The Citymeals Blog

Food for Though
A mother and son in winter coats and hats delivering meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers.

To Make the Season Bright

When you imagine New York City during the holidays, what comes to mind? Maybe you picture elaborate window displays on Fifth Avenue or ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Or you anticipate gathering with loved ones for a cup of good cheer and a festive meal. For Citymeals recipients, however, this season can be an especially lonely time. Many of them have fond memories of celebrating with friends and family but are now homebound – often isolated.

I think about Caroline, a longtime resident of Bed-Stuy, who recently lost both her brother and her beloved husband of 43 years. She recalls childhood celebrations with her parents and seven siblings, making paper snowflakes to decorate the tree while her mother wrapped presents. Now she spends the holidays alone. What many of us experienced during the pandemic —spending holidays away from friends and family – is a reality for our meal recipients every year.

Citymeals was founded to bring nourishing meals and warm companionship to neighbors like Caroline, and we rely on caring New Yorkers make these holiday meal deliveries possible. Christmas is one of Citymeals’ biggest days of the year. We need hundreds of volunteers, across boroughs, to deliver meals on foot and by car.

The McClain family volunteering.
The McClain family has made holiday volunteering a family tradition. 

For many of our volunteers, like the McClains, delivering meals and checking in on their older neighbors has become a cherished holiday tradition. Nikkia was raised by her grandparents and feels a deep gratitude to older people. Ruby, whose parents were Citymeals recipients, feels called to serve other homebound elderly New Yorkers in their memory.

Citymeals volunteer Ruby adds gravy to a Thanksgiving meal.
Ruby volunteers in honor of her parents, who were Citymeals recipients. 

Consider signing up to volunteer with us on Christmas Day – just a few hours in the morning and you’ll be finished in time to relax and celebrate. Sign up today and feel good the whole year through. 

Food For Thought