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(Tuesday, April 13, 2020) - As the designated emergency responder for the city’s seniors, Citymeals on Wheels is working on the frontlines of the Covid-19 outbreak to ensure older New Yorkers have nutritious meals during this public health crisis.
Our home-delivered weekend meal program is an essential service and continues at this time. For over 18,000 homebound elderly, who are too frail to shop or cook for themselves, these deliveries provide critical nourishment and a regular wellness check-in. Since the state’s stay-at-home order was issued, Citymeals has delivered more than 120,000 freshly prepared meals to our recipients.
We are also serving an additional 10,000 older New Yorkers who live in senior housing, NORCs and NYCHA buildings. These are individuals who did not regularly receive home-delivered meals prior to the pandemic. Some would go to their local senior center for breakfast or lunch. For others with chronic illnesses, the risk of walking to their corner store is simply too great now.
To meet this unprecedented demand, Citymeals is delivering 450,000 shelf-stable emergency meals to seniors across all five boroughs. In addition to doubling our warehouse staff, nearly 3,000 volunteers have given more than 10,000 hours of their time to help pack and deliver meals. To date, we have provided 250,000 of these emergency meals to our frail aged neighbors.
Along with weekend and emergency meals, Citymeals also delivers holiday meals. While we had completed our regular Passover deliveries in March, Citymeals delivered nearly 36,000 additional Kosher for Passover meals over the last week to elderly New Yorkers who – if not for the Coronavirus – would have visited their local senior centers to celebrate.
Citymeals is also coordinating with restaurants, hotels, food businesses and other friends in the culinary community that want to donate their products or services to this vulnerable population.
We continue to take every precaution with staff and volunteers to ensure best hygiene practices, as established by the Centers for Disease Control, are followed, including social distancing. Our Friendly Visiting program, which connects volunteers with their isolated older neighbors, moved to telephone contact at the beginning of March to prevent possible transmission of the virus.
The public can donate to support Citymeals’ emergency response at citymeals.org/donate. 100% of all public contributions will go to the preparation and delivery of meals.
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