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November 30, 2015

This Thanksgiving homebound elderly New Yorkers feasted on turkey and all the trimmings thanks to an army of Citymeals staff and 582 generous volunteers who picked up the holiday meals from senior centers across the city and delivered them right to the doors of these isolated older New Yorkers.

Among the deliverers was actor and longtime Board Member Kathleen Turner who continued her decade-long Thanksgiving tradition of volunteering with Citymeals. Turner joined our Executive Director Beth Shapiro in the kitchen at Dos Caminos – a BR Guest restaurant – early on Thanksgiving morning where Executive Chef Ivy Stark and her staff cooked a delectable Thanksgiving meal for 400 frail aged New Yorkers. The menu included roasted turkey breast, turkey confit, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables, gravy and pumpkin pie.

After helping pack up the turkey day feast, Turner and Shapiro then hand-delivered meals to their elderly neighbors in the Flatiron District, including 76-year-old Mina and 82-year-old Donald – who lives in the same apartment building where Shapiro and her husband once did as a newly married couple. The remainder of the 400 meals was delivered to recipients living on the Lower East Side.

Beth Shapiro explained, “For most of us, Thanksgiving is a joyous time spent with family and friends. With the help of Dos Caminos and BR Guest Hospitality, Citymeals was able to bring the spirit of the season to many of our frail aged neighbors, reminding them that they have not been forgotten today. We are deeply grateful to Kathleen Turner and to all our volunteers and dedicated staff who made today a more memorable holiday for so many of our vulnerable neighbors.”

"Cooking brings me a special joy and to be able to share this bounty with Citymeals recipients makes Thanksgiving even more special," Chef Stark commented. “All of us at Dos Caminos and BR Guest Hospitality are deeply grateful to be a part of this wonderful day.”

These were just some of the 19,586 festive holiday meals we hand-delivered to homebound elderly New Yorkers along with a handmade card or warm note written by a Citymeals supporter. On Thanksgiving morning, our staff received a call from a 99-year-old meal recipient in Brooklyn because the friend who invited her to Thanksgiving dinner had to cancel. She had no food at home and didn’t know what to do. Within thirty minutes one of our volunteers hand-delivered her a festive Thanksgiving meal.

Citymeals also funded the preparation of nearly 2,480 holiday meals that were served to older New Yorkers in senior centers throughout the city.