This holiday season, Citymeals on Wheels prepared and delivered more than 16,000 holiday meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers. This included 4,232 Christmas dinners delivered in Brooklyn this year.
“For four decades, Citymeals has nourished the bodies and souls of homebound elderly New Yorkers. Today, hundreds of dedicated volunteers are delivering festive meals and checking in on their older neighbors across the city, who would otherwise spend the day alone,” said Citymeals on Wheels Executive Director Beth Shapiro.
Nearly 300 Citymeals volunteers spent Christmas morning delivering festive meals directly to the doors of their older neighbors, reminding them they are not forgotten on the holiday.
Today, Citymeals is serving nearly 20,000 meal recipients across the city, during a time of growing food insecurity and hunger. Among those that Citymeals serves: All recipients are over 60 and disabled by chronic conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.
“Forty years ago, our first Christmas meals were made possible by Citymeals’ founder Gael Greene. And thanks to our partners, like the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center and others, we’ve become woven into the fabric of the city,” Shapiro said.
More than half of recipients are over 80 years old; nearly 20% are over 90 years old, and more than 400 have lived over a century. Most meal recipients live alone, 40% rarely or never leave their homes and 8% have no one with whom they can talk on a regular basis, other than their meal deliverer. 14% of recipients live on just the one meal a day the organization delivers.