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A Thanksgiving for those in need

CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 11/23/2011, 2:56 p.m.

This Thanksgiving, the Charles A. Walburg Multiservices Organization Inc. is one of several places where local senior citizens are getting hot meals delivered to their homes in Upper Manhattan. However, the organization recently had to make cutbacks because the service was being underutilized, leading to cuts in funding.

The Walburg Center is one of several organizations in the city that is under the umbrella of Citymeals-on-Wheels. The center specifically services Community Boards 9, 10 and 12, which include Central Harlem and Washington Heights. Nearly 765 meals are delivered six days a week. Like all Citymeals on Wheels affiliates, the Walburg Center is funded by the city's Department of Aging.

Under a new contract, the organization had to make some cutbacks, including employee layoffs, due to the fact that a new contract required the center to deliver 1,000 meals a day. A new pilot program aims to fix that and the Walburg Center is one of several sites in the city participating.

Our goal is to highlight the nine NYCHA housing complexes in Community Boards 9 and 10. It's our hope that inside of the complexes that are [people] 60 and older who can benefit from these meals," said Walburg Center Executive Director Karla Brown.

Brown added that while other neighborhoods use Citymeals-on-Wheels, elderly residents in Upper Manhattan tend to rely more on neighbors and family to provide food. However, Brown said that the Walburg Center can provide even more food for the elderly.

For more information on participating in the program and on the Walburg Center call (212) 222-2552.