THE BRONX - A South Bronx native with a charitable reputation is stepping up to the plate for a food service for needy seniors.

Leon Cooperman, a Bronx-native businessman and philanthropist who is sometimes called "The Guardian," has pledged to match $164,000 in donations to the Citymeals-on-wheels charity.

The organization says that Cooperman's donation is enough to fund weekend meals for an entire year to homebound seniors in the South Bronx.

The charity relies on donations to operate, but the demand for its services is rising.

Executive director Beth Shapiro says that the senior population is the fastest growing demographic in the country. She expects to add about 1,000 meal recipients this year.

The organization delivers meals to seniors who are over 60 years old and unable to shop or cook for themselves.