Manhattan senior center gears up to feed thousands for Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, meals supply organizations are stuffing their turkeys and gearing up for certainly one of their busiest days of the yr; and Encore Group Providers is not any exception.

Whereas Encore has a strong senior center that hosts a variety of leisure and academic actions and companies, their meals safety program is their magnum opus— as they’ve grown from a single group center within the basement of St. Malachy’s Church, in accordance to their web site, to a company that delivers over 500,000 meals a yr “up and down the West Side to frail and elderly homebound New Yorkers,” says Jeremy Kaplan, the Govt Director at Encore.

With the entire meals cooked in-house on the senior center, Encore runs their meal supply service year-round, 7-days per week, with quite a lot of meal alternate options for the seniors— whose ages vary from 60 to 100 years outdated—based mostly on desire or meals restrictions. 

“It really is an all hands on deck community effort to get the meals out,” says Kaplan. “We have a team of meal delivery staff that deliver, rain or shine, blizzard or beautiful spring day, but our staffing resources are not enough.”

Due to the excessive demand for delivered meals, which has doubled on account of the COVID-19 quarantine, the group considerably depends on the generosity of volunteers—particularly in the course of the vacation seasons.

Though some would possibly consider Thanksgiving as a vacation that revolves round candy potato pie and turkey, it’s also one which closely evokes compassion and empathy in others, influencing them to think about giving again and doing one thing good for others. 

For that reason, Kaplan believes, “it is super important that on Thanksgiving, and throughout the entire holiday season, that we really focus on making the holidays special for seniors, both at home and those that come.”

With all of the sources that Encore gives— dwelling lodging for seniors who’re formally homeless, inexpensive housing, in addition to social service applications that help of their monetary wellness and well being care navigation— it’s no shock that the reactions from the seniors themselves and their members of the family are overwhelmingly constructive. 

From the easy “compliments to the chef”, to the extra heartwarming, “This is life saving, this is essential, I don’t know what I would do without you,” says Kaplan.

Over the subsequent week, Encore’s cooks and kitchen workers will probably be cooking a whole bunch of turkeys, in accordance to Kaplan, and will probably be creating an “over the top special traditional thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.”

Picture courtesy of Encore Group Providers

Beginning Monday, Nov. 22 Encore will probably be delivering the palatable meals to the seniors, who will probably be fortunately shocked to see all of the beautiful dishes the cooks ready with a bit of further sprinkle of vacation cheer. 

Moreover, on Thanksgiving day, the Encore workers will probably be delivering about 400 sizzling meals to seniors in Midtown “who are more vulnerable,” in accordance to Kaplan, after which returning to the senior center the place the volunteers will open its doorways and serve meals to 150 aged New Yorkers.

When Kaplan first joined Encore and was instructed he would have to work on Thanksgiving, he was aggravated, to say the least. Nevertheless, upon witnessing the unimaginable impression that Encore’s work has on these seniors, it rapidly grew to become one thing that he appeared ahead to all yr lengthy. 

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on Thanksgiving,” Kaplan says, “It really is one of the most special days of the year for Encore.”

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