Citymeals Urges New Yorkers to Check on Older Neighbors as the City Prepares for Extreme Winter Weather

(March 13, 2017 – New York, NY) – The blizzard expected to hit New York City tonight may threaten the safety and health of our most vulnerable neighbors – the homebound elderly – according to Citymeals on Wheels, which provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to frail aged New Yorkers. Citymeals works in partnership with community-based organizations and senior centers to prepare and deliver weekend, holiday and emergency meals. 

Today, in advance of the storm, staff and volunteers delivered extra meals to ensure frail aged New Yorkers have food on hand. All 18,000 recipients received a second meal with today’s lunch. Emergency boxes containing 4,230 shelf-stable meals have been delivered as well. In addition, the Citymeals warehouse in Brooklyn delivered two Emergency Food Packages to all recipients earlier this winter in case severe winter weather or other emergencies delayed regular delivery routes. The warehouse is packing an additional 1,000 emergency boxes if needed. 

Citymeals is also asking New Yorkers to check in on their elderly neighbors, many of whom are not mobile or healthy enough to take the proper precautions for severe winter weather.  

Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals on Wheels, advises:

  • Check to make sure elderly 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 in close proximity, such as blankets, curtains or upholstered furniture
  • Ask if there is sufficient hot water for bathing
  • Make certain they have blankets to keep warm at night

Health experts advise older New Yorkers and their caregivers to 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, call “911” for help immediately.       


About Citymeals on Wheels: 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. Last year, over 15,000 individuals volunteered nearly 72,000 hours of their time.

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.