January 26, 2015

Citymeals has prepared our homebound elderly neighbors for the blizzard hitting New York City today by providing thousands of meals and checking on their safety. Winter Storm Juno is expected to drop up to thirty inches of snow, posing a serious threat to the city’s most vulnerable population.

Starting Sunday morning, our warehouse staff went into immediate action. They worked well into the evening, delivering more than 3,000 boxes – each including three shelf-stable meals – in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Today the warehouse delivered an additional 5,000 three-meal packages in Queens and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn. In total, we provided our meal recipients with 24,000 shelf-stable meals.

Meanwhile, many of our meal centers worked overtime, cooking and delivering double or triple the number of meals they typically would on a Monday. Whether prepared or shelf-stable meals, all 31 of our centers ensured every single one of our isolated older neighbors would have enough food on hand to get them through the next few days.

In addition to delivering meals, Citymeals is advising New Yorkers to help check on the elderly using the following tips:

  • Make sure they have food essentials on hand, including milk, bread, soup and a source of protein
  • Make sure the heat is on
  • If they use any space heaters, make sure there are no potential fire hazards, such as blankets, curtains or upholstered furniture, in close proximity
  • Ask if there is sufficient hot water for bathing
  • Make certain they have blankets to keep warm at night

Health experts advise all seniors and their caregivers look out for any dangerous side effects of the cold: chills, drop in body temperature, breathing difficulties, dry or chapped skin, stiff joints and muscles, headache, numbness in the extremities, weakness and fatigue. Should an elderly person exhibit these symptoms, or if confusion sets in, experts advise calling “911” for help immediately. 

Executive Director Beth Shapiro spoke to ABC News about how to keep the elderly out of harm’s way this winter.