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Responding to Covid-19
By Beth Shapiro, Executive Director
March 31, 2020
Our city is now the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak, with more than 34,000 confirmed cases of the virus. While quarantines are keeping the city shuttered and New Yorkers at home, the city’s home-delivered meal program is an essential service. Home-delivered meals continue for our 18,414 homebound elderly meal recipients and we're serving an 22,000 additional elderly New Yorkers, who normally get lunch at local senior centers, now closed. Simply put, we are on the frontlines of this pandemic.
As the designated emergency responder for the city's seniors, Citymeals has experience responding in crisis and distributing meals at a moment's notice. But the challenge posed by Covid-19 is unprecedented. In order to keep our vulnerable elderly neighbors safe and healthy, Citymeals has delivered 200,000 shelf-stable emergency meals across the city so far and we're preparing 250,000 more as we speak. To put that into perspective, in just a matter of weeks, we are preparing the same number of emergency meals we normally provide in an entire year.
To meet this increased demand for food among seniors, we've doubled our warehouse team in the Bronx and we're working around the clock to pack and deliver meals. Over 400 volunteers have rallied to support Citymeals and their frail aged neighbors. And we've received tremendous support from the culinary community – food purveyors, chefs and the restaurant community, who have donated food, used their kitchens to prepare meals for seniors, donated trucks and staff to deliver meals, donated funds and leveraged their networks to support the frail aged New Yorkers who rely on us.
It's unclear how long this crisis will last, but we're committed to providing a lifeline of nourishing meals for the most vulnerable New Yorkers. You can support us by making a donation – as always 100% will go toward meals for the city's seniors. You can also sign up to volunteer, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. If we are going to prepare 250,000 more emergency meals, Citymeals is going to need everyone's help.