March 17, 2015

Americans are living longer, and the number of those who reach the centennial marker has grown an astonishing 66% since 1980. There are now over 53,000 people living in the United States who are at least 100 years old. In New York City, 208 of these centenarians are receiving meals and human companionship from Citymeals.

102-year-old Theresa grew up in a quiet neighborhood in Queens. For over fifty years, she worked as a legal secretary, rewarding herself by taking trips all over the world. Theresa never married, and having outlived her six siblings, she now lives alone in the same home where she grew up. Hearing and vision loss have furthered her isolation. Aside from a friendly neighbor who checks on her from time to time, Theresa rarely sees anyone other than her meal deliverer.

Like Theresa, our centenarian meal recipients have lived rich, full lives.

  • Clarice, 106 years old, worked as a nurse’s aide in Cumberland Hospital’s postnatal unit and was known to be the one person who could always help soothe crying infants.
  • Agustin, 101 years old, is a native of Puerto Rico, who fondly remembers his early years in New York City, working as a professional dancer and guitar player in cabarets.
  • Mike, 104 years old, worked in the garment business while caring for his daughter after his wife’s untimely death in the 1960s.

By the end of 2015, an additional 98 meal recipients will have turned 100. The cost to provide a lifeline of nutrition for one meal recipient – like Theresa, Clarice, Agustin or Mike – is just $718 a year. This adds up to nearly $220,000 for a full year of weekend, holiday and emergency meals for the 306 frail aged New Yorkers who will be age 100 or older this year.

If you would like to support our centenarians, you can make a gift here.