Hundreds of New Yorkers braved chilly temperatures to spend a few hours delivering warm meals to seniors on Christmas Day.
“I just wanted to teach my girls that it’s not always about what you get for Christmas but it’s about what you’re able to give,” said Elizabeth Irizarry from Lower Manhattan.
For over a decade, Irizarry and her daughters have spent Christmas morning volunteering.
What You Need To Know
- Hundreds of New Yorkers braved chilly temperatures to spend a few hours delivering warm meals to seniors on Christmas
- Over 300 volunteers gathered at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center to pack meals and organize deliveries for the day
- The menu included roasted Cornish hens with gravy, rice and peas, and glazed carrots
- Across the boroughs, over 16,000 meals were delivered
Over 300 volunteers gathered at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center to pack up meals and organize deliveries for the day.
“So today is actually the 41st anniversary of our first meal delivery. We delivered 6,000 meals on Christmas Day 1981 and here we are. We’ve delivered 67 million meals and couldn’t do it without the help of everyday New Yorkers,” Beth Shapiro, executive director of City Meals on Wheels, said.
Kitchen crews at the center spent the early hours of the morning putting the menu together with popular sides and holiday staples New Yorkers will enjoy.
“We have Cornish hen, roasted Cornish hen, that we glaze with carrots and onion and a slight gravy, we have rice and peas with coconut milk,” said Jeffrey Stewart, a senior food service manager of Stanley Issac Senior Services Center.
“When you have the love of seniors, I was raised by my grandmother, so that’s where I get all this passion,” Stewart continued.
That love and passion mixed with holiday cheer is also why children, like Hannah and Amber, make this a holiday tradition and try to spread the word each year.
“There’s a lot of people going through hard times that don’t have family close to them all the time so I get to show them a lil of my family,” said 17-year-old Amber Brennan.
“I tell my teachers, my friends all about it because I just want to encourage more people to do it because it’s a really positive thing that is so rewarding when you see the faces of the people you deliver to and it’s a good experience for everybody,” said 12-year-old Hannah Brennan.
About 1,000 meals were delivered from the neighborhood center location directly to the doors of appreciative seniors.
Across the boroughs, over 16,000 meals well be delivered.