Chefs Leah Cohen, Elizabeth Falkner and JJ Johnson Cook and Deliver Meals to Homebound Elderly New Yorkers

(November 12, 2016 – New York, NY) – Homebound elderly in Harlem received a surprise when notable Chefs Leah Cohen, JJ Johnson and Elizabeth Falkner showed up at their doors to deliver gourmet meals as part of the Chefs Deliver for Citymeals program.

A Citymeals on Wheels initiative, Chefs Deliver brings together a rotating cast of culinary stars who, once a month, lend their talents to Citymeals – cooking and often personally delivering the meals to the doors of New Yorkers who are too frail to shop and cook for themselves. Chefs Deliver was launched in January 2014 by Citymeals Board of Directors Co-President Chef Daniel Boulud and Citymeals Board Member Chef Charlie Palmer.

Chef Cohen, the Executive Chef of Pig & Khao, cooked up a menu of braised chicken adobo with jasmine rice and coconut creamed kale. While Chefs Johnson and Falkner joined forces to create a menu, as Chef Johnson prepared grilled chicken with kale salad and stewed black beans and Chef Falkner made ginger cookies. The three chefs then hand-delivered meals to frail aged Citymeals recipients in Harlem. Chef Johnson has a special connection to this neighborhood. His restaurant, The Cecil, has been open in Harlem since 2013. The remainder of the 200 meals was delivered to other Citymeals recipients in the area.

“We live in a city where anything you need is just a short walk away, but for the homebound elderly, it’s not that easy. Our frail aged neighbors are unable to shop or cook for themselves and they rely on the meals Citymeals delivers to sustain them,” noted Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals. “Our deepest thanks go to Chefs Cohen, Falkner and Johnson for cooking and delivering these special meals today.”

Citymeals on Wheels prepares and delivers weekend, holiday and emergency meals for over 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers. More than 60 percent of Citymeals recipients are over 80 years old; 23 percent are over 90; more than 200 have lived at least a century. All recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Nearly all need assistance walking. It is estimated that 66 percent use a cane, 39 percent use a walker and 16 percent use a wheelchair. Citymeals recipients are also isolated: 57 percent live alone; 40 percent rarely or never leave their homes; 8 percent have no one with whom they can talk. Many are also at risk for malnutrition.


About Citymeals on Wheels: Citymeals on Wheels ( provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to New York City’s homebound elderly. Working in partnership with community-based organizations and senior centers, Citymeals prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals for more than 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors each year. Last year, over 15,000 individuals volunteered nearly 72,000 hours of their time.

Since its founding in 1981, Citymeals has relied on the generosity of its Board of Directors, the City of New York, sponsors and other designated gifts to cover administrative costs. This ensures that 100% of all public donations will be used entirely for the preparation and delivery of meals.