Citymeals on Wheels, New York’s only nonprofit providing home-delivered meals to seniors in all five boroughs, hosted their Annual Chefs’ Tribute this week, raising $840,000 in the process. The event, which is now in its 32nd year, included Mediterranean fair from the likes of Daniel Boulud, Larry Forgione, Marc Forgione, Michael Psilakis and Maria Loi.
The event, conceived as a birthday tribute to Citymeals Co-Founder James Beard, has become much more as its impact continues to grow each year. 100 percent of all ticket sales and donations will support the preparation and delivery of meals for more than 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers.
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More than 40 internationally renowned chefs participated in the event and highlights of the evening’s food included smoked eggplant ravioli with confit tomato, feta cheese and za'atar-mint pesto from Chefs Daniel Boulud and Travis Swikard and diced tenderloin, pomegranate molasses and pine nuts with hummus and pita bread from Chef Maroun Chedid.
Events and fundraisers like the Annual Chefs Tribute are becoming increasingly important as the federal government threatens to pull funding for such programs across the country. Mark Gusinov, Senior Vice President of City National Bank, which was one of the event’s sponsors, made it clear how important the donations from those in attendance were when he addressed the crowd Monday night. “Every American deserves food security,” he said. “This is especially critical today, when anti-hunger programs are facing severe funding cuts. Your support helps organizations like Citymeals continue their life-saving operations.”
It was reported in March that President Trumps’s then-budget plan, America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, would radically cut funding for programs like Meals on Wheels, which Citymeals on Wheels is not directly a part of, but functions very similarly to. The budget has still not been finalized at this time.