The Citymeals Blog

Food for Though
Annual Report Cover

What You Made Possible

Last year underscored what we've said from the start: Citymeals is so much more than a meal.

Through the challenges of Covid-19, Citymeals has been responding to the pandemic, a crisis with no end in sight. Elderly New Yorkers are facing a growing hunger crisis and increased social isolation in this difficult time. But with the help of our dedicated family — staff, deliverers, volunteers and partners — our meal recipients have had a lifeline through it all.

In our Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report, you can go to the frontlines of our work, hearing from Linda, one of our tireless deliverers, who has been an essential worker since last spring. “A lot of these people don’t have family and they’re alone,” says Linda. “So their Citymeals deliverer may be the only conversation they have that day.” While Linda delights in conversation, she misses the hugs from those on her route. “They’re definitely scared for their lives, but they want to protect me as much as I want to protect them,” Linda explains.

Linda delivering meals

During the biggest public health crisis of our lifetimes, friends like you helped us deliver nearly 2.7 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals. Behind every meal delivered is the story of an older New Yorker – in their 80s, 90s or over 100 – able to remain in their own home, where they want to be. 

Meal recipient Arthur

The stories are about people like 87-year-old Arthur. He can hardly recall a time when music wasn't part of his life. After years of touring with the Belafonte Folk Singers, Arthur decided to settle into a Hell's Kitchen apartment, the same one he's called home for nearly 45 years. Neuropathy in his feet and legs now make even a short walk difficult and he relies on a cane to get around. Since Arthur began getting meals, the regular knock on his door from his deliverer — particularly during the pandemic — has been a bright spot in his days. 

In the last fiscal year, 19,865 volunteers brought their tireless spirit and caring check in’s to our meal recipients, lonely and afraid behind their apartment doors. Longtime volunteer Betsy knows that for the homebound elderly, social interaction is just as essential as a nourishing meal for the homebound elderly she delivers to. “Company and food are equally important to survival.”

Volunteer Betsy

Let me say again — thank you. By ensuring our vital mission can be fulfilled no matter the obstacles, you embody the Citymeals principle of neighbors looking out for neighbors. In a year like no other, that mattered more than ever.


Food For Thought