Labor of Love at Citymeals on Wheels

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Community is the beating heart of Colossal. It’s the pep in our step, the sun on our backs, the paint on our brushes. So an opportunity to adorn the Citymeals on Wheels food center with portraits of meal recipients – that might be the quickest we’ve ever signed onto a project. 


Providing meals and companionship to nearly 22,000 housebound elderly New Yorkers, Citymeals is a lifesaving service. Their 30,000-square-foot Joan & Bob Tisch Meal Distribution Center packs 75% of its meals, stores non-perishable food, operates weekend mail delivery, and accommodates up to 250 volunteers to pack meals. It’s functioning at a staggering capacity, but it was due for a makeover. That’s where we come in. 

We painted portraits of four homebound elderly New Yorkers who receive meals from Citymeals at huge scale on the warehouse walls, adding a human touch to this community-centric organization and cheer to the industrial area. Back in 2018, Citymeals printed and displayed vinyl versions of the same portraits. Over time, the vinyl degraded and began to peel, Citymeals connected with Colossal Media to make a change.


Our hand-painted portraits were crafted with the same love and care behind every meal and house visit, and reflect the importance of human connection. These vibrant murals will celebrate the recipients and their stories for many years to come and is a testament to the staying power of paint. 

When the murals were finished, Colossal’s New York team visited the warehouse and joined Citymeals for a volunteer day. Not to pat ourselves on the backs, but we put the work in to pack a record-breaking 5,001 meals and build 7,878 meal boxes. In the words of our volunteer lead Otis: “the quality of your work was out of this world.” 


It was our pleasure to share a bit of creativity and care with this remarkable organization, and to remember always that ours is a labor of love.

Please visit the Citymeals on Wheels website to consider making a donation or volunteering.

A special thank you to Collective Media who supported the project by capturing video of the making of these murals.

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