Emergency Meals

When the unexpected arises, Citymeals is always ready to respond. If one thing is sure, Citymeals aims to be prepared. We don’t want anything to delay our regular meal deliveries — whether it’s a power outage, a winter blizzard or massive flooding. As the main emergency meal responder for the city’s aging population, it is our duty to ensure we are there for our most vulnerable neighbors during times of crisis.

When Councilwoman Margaret Chin learned that her frail aged neighbors in a Lower East Side building were living without gas to cook, she knew to call Citymeals. We quickly responded to this localized emergency, delivering 975 emergency meals to these vulnerable older New Yorkers in the first month.

When the community is IN need, Citymeals on Wheels is there to provide nourishing food to seniors — often with a bright smile and a warm hug.

Councilwoman Margaret Chin

Citymeals Hurricane Sandy Emergency
Packing and delivering Emergency Meals at our warehouse after Hurricane Sandy in 2012

Back in 2012, Hurricane Sandy unexpectedly brought devastation throughout New York City. Thousands of people were left stranded in their homes with no heat, electricity and often no running water. Luckily, we had already distributed 4,966 Emergency Food Packages in Brooklyn and 4,617 in Queens before the storm hit. In the weeks that followed, we delivered an additional 64,595 emergency meals to isolated older men and women.

With lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy, we increased our emergency planning efforts. Now, our warehouse is always equipped with at least 1,000 bags of nonperishables available for immediate distribution at any time. If emergencies like blizzards, heatwaves or hurricanes disrupt regular meal deliveries, Citymeals steps in and provides emergency bags – each containing two shelf-stable meals – and a sense of security.

In Fiscal Year 2018, we delivered 19,288 emergency meals.

Read press coverage of our response to Hurricane Sandy.