Citymeals On Wheels Raises Nearly $1.2 Million At 32nd Annual Power Lunch For Women

Emceed by Award-winning Actress Jane Krakowski, Funds Raised Will Provide Nearly 160,000 Meals for New York City’s Homebound Elderly

Press Release – (Thursday, November 15, 2018 – New York, NY) – On November 14th, over 300 leading women in the fields of business, technology, arts, politics, and entertainment gathered at Rainbow Room to support Citymeals on Wheels at the non-profit’s 32nd Annual Power Lunch for Women. Emceed by award-winning actress Jane Krakowski, the benefit raised nearly $1.2 million – 100% of which will be used to prepare and deliver 160,000 nourishing meals for homebound elderly New Yorkers.

This year’s event honored longtime supporters of Citymeals on Wheels, Kathie Lee Gifford, co-host of the fourth hour of “The Today Show;” Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York; and Derek Blasberg, YouTube’s Director of Fashion and Beauty.

During the lunch, actress Kathleen Turner; fashion model, actress and entrepreneur, Iman; and actress Dana Ivey read letters from Citymeals recipients about the importance of the organization, its nourishing meals and dedicated meal deliverers in their lives. Other notable attendees included Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters and many more.

Citymeals Warehouse Manager Magda Melendez, was also honored with the City National Spirit Award for her commitment to serving older New Yorkers in need. More than 500,000 meals come from the Joan & Bob Tisch Emergency Meal Distribution Center every year. As Warehouse Manager, Magda ensures every one of these meals makes it into the homes of the vulnerable elderly who depend on Citymeals.

Highlights from Power Lunch, include:

  • Notable Quotes from speakers –
    • Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro: “The people we serve built this city – they were the nurses, teachers, artists, civil servants, who came before us. Today, they’re too old and frail to shop and cook for themselves. But a home-delivered meal and a friendly check in is often all they need to remain in their own homes and communities, where they want to be. Thanks to the generosity of the women – and men – in this room, our recipients can rest assured that this vital lifeline of nourishing meals will always be there for them.”
    • Emcee and Actress Jane Krakowski: “When Citymeals says they are delivering more than a meal, it’s the absolute truth. A few weeks ago, I volunteered to deliver meals to some Citymeals recipients, spent time with them and heard their stories. So many of the recipients look forward to the food delivery but also to the visit from the delivery people. The time with them, the check-in means just as much as the food itself in many instances. I admire Citymeals mission of providing both meals and fellowship. Having experienced their services and what it means to people firsthand, made it an honor to serve as their emcee.”
  • Additional takeaways, included –
    • One in ten older New Yorkers over age 60 face hunger.
    • Citymeals prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals for over 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers each year.
    • 66% of Citymeals recipients are women. The majority live alone. 40% never or rarely leave home.
    • Last year, nearly 25,000 volunteers gave over 80,000 hours of service to Citymeals.
    • Since 1981, Citymeals has delivered 58 million meals across the five boroughs.
  • Notable guests at the luncheon included: Huma Abedin, Dr. Samantha Boardman, Daniel Boulud, Barbara Bush, Jennifer Fisher, Sunhee Grinnell, Robert S. Grimes, Florence Fabricant, Thelma Golden, Amirah Kassem, Suri Kasirer, Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Trish McEvoy, Wendi Murdoch, Aby Rosen, Jessica Seinfeld, Priyanka Shukla, Marcia Stein, Lizzie & Jon Tisch, Harley Viera-Newton, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Dr. Patricia Wexler, and more.

Event sponsors included Citymeals’ official airline American Airlines and official water FIJI Water.


Citymeals on Wheels ( provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to New York City’s homebound elderly. Working in partnership with community-based organizations and senior centers, Citymeals prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals for more than 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors each year. Last year, nearly 25,000 individuals volunteered over 80,000 hours of their time to Citymeals’ mission.

Since its founding in 1981, Citymeals has relied on the generosity of its Board of Directors, the City of New York, sponsors and other designated gifts to cover administrative costs. This ensures that 100% of all public donations will be used entirely for the preparation and delivery of meals.

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