Citymeals continues donating food to Bronx seniors and others in need during COVID-19

Citymeals delivers more than a million meals to seniors during COVID-19.
Courtesy of Citymeals

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Citymeals has delivered more than one million meals to New York City’s elderly population.

From March 8 to this week, the organization has provided a total of 163,168 meals in the Bronx. This includes emergency meals (shelf stable), weekend meals and donated food from restaurants.

As the designated emergency responder for the city’s seniors, Citymeals on Wheels has been working on the front lines of the pandemic to ensure home-delivered meals continue uninterrupted.

For over 18,000 homebound elderly people who are too frail to shop or cook for themselves, these deliveries provide critical nourishment and a regular wellness check-in. The organization has been addressing key issues outlined below and has launched innovative partnerships and new fundraising events to continue mobilizing public support for older New Yorkers.

Unprecedented demand for food among the city’s seniors

  • Citymeals has added 3,000 recipients to its weekend meal program.
  • It has also served an additional 34,000 older New Yorkers, who were not homebound before the crisis but are now at-risk for hunger.
  • Some of these individuals would normally eat at their local senior centers, which are now closed to the public. Many of them live in senior housing, NORCs and NYCHA buildings.
  • For those with chronic illnesses, the risk of going to the grocery stores or local food pantry is simply too great.

Addressing the increased food insecurity

  • Before the pandemic, one in 10 seniors was facing food insecurity, which has only intensified with COVID-19.
  • As the city begins its phased reopening, the elderly remain vulnerable and isolated, unable or afraid to leave home.
  • Citymeals has delivered over 580,000 shelf-stable emergency meals to vulnerable seniors across the five boroughs since the start of COVID-19.
  • Citymeals is planning to deliver 624,000 additional shelf-stable emergency meals before the end of the year to older New Yorkers at risk for malnutrition and hunger.
  • Over 5,500 volunteers have given over 21,000 hours of their time to help pack and deliver meals to their isolated neighbors since the start of the crisis.

Partnering with the restaurant community 

  • Citymeals is partnering with restaurants, food purveyors and others in the culinary community who have donated over 93,000 meals thus far to help nourish meal recipients.
  • Citymeals began its new “Summer Supper” cooking series, an online fundraiser that provides people with an online cooking experience, hosted by renowned chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer and others. All proceeds fund meals for the homebound elderly.

How the public can help

  • The public can sign up to volunteer or donate to support Citymeals’ emergency response at citymeals.org.
  • One hundred percent of all public contributions will go to the preparation and delivery of meals.

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