The MICHELIN Guide is partnering with Norwich Meadows Farm to deliver a limited supply of CSA-style boxes filled with the highest quality farm-fresh goods directly to consumer's homes. Not only will the program benefit small family farms, who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, but proceeds from each box will go towards buying fresh produce for local home delivered meal programs serving communities in need, another critical component of our struggling food system.
For this pilot program, the two benefitting organizations are Citymeals on Wheels and God’s Love We Deliver. These veteran nonprofits have been doing critical work for more than 30 years, and their impact is more important now than ever.
Citymeals on Wheels
Citymeals on Wheels has been delivering meals to house-bound older New Yorkers since 1981. This nonprofit has its origins in the food world: it was founded by former restaurant critic Gael Greene and cookbook author James Beard. Their operation started off small, the two raising funds from their F&B and hospitality industry pals and then delivering 6,000 meals for Christmas. The next year they began working with NYC’s Department for the Aging and, because of this, all donations go entirely to preparing and delivering meals.
A decade after starting, Citymeals was delivering a million meals annually; in 2019 over two million meals were served. Citymeals’ average client is 85-years-old; 10% are veterans, 57% live alone, and 33% live below the poverty line. For 14% of recipients, the one meal per day Citymeals delivers is what they live on, making the organization’s work even more critical — especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Meals, low in sodium, fat, and sugar, include protein, vegetables, and whole grains.
The organization’s programming has grown to include a phone chat scheme, the making of greeting cards, organizing volunteers to prep and package meals at local senior centers, and friendly visiting, so clients receive not only critical and delicious meal but also companionship.
To volunteer with or donate to Citymeals on Wheels, visit their site.
God's Love We Deliver
Thirty-five years ago, God's Love We Deliver was born of New York City’s AIDS crisis. Today the city is in the grips of a different crisis, and GLWD has grown from one woman delivering meals by bike to more than 17,000 volunteers feeding nearly 9,000 people annually. God’s Love We Deliver was started in 1985 by hospice worker Ganga Stone to provide nutritious, homemade meals to those living with serious illnesses, alleviating hunger and improving quality of life and health. This is a mission that GLWD continues to carry on. “We believe that food is medicine, and high-quality, fresh produce is a critical part of our medically tailored meal program for our clients living with severe and chronic illness,” says VP and Chief Development Officer David Ludwigson.
God’s Love We Deliver is a nonsectarian nonprofit whose operations are 92% volunteer-run. At their enormous commercial kitchen in Manhattan, GLWD volunteers prepare and then deliver more than 8,500 meals each weekday, to clients across New York’s five boroughs, 90% of whom live below the poverty level and 70% of whom live in the city’s most underserved neighborhoods.
What sets GLWD apart is that its meals are tailored medically to illnesses with which clients are living, from cancer to neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s. Registered dietitians work with each client to sort out nutritional needs and which meals will work best and be most enjoyed. Everything GLWD cooks is made entirely without any preservatives or fillers and is low in sodium. A vegetarian meal might be a kale and potato soup high in vitamins A, C, and B6, curry tofu macaroni and cheese, and an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie; a meal with meat might include coconut chicken stew rich in vegetables and lean protein, or a low-sodium beef Bolognese. And every single client receives a birthday cake, beautifully piped by the pastry team.
Nutrition is at the forefront of GLWD’s objective. “We are proud to partner with the team at MICHELIN who are so generously providing God’s Love with delicious, nutritious produce to cook into our meals,” says Ludwigson. “What better produce to cook than food grown in our hometown and delivered to our neighbors in need?”
To volunteer with or donate to God’s Love We Deliver, visit their site.
Hero Image: Photo by PHÚC LONG on Unsplash