NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Christmas can be a joyful time of year.

But it can also be a tough one, especially for homebound seniors.

Citymeals on Wheels and its volunteers are lending a hand on Christmas. Before the day is over, thousands will have a hearty meal delivered by a smiling face.

LINK: Citymeals on Wheels

Volunteer Melissa O’Dell isn’t worried about her dinner this Christmas, because she’s making sure seniors get theirs first.

“My grandmother was a recipient of Meals on Wheels in Long Beach Island and its always been something that has meant a lot to me,” O’Dell said.

So for nine years, she has volunteered at Citymeals on Wheels in New York City. Each Christmas, they partner with 30 organizations throughout the Big Apple, take over their location and commandeer their kitchen.

“Me getting out of my bed at 2 o’clock in the morning to come here makes me feel great,” Citymeals Chef Jeffrey Stewart told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway. “To prepare a delicious meal for the seniors so that they have something.”

Something delicious.

“So there’s Cornish hen and we have candied yams, and we have here mac and cheese,” Stewart explained.

And for dessert? A decadent key lime pie.

All that food then hits the assembly line. It’s divided into two balanced meals for each homebound senior, one hot and one cold. Then it’s boxed, bagged and ready to go.

“It’s important to do community service. No one should be alone on any holiday, not just Christmas,” said Citymeals driver Ben Asen. He has been volunteering as a delivery man for Citymeals for twenty years. He says the reaction is still the same today.

“They usually invite us in, they want us to stay for a while,” Asen said.

But like Santa, the selfless helpers at Citymeals have lots of stop to make.

Some 85,000 meals that will be delivered throughout the five boroughs by the organization on Christmas day.



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