Citymeals on Wheels seeing an increase in demand during pandemic

A nonprofit is leading the way to help in the middle of the coronavirus global crisis.

News 12 Staff

Apr 16, 2020, 1:34 AM

Updated 1,519 days ago

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A nonprofit is leading the way to help in the middle of the coronavirus global crisis. 
Citymeals on Wheels is charged with providing weekend, holiday and emergency meals to those who need it. During the pandemic, they have served much more than their typical 18,000 people. 
“There are other seniors who can no longer get out, even to the stores that are offering early hours,” said Executive Director Beth Shapiro. 
Shapiro says they were proactive and ordered shelf-stable food in February to fill their stockpile in case it was needed, and she says it was. 
In a normal year, half a million emergency meals are delivered from their distribution center in the Bronx. So far this year, 250,000 meals have been delivered, which is four times as many as they distributed during Superstorm Sandy. 
With the increasing amount of demand, comes a need for volunteers. They say New Yorkers have stepped up. 
"About 2,600 volunteers, just in the last couple of weeks. We could not do it without the help of just very caring New Yorkers volunteering and helping us out,” said Shapiro. 
Those volunteers, along with staff, are taking the proper safety precautions. They wear gloves and masks but also no longer go into homes when delivering meals. 
They say 100% of the donations go to meal preparation and delivery.
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