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On 40th anniversary, Citymeals on Wheels provides 20K ‘festive meals’ to elderly New Yorkers

By Liam Reilly, CNN

Citymeals on Wheels, a New York City-based non-profit that provides meals to elderly New Yorkers, provided 20,000-holiday meals to older city residents on Christmas morning with the help of 300 volunteers, a news release from the organization says. The achievement comes as the non-profit celebrates its 40th Christmas in operation.

Meal recipients are all over the age of 60 and chronically disabled by conditions that include vision loss, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Most recipients live alone and 40% seldom leave their homes.

“For four decades, Citymeals has nourished body and soul for older New Yorkers in need. They built our city and need our help now more than ever,” said Citymeals on Wheels Executive Director Beth Shapiro.

Since the pandemic’s onset, Citymeals has delivered five million meals to the local elderly, the news release notes. It now serves 20,000 meal recipients, a 10% increase from the pandemic’s outset. In a normal year, the non-profit prepares and distributes two million meals weekend, holiday, and emergency meals.

“The holiday season has always been about giving and caring for your community. We are proud to work alongside the Isaacs Center and Citymeals in continuing the seasonal tradition of preparing and delivering meals to those who may not have one this season,” said Roderick Jones, executive director of Goddard Riverside. “As New York City looks to recover from the pandemic, a strong social safety net and community based organizations are an essential foundation to lift New York City’s neighborhoods out of the crisis that has plagued us for the last two years.”

The non-profit has delivered 65 million meals in partnership with more than 30 community-based organizations and senior centers across the city since its founding, according to the news release.

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