Help Our Most Vulnerable Neighbors

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Dear Tomatoes,

I came to New York in my mid-20s and like so many “immigrants” to the city, I was a fearless striver. Since then, my life has changed considerably – but through it all, I felt there were two constants I could always count on: food and friends. I still do.

Sadly, a growing number of frail, elderly New Yorkers can only count on us. That’s why, as you and I make plans for this thanksgiving, I hope you will also think of these neighbors and make a gift so they stay nourished during this time too.  

There is 82-year-old James, who used to work as a photographer for a shipping company. Many of the pictures on his walls depict faraway places. But today, he rarely leaves his fourth floor walk-up because of crippling arthritis – but he still continues to take photos from his window despite his fatigue and pain.

Make a Thanksgiving gift

For 35 years, thousands of supporters like you have touched the lives of frail aged New Yorkers with a caring generosity that helps Citymeals provide them with meals and companionship. Help us continue this vital service. Donate now at


Think of 89-year-old Gloria who rented a Hell’s Kitchen apartment with her sister Violet, her best friend and closest confidante. Sadly, Violet died of a massive heart attack over ten years ago – just as Gloria’s own health began to decline. No linger able to shop or cook she counts on her regular Citymeals delivery and someone to check in on her.

The stark existence of neighbors like James and Gloria are what inspired my beloved mentor James Beard and me to rally a group of food world friends to raise money for 35 years ago for holidays dinners.

That gesture proved so fulfilling, we were determined to do more – and ever since, thousands of supporters like you have felt the same call from these vulnerable New Yorkers and have helped us provide a lifeline of food and friendship for the city’s homebound elderly.

As Thanksgiving approaches in Citymeals 35th year of serving good daily, I ask that you once again include these unseen neighbors  in the warmth of your holiday rituals.

With sincere appreciation,

Gael Greene

Co-founder and chair

P.S. In this vast, growing city that is part of our pride and identity, and theirs, we vow never to allow our most vulnerable neighbors to feel invisible or forgotten – so please extend your generosity today. Remember that 100% of every dollar you donate goes only to preparing and delivering meals. The smiles, as always, are free.

Citymeals on Wheels also sells holiday cards and each card ordered through Citymeals funds the preparation and delivery of a meal to a homebound elderly New Yorker in need. For $37 – plus a $4 shipping and handling fee – Citymeals will send you five special cards of your choice.




  • In her role as restaurant critic of New York Magazine (1968 to January 2002) Detroit-born Gael Greene helped change the way New Yorkers (and many Americans) think about food. A scholarly anthropologist could trace the evolution of New York restaurants on a timeline that would reflect her passions and taste over 30 years from Le Pavillon to nouvelle cuisine to couturier pizzas, pastas and hot fudge sundaes, to more healthful eating. But not to foams and herb sorbet; she loathes them. As co-founder with James Beard and a continuing force behind Citymeals-on-Wheels as board chair, Ms. Greene has made a significant impact on the city of New York. For her work with Citymeals, Greene has received numerous awards and was honored as the Humanitarian of the Year (l992) by the James Beard Foundation. She is the winner of the International Association of Cooking Professionals magazine writing award, 2000, and a Silver Spoon from Food Arts magazine. Ms. Greene's memoir, "Insatiable, Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess"( )was published April 2006. Earlier non-fiction books include "Delicious Sex, A Gourmet Guide for Women and the Men Who Want to Love Them Better" and "BITE: A New York Restaurant Strategy." Her two novels, "Blue skies, No Candy" and "Doctor Love" were New York Times best sellers. Visit her website at:

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