NEW YORK, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With its supply of emergency food depleted to dangerously low levels by record winter storms, Citymeals-on-Wheels announced today that the charity has received a generous $100,000 matching grant from The Starr Foundation and the Starr International Foundation to help re-stock the shelves of its emergency food warehouse. Through its home-delivered meal programs, Citymeals provides a critical lifeline to more than 16,000 frail, aging homebound New Yorkers who are no longer able to shop or cook for themselves.
The Citymeals warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – usually filled with thousands of pounds of non-perishable items – is now almost empty. The shelf-stable foods supplement daily meal deliveries at times when regular deliveries cannot take place or when extreme weather occurs – when blizzards, ice storms, blackouts, or other disasters prevent or delay home meal deliveries. The unusually harsh winter weather put an unprecedented strain on warehouse food supplies.
Marcia Stein, Executive Director of Citymeals-on-Wheels, said re-stocking the warehouse with enough non-perishable food items to prepare for even one city-wide emergency will cost $300,000.00. She called on New Yorkers to help Citymeals meet the grant challenge from Starr.
"The severe winter has taken its toll on our emergency food supplies," Stein said. "With the shelves almost bare, we are ill-prepared to respond to the next emergency. The Starr Foundation and Starr International Foundation will donate $1.00 for every $2.00 we raise to help re-stock our warehouse. We are deeply grateful for their continued support. It's now up to New Yorkers to help us meet this challenge."
"We are committed to feeding our most vulnerable neighbors, the homebound elderly", said Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, chairman of The Starr Foundation and director of Starr International Foundation. "This winter strained everyone's resources, but especially those on small fixed incomes."
From November 2010 through February 2011, Citymeals delivered 240,000 emergency meals to frail homebound New Yorkers. Emergency food boxes contain nutritious, shelf-stable items including tuna fish, organic apple sauce, brown rice, milk, fruit juice, crackers and oatmeal cookies. In addition to its emergency food program, last year, Citymeals underwrote the preparation and delivery of 2.1 million weekend and holiday meals to 16,000 aged New Yorkers in the five boroughs.
The age of meal recipients in the City of New York is increasing rapidly: more than 75 percent of recipients are over 80 years old; 12 percent are over 90; more than 100 have lived at least a century. Homebound elderly are also isolated: 75 percent live alone; 40 percent rarely or never leave their homes; 8 percent have no one to talk to; and many are at risk for malnutrition.
To help Citymeals meet The Starr Foundation challenge and re-stock the emergency food program please go to: www.citymeals.org/efp.
ABOUT CITYMEALS: Founded in 1981, Citymeals-on-Wheels is a not-for-profit organization and public-private partnership with the New York City Department for the Aging that raises private funds to prepare and deliver weekend, holiday and emergency meals to the homebound elderly throughout the boroughs of New York City. Last year, Citymeals underwrote the preparation and delivery of 2.1 million meals to 16,000 aged New Yorkers. One hundred percent of donations from the public to Citymeals goes toward the preparation and delivery of meals for homebound elderly. For more information, visit http://www.citymeals.org.
THE STARR FOUNDATION was established in 1955 by Cornelius vander Starr, the founder and first chairman of C.V. Starr & Co, Starr International Co., and other insurance and financial services companies. Under the leadership of Maurice R. Greenberg, Mr. Starr's corporate and philanthropic successor, it supports organizations in many areas including medical research and healthcare, education, human needs, the environment, public policy and culture. Starr has supported Citymeals for 20 years. Starr International Foundation, based in Switzerland, also supports humanitarian efforts around the world.