Citymeals on Wheels provided a look last week at its year-long emergency response to delivering more than 3 million meals to the seniors during
On March 25, the nonprofit held a one-year COVID-19 anniversary event at its Emergency Meal Distribution Center in the Bronx, where Executive Director of Citymeals Beth Shapiro reflected on the past year.
Citymeals has served 50,000 older New Yorkers since the start of the pandemic, including nearly 20,000 home-bound elderly on its regular meal delivery routes.
In addition to delivering meals, volunteers are connecting with Citymeals recipients by telephone and Zoom, to check in on them and alleviate isolation. This includes Citymeals’ Friendly Visiting Program, which has gone virtual due to COVID-19, with volunteers now meeting each week via Zoom with an isolated older New Yorker in need of companionship during this tough time.
All of Citymeals’ recipients are over 60 years of age and chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. All need assistance with walking: 66% use a cane, 39% use a walker and 16% use a wheelchair.