Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and actress Kathleen Turner rolled up their sleeves and donned their aprons to help Citymeals-on- Wheels prepare a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast for 200 elderly New Yorkers in Queens who would otherwise be alone for the holiday.
After taking some time to visit with the seniors at the Peter Cardella Senior Center in Ridgewood, Bloomberg and Turner – a long-serving Citymeals board member and volunteer – headed to the kitchen where they prepared 200 sweet potatoes for baking by wrapping them in aluminum foil. The menu included all the makings of the perfect Thanksgiving meal -- butternut squash soup, turkey breast, cranberry sauce, baked sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn on the cob and pumpkin pie.
Bloomberg said, “New York City has the strongest and most generous social safety net in the country, and for three decades now Citymeals-on- Wheels has been an integral part of that. The Peter Cardella Senior Center in Queens is the very first place I visited as a candidate for Mayor in 2001, and as families across the five boroughs gather again to reflect on what they’re thankful for, I am grateful for the opportunity to come back at work at the Cardella Center again.”
Executive Director of Citymeals-on-Wheels Beth Shapiro said, “For most of us, Thanksgiving is a joyous time when we gather together to celebrate family and friends. But for so many elderly New Yorkers – particularly our frail homebound neighbors – the holiday can be a very lonely and sad time.
“Thanks to our good friends – Mayor Bloomberg and Kathleen Turner – as well as thousands of our supporters, Citymeals is able to provide more than 41,000 meals to aging New Yorkers during this four-day long Thanksgiving weekend. Whether the meal is hand-delivered to the door of an older New Yorker too frail to leave home, or like today, served in a wonderful senior center, Citymeals is fulfilling our mission to make sure our vulnerable and elderly neighbors are never forgotten,” Shapiro added.
Turner said, “The simple act of bringing a meal, a friendly smile and a hug to a homebound elderly New Yorker is the least I can do. This great city has been very good to me, and I’m proud to be able to give back as part of the Citymeals family.”
During the course of the four-day holiday weekend, Citymeals provided more than 41,600 meals to elderly New Yorkers across the city.
Founded in 1981, Citymeals-on-Wheels is a notfor profit organization that raises private funds to prepare and deliver weekend, holiday and emergency meals to the homebound elderly throughout the boroughs. Last year, Citymeals underwrote the preparation and delivery of 1.8 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 www.citymeals.org.