Citymeals on Wheels Served 22,000 Thanksgiving Meals Across New York City

Emmy Award-Winning TV Chef and Best-Selling Cookbook Author Sandra Lee Joined Citymeals
to Prepare and Deliver Festive Meals to Frail Aged New Yorkers 

(November 28, 2019 – New York, NY) – This Thanksgiving, Citymeals on Wheels prepared 22,000 holiday meals for vulnerable older New Yorkers across the five boroughs, many of whom have outlived their own family and friends. Staff and nearly 500 volunteers hand-delivered 19,000 meals, giving their time and energy to remind their homebound elderly neighbors they are not forgotten. An additional 3,000 holiday meals were served in senior centers throughout the city. 

Emmy award-winning TV chef and best-selling cookbook author Sandra Lee joined Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro, as well as volunteers from around New York City, to deliver traditional Thanksgiving meals with all the fixings to frail aged recipients in Upper Manhattan. 

When we show concern for our neighbor, when we cook or deliver a meal, and ensure others feel cared for and loved, we embody the Thanksgiving spirit,” explained Lee. “We are all given so much—it’s very important that we give to others—whenever and wherever possible. Going into the holiday season, I feel this is what we should all be doing. This is how we all need to feel. Service to others is the most wonderful way to show thanks for all we’ve been given.”

For most of us, Thanksgiving means the company of family and friends, a comforting meal and the chance to count our blessings. Today, the Citymeals team has been busy preparing traditional dishes and delivering the spirit of the season to isolated elderly New Yorkers, reminding them they have not been forgotten,” says Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro. “These home-delivered meals and friendly visits serve as a vital lifeline for our most vulnerable neighbors. We are deeply grateful to Sandra Lee and to all our volunteers and dedicated staff who made today a more memorable holiday for so many of our frail aged.” 

All Citymeals on Wheels recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. The majority of Citymeals recipients are over 80 years old; 23 percent are over 90; and more than 200 have lived at least a century. Nearly all need assistance walking: approximately 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; and 8 percent have no one with whom they can talk. Many are also at risk for malnutrition. To learn more, visit


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 to more than 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors each year. Last year, more than 26,000 individuals volunteered over 90,000 hours of their time to Citymeals’ mission.

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.