Every dollar counts! The Riese Organization & Citarella Help Feed NYC's Homebound Elderly Through the Citymeals on Wheels Round-Up Program

(February 1, 2016 – New York, NY) – Two of the city’s most iconic culinary organizations are pitching in to help Citymeals on Wheels provide meals and companionship to more than 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers through the Round-Up program, a Citymeals initiative allowing customers to make a donation at participating locations.

The Riese Organization, led by CEO Dennis Riese, is kicking off their annual Round-Up for Citymeals on  February 1, 2016. Riese also serves as a member of the Citymeals Board of Directors. Throughout February and March, The Riese Organization will ask customers at all of its New York City restaurant locations to round up their bill to the nearest dollar or to make a flat donation to Citymeals. Locations include T.G.I. Friday’s, Tad’s Broiled Steaks, Lindy’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Tim Hortons, Nathan’s, Haagen-Dazs, and KFC. Since 1994, The Riese Organization has raised over $2.5 million through the Round-Up program.

Citarella just completed a successful Round-Up that helped Citymeals fund the preparation and home-delivery of more than 15,000 meals for homebound elderly New Yorkers. Yusi Gurrera of Citarella is also a Citymeals Board Member. From November 26-December 31, 2015, patrons at all Citarella stores in New York City and the Hamptons raised nearly $100,000 through the initiative. Since 2005, Citarella has raised more than $600,000 through the Citymeals Round-Up program.

Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals on Wheels, commented, “Thank you to Dennis Riese, The Riese Organization, Yusi Gurrera, Citarella and all their customers for giving so generously year after year. We are grateful for their continued support, helping us ensure frail aged New Yorkers will never go a day without a nourishing meal and a warm visit.”

Since its inception in 1989, the Round-Up program has raised nearly $5,400,000 for Citymeals, providing nutritious, hand-delivered meals to isolated older New Yorkers.

All Citymeals on Wheels meal recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. More than 60% of its meal recipients are over 80 years old, 23% are over 90, and more than 300 have lived at least a century. Nearly all meal recipients need assistance walking. It is estimated that 66% use a cane, 39% use a walker and 16% use a wheelchair. Citymeals meal recipients are also isolated. 57% live alone, 40% rarely or never leave their homes and 8% have no one with whom they can talk.


About The Riese Organization: For over 70 years, the Riese Organization has been dedicated to serving the people of New York City, positioning itself as a pioneer in both the real estate and food service industries. In the course of this timeframe, the Riese Organization has achieved a dominant position in both of these industries. The Riese Organization currently owns high trafficked properties in New York City on 5th Avenue in Rockefeller Center, Downtown in the Wall Street area, across from Union Square Park, in Midtown and Uptown on the East side, in the Times Square area and the Madison Square Garden/Penn Station area. In addition, the Riese Organization has the exclusive rights to T.G.I.Friday's in Manhattan.

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.