OPA! Maria Loi, “The Martha Stewart of Greece,” Prepares and Delivers Meals for Homebound Elderly in New York City

Chef Loi of Loi Estiatorio Participates in Chefs Deliver for Citymeals

(May 10, 2016 – New York, NY) – Chef Maria Loi of her eponymous Loi Estiatorio, which showcases traditional Greek cuisine, treated some of New York City’s homebound elderly to a flavorful meal as part of the Chefs Deliver for Citymeals program.

A Citymeals on Wheels initiative, Chefs Deliver brings together a rotating cast of culinary stars who, once a month, lend their talents to Citymeals – cooking and often personally delivering the meals to the doors of New Yorkers who are too frail to shop and cook for themselves. Chefs Deliver was launched in January 2014 by Citymeals Board of Directors Co-President Chef Daniel Boulud and Citymeals Board Member Chef Charlie Palmer.

Chef Loi, known as “the Martha Stewart of Greece,” prepared and delivered Kotopoulo Sto Fourno (braised chicken with lemon, carrots, dill and Idaho potatoes), Kounoupidi (tomato-steeped cauliflower) and Yiaourtopita (yogurt cake) to Citymeals recipients living in midtown Manhattan. The remainder of the 150 meals she prepared was delivered to isolated older residents of Astoria in Queensa special treat for the many Citymeals recipients of Greek descent living in the neighborhood.  

“Food is a way to bring us back to our roots, and this meal serves as a wonderful reminder of home, especially for our recipients of Greek heritage,” noted Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro. “Many of our city’s elderly have not been home in decades, and thanks to Chef Loi, this meal not only provided nutrition, but memories as well.”

Citymeals on Wheels prepares and delivers weekend, holiday and emergency meals for over 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers. More than 60 percent of Citymeals recipients are over 80 years old; 23 percent are over 90; more than 200 have lived at least a century. All recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Nearly all need assistance walking. It is estimated that 66 percent use a cane, 39 percent use a walker and 16 percent use a wheelchair. Citymeals recipients are also isolated: 57 percent live alone; 40 percent rarely or never leave their homes; 8 percent have no one with whom they can talk. Many are also at risk for malnutrition.


About Citymeals on Wheels: Citymeals on Wheels (citymeals.org) 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 69,000 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.