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Our Shining Stars
By Rachel Sherrow, Associate Executive Director & Chief Program Officer
October 25, 2019
No one shines brighter than our dedicated kitchen staff, meal deliverers, case managers and coordinators who work tirelessly across the five boroughs to ensure Citymeals fulfills our mission and delivers 2 million meals each year. I had the pleasure of honoring these amazing folks at our annual STAR Awards. Hear what makes a few of these individuals a STAR!
Meal Deliverer Randy Quesada
Randy is responsible for one of the largest meal delivery routes on the Lower East Side, serving 88 homebound elderly New Yorkers each day. He’s become more than just a meal deliverer to several of his isolated older neighbors, including a very special 88-year-old woman. Once she returned home from the hospital after hip surgery, Randy tried to ensure that she was as comfortable as possible. So she wouldn’t have to walk too far, Randy would place the meals, along with utensils, right on her kitchen table. “Randy has been more than supportive. I don’t think I would have been able to recover as fast without his help,” she says.
Case Manager Soyini Dixon
As a case manager, Soyini fights tirelessly for vulnerable older New Yorkers. She recently met the husband of a Citymeals recipient after he was recently discharged from a rehabilitation hospital. When she found out he wasn’t receiving any in-home help, and desperately needed it, Soyini helped him access and enroll in a number of services. Thanks to Soyini’s unyielding efforts, he now has home-delivered meals and other support seven days a week.
Kitchen Staff Leshawn Williams
Although he is technically an assistant cook, at any given time, you can find Leshawn cooking, receiving food orders, distributing cold packs, or checking refrigerator temperatures. When head cooks are on vacation or out sick, Leshawn steps in to manage the task of preparing meals for 1,300 of his frail aged neighbors – starting at 4:00am. And when a meal deliverer is out, Leshawn steps in to deliver the meals himself, after completing his early morning food preparation. He is, surely, a STAR!
Special Recognition: Julia Maley
For nearly two decades, Julia devoted her life to serving her homebound elderly neighbors. Julie went above and beyond to deliver meals in all weather conditions – and with a smile on her face. The Citymeals family mourns her passing, and is extremely grateful for her dedication to vulnerable older New Yorkers. Julie is a STAR continuing to shine bright.
A heartfelt thanks to all STAR Award winners and runners-up, who are on the front lines each day ensuring our frail aged neighbors never go a day without a nutritious meal and friendly check-in. We wouldn’t be able to serve 18,414 homebound elderly without their help.