The Citymeals Blog

Food for Though
meal delivery

Four Million Meals

This week, Citymeals marked the delivery of our four millionth meal since the start of the pandemic, commemorating our landmark response to Covid-19.

The milestone meal was delivered by Andrew Smith, one of nearly 500 staff working in kitchens and delivering meals across the city, who became essential workers and cared for the homebound elderly throughout the crisis. The recipient of this special meal was 83-year-old Irene, who lives alone in the same Sunset Park home where she was born. For 18 months, she stayed behind closed doors as the virus shuttered the city. “Sometimes Andrew was the only face I’d see in a day,” she says. 

meal truck
Andrew Smith has been delivering meals and checking in on the homebound elderly in Brooklyn for 20 years. 

Of the four million meals Citymeals delivered during the pandemic, one million of those were emergency meals for vulnerable seniors facing food insecurity, many living in senior and public housing

I've always said our meal recipients are "the hidden hungry," because they live behind closed doors, usually far from view. But the pandemic has shown us just how vulnerable elderly New Yorkers are. Now, we can all understand how difficult their isolation is. And as we get back to our normal lives, we simply cannot overlook them and their needs.

Today, for nearly 20,000 homebound elderly, who are too frail to shop or cook for themselves, our meal deliveries remain a critical source of nutritious food. We're serving 10% more meal recipients since the start of the pandemic. And even with the state of emergency officially over, Citymeals continues to provide over 5,000 emergency meals a week to older New Yorkers at risk of hunger.

We're happy to see the city reopening. The doors of senior centers are open again and more older New Yorkers are getting vaccinated every day. I’m glad to know that, when weather permits, Irene can venture out to her stoop for a chat with neighbors. And each day, Andrew continues to deliver that meal – an essential check-in that allows her to continue living safely in her own home, where she wants to be.

Food For Thought