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December 3, 2013

Just days before Thanksgiving in 1981, Citymeals Co-Founder Gael Greene read an article in the New York Times stating homebound elderly New Yorkers were not receiving meals during weekends and holidays. Deeply disturbed, she called her friends in the culinary world, and together they raised $35,000 to provide a Christmas meal for their frail aged neighbors. Thirty-two years later, Thanksgiving continues to be especially important to Citymeals as we ensure our meal recipients are not forgotten during the holidays.

This year, Citymeals staff and nearly 500 generous volunteers hand-delivered 18,594 festive Thanksgiving meals to isolated older New Yorkers. Each meal included roasted turkey and gravy with all the trimmings – stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes and green beans – served alongside a pumpkin muffin or pie for dessert. Dos Caminos also prepared 450 meals that were donated and delivered on Thanksgiving.

While most of our meal recipients enjoyed their holiday meals at home, 100 of those affected by Hurricane Sandy were treated to lunch at Wildwood Barbeque and Tocqueville Restaurant in Manhattan. With the assistance of aides and volunteers, these older New Yorkers were transported from their homes in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan to the restaurants in buses donated by Campus Coach.

Executive Director Beth Shapiro commented, “Thanksgiving is a time to gather together with family and friends and to count our many blessings. But for our most vulnerable New Yorkers, the holidays can be especially lonely and sad. I would like to thank the generous staff at Dos Caminos, Tocqueville Restaurant and Wildwood Barbeque, as well as Steve Hanson, everyone at BR Guest, Campus Coach and the dedicated volunteers who took time today to make sure our meal recipients could share in the joy of the holiday.”

Click the links below to view our Thanksgiving press coverage:

Citymeals-on-Wheels Cooks Up Thanksgiving Feast for Elderly” from CBS 2 New York
“‘Meals on Wheels’ is out in full force” from Fox 5/WNYW