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CITYMEALS ON WHEELS DELIVERS 25,000 THANKSGIVING MEALS
TO HOMEBOUND ELDERLY NEW YORKERS, DURING ONGOING PANDEMIC
Over 250 Volunteers Help Ensure the City’s Most Vulnerable
Have a Nourishing Meal and Friendly Check In on the Holiday
(November 26, 2020 - New York, NY) -- This Thanksgiving, Citymeals on Wheels prepared and delivered over 25,000 holiday meals complete with all the fixings for vulnerable older New Yorkers across the city, who are unable to leave their homes. Over 250 Citymeals volunteers spent their morning hand-delivering these meals, along with a friendly check in, to remind our frail aged neighbors they are not forgotten on the holiday.
While much of the city shuttered this year, the work of Citymeals on Wheels has continued uninterrupted, ensuring a lifeline of meals for the homebound elderly, who are more isolated than ever due to Covid-19.
Since the start of pandemic, more than 7,000 volunteers have given over 27,000 hours of time to Citymeals, helping nourish those who are too old and frail to shop or cook for themselves. The number of volunteer applications to Citymeals has doubled, over the same period last year.
“This Thanksgiving will be different for most of us, but it remains Citymeals’ busiest day of the year,” said Executive Director Beth Shapiro. “We are serving more homebound elderly than ever before and for many, their meal deliverer is the only person they see each day. Today, thanks to our volunteers, nearly 25,000 older New Yorkers will receive a Thanksgiving meal and a warm check-in, during these uncertain times.”
Citymeals has been taking extra safety precautions, throughout Covid-19, to protect delivery staff, volunteers and meal recipients. Deliveries are contactless, but still ensure a regular check-in for the isolated homebound. Staff and volunteers now place meals in a bag on the doorknob, ring the bell and step back to ensure safe distance from recipients.
Citymeals works in partnership with community-based partners across the City to provide weekend, holiday and emergency meals for the homebound elderly. Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, Citymeals has delivered over 2 million meals to vulnerable older New Yorkers – 800,000 more than during the same time period last year. At the height of the crisis, Citymeals added 3,000 new recipients to its regular delivery routes and is now serving nearly 20,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers.
All Citymeals meal recipients are over 60 years of age and chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. The majority of Citymeals recipients live alone, 40 percent rarely or never leave their homes, and 8 percent have no one with whom they can talk to on a regular basis other than their meal deliverer. Before Covid-19, 1 in 10 older New Yorkers was food insecure. That has only increased during the pandemic.
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 26,000 individuals volunteered more than 90,000 hours of time to Citymeals’ mission.