Volunteers Deliver Meals To UES Public Housing Senior Center
Local City Councilman Ben Kallos and workers with Wildcat helped deliver food to seniors at the Stanley Isaacs Center.
May 1, 2020 2:56 pm ET
Volunteers led by City Councilmember Ben Kallos handed out 200 meals to seniors at the Upper East Side's Isaacs Center. (Google Maps)
UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A team of volunteers led by Upper East Side City Councilmember Ben Kallos handed out meals to neighborhood seniors on Thursday.
Kallos and workers with Wildcat Services — which partnered with the councilmember for 2018 on a street cleaning pilot program — distributed 200 meals at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. The center, located on the campus of the New York City Housing Authority's Stanley Isaacs Houses on First Avenue and East 93rd Street, had previously expressed a need for healthy volunteers to deliver meals to its seniors forced to stay inside during the coronavirus pandemic.
"In this moment of extraordinary crisis, and in alignment with all appropriate health and safety guidelines, we are proud to maintain critical operations to provide meals to isolated, homebound, and medically fragile older adults," Isaacs Center President and Executive Director Gregory J. Morris said in a statement.
Wildcat Services agreed to divert some of its workers from street cleaning to meal deliver after being approached by Kallos, who noted that a reduction in foot traffic due to social distancing measures reduced the need for street cleaning. Wildcat workers went door-to-door at the Stanley Isaacs Houses to drop meals at seniors' homes. Seniors, who are especially vulnerable to severe cases of the coronavirus, are being urged to avoid meal pickup locations due to the risk of infection.
In March, the Isaacs Center suspended all of its services except for meal delivery and case management to reduce the potential for exposure for the seniors who rely on the center. Before the coronavirus outbreak, the center served as a place for neighborhood seniors and children to socialize.
Wildcat Services employs New Yorkers experiencing homeless, chronically underemployment and other hardships in an effort to provide people with the means to economic well being, according to the organization.
"Our neighborhood facilities that feed our seniors and house NYCHA residents needed help with getting meals to the community," Kallos said in a statement. "I knew I could not do it all myself so I called in reinforcements. My friends over at Wildcat pounced at the chance to help, today is a win for everybody involved."