Citymeals Nourishes Those in Need on Christmas Day

Over 400 Volunteers Delivered Holiday Cheer and Nutritious Meals
to Homebound Elderly New Yorkers 

(December 25, 2018 – New York, NY) On Christmas morning, Citymeals on Wheels prepared nearly 22,000 festive holiday meals for frail aged New Yorkers across the five boroughs. The homebound elderly who Citymeals serves are alone on the holiday, and their meal deliverer is often the only person with whom they have contact. Staff and over 400 volunteers hand-delivered more than 18,000 meals. An additional 3,000 Christmas meals were served in senior centers to older New Yorkers who are able to leave home.  

“Forty percent of the people we serve rarely or never leave home. So, this delivery is more than a meal,” noted Associate Executive Director Rachel Sherrow. "We want our isolated older neighbors to know they are not forgotten – especially on a day traditionally spent with family and friends.”

This Christmas marks the 37th anniversary of Citymeals on Wheels. Days before Thanksgiving in 1981, New York Magazine restaurant critic Gael Greene read in a news article that homebound elderly New Yorkers were not receiving meal deliveries on weekends and holidays. Outraged that in a city of such plenty, thousands of seniors would go days without food, she began calling her friends in the food world, including renowned cookbook author and teacher James Beard. Together, they raised $35,000. Contacting the Department for the Aging, the city agency responsible for meal deliveries, she offered the money on one condition: 100% of the funding would go to meals. The agency turned those dollars into Christmas meals for 6,000 older New Yorkers. Citymeals on Wheels was born and has delivered 58 million meals since then.


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. This year, nearly 25,000 individuals lent their support to our mission.

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.