing meal and regular check-in from Citymeals on Wheels.
Today, one in five New Yorkers is over age 65. Older adults are driving the city’s population growth, and as they live longer than ever, the demand for home-delivered meals is also growing. The majority of Citymeals recipients are over 80 years old. More than half live alone and 40% never leave home. Many are socially isolated and have nobody to talk with other than their meal deliverer. Living behind closed doors and with limited access to food, they are the city’s hidden hungry.
“Citymeals ensures that older New Yorkers never have to go a day without a nourishing meal and friendly check-in, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to deliver our 60 millionth meal to Ms. Driscoll,” said Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals on Wheels. “This milestone holds great meaning not only for Citymeals and the City of New York, but for our frail aged neighbors who rely on us. They are the teachers, police officers, doctors and nurses, like Ms. Driscoll, who built this city. The simple act of delivering a nutritious meal and checking in is often all they need to age with dignity in their own homes and communities, where they want to be,” she added.
With nearly 25,000 dedicated volunteers and hundreds more staffers, Citymeals is able to deliver more than two million meals annually to over 18,000 meal recipients across all five boroughs. The nonprofit works with the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and community-based organizations to prepare and deliver weekend, holiday and emergency meals to homebound New Yorkers who, otherwise, would go hungry.
To learn more about Citymeals on Wheels or to get involved with the organization, visit citymeals.org. Follow Citymeals on social media at: @Citymeals on Twitter, @Citymeals on Instagram and on Facebook.
ABOUT CITYMEALS ON WHEELS
Citymeals on Wheels (citymeals.org) provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to New York City’s homebound elderly. Working in partnership with community-based organizations and senior centers, Citymeals prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals to more than 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors each year. Last year, nearly 25,000 individuals volunteered over 80,000 hours of their time to Citymeals’ mission.
Since its founding in 1981, Citymeals has relied on the generosity of its Board of Directors, the City of New York, sponsors and other designated gifts to cover administrative costs. This ensures that 100% of all public donations will be used entirely for the preparation and delivery of meals.