August 28, 2014
In 2011, Citymeals launched a pilot program designed to provide fresh produce to our meal recipients as a supplement to their daily deliveries. This summer, more than 800 of our frail aged in East Harlem, Flushing and Corona are receiving a healthy boost of fruit and vegetables from our Fresh Produce program.
As of October, we anticipate delivering over 6,700 pounds of “straight-from-the-farm” blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, peaches, and other delights to homebound elderly New Yorkers. Our neighbors living in these communities are most at risk for malnutrition because they live in areas with inadequate access to fruit and vegetables.
Purchased once a week by Citymeals from Greenmarket Co. and FarmersWeb, the produce is first delivered to our warehouse in Brooklyn. Then our staff packs the food for distribution to local meal centers in Manhattan and Queens via a refrigerated truck donated by Citymeals Board Member Lillian Vernon in support of the program.
Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro explains, “Summer is the season in which the healthy fruit and vegetables we find at grocery stores or roadside food stands are at their peak. Unfortunately, our isolated older neighbors are unable to leave their homes to shop. The Citymeals Fresh Produce program is bringing a taste of the summer – and good nutrition – into the homes of some of our most at-risk homebound elderly. With the public’s generous help, Citymeals will be able to expand this program in the summers to come.”