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(Wednesday, June 24, 2020) – Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, Citymeals has delivered nearly one million meals to New York City’s vulnerable elderly population.
As the designated emergency responder for the city’s seniors, Citymeals on Wheels has been working on the frontlines of the pandemic to ensure home-delivered meals continue uninterrupted. 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.
Demand for food among the city’s seniors has been unprecedented during this time. Citymeals has added 3,000 recipients to its home-delivered meal program and is also serving an additional 34,000 older New Yorkers, who were not homebound before the crisis but are now at-risk for hunger. 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 and many live in senior housing, NORCs and NYCHA buildings. For others with chronic illnesses, the risk of going to the grocery stores or local food pantry is simply too great.
To address this increased food insecurity, Citymeals has delivered over 508,000 shelf-stable emergency meals to seniors across the five boroughs, since mid-March. As the city begins a phased reopening, the elderly remain vulnerable and isolated, unable or afraid to leave home. Citymeals is planning to deliver 624,000 additional shelf-stable emergency meals between July and December to older New Yorkers at-risk for hunger and malnutrition.
In addition to doubling our warehouse staff, over 4,600 volunteers have given 18,750 hours of their time to help pack and deliver meals to their frail aged neighbors.
Citymeals is partnering with restaurants, food purveyors and others in the culinary community, who have donated products, services and over 60,000 meals thus far to help nourish our meal recipients. We have received generous support from corporate and foundation partners for our emergency response to Covid-19, as well as retail partners who are donating products and services.
We continue to take every precaution to protect the health of staff, volunteers and meal recipients, including strict social distancing protocols. Our Friendly Visiting program, which connects volunteers with their isolated older neighbors, is being conducted by telephone 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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