WASHINGTON, DC: Community, developmental and religious organizations joined hands to raise money and created a food distribution drive. According to a press release, more than 13,000 families in Washington, DC, were provided with groceries.
Dr Suresh Gupta, a Washington, DC-based member of Executive Committee of the National Association of Indians in America, said they hosted 30 food distribution events in the months of October and November. Gupta is credited with envisioning the project and developing a team, including medical and non-medical community members, including Dr Narendra Tandon, Rajiv Jain, Dr Ram Nagula, Dr Siva Subramanian, and Dr Vinod Prakash.
The organizations involved in the drive are:
- American Association of Physicians–Washington, DC chapter
- American Diversity Group
- Buddha Family
- Ekal Vidyalaya, Washington, DC chapter
- Hindu American Community Services
- India Development Relief Fund
- Maratha Kala Mandir
- United Hindu Jain Temples
- Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Washington, DC chapter
According to a press release, the associations raised and utilized $250,000, and created a “Grab and Go” food distribution, in which local schools, community centers, and places of worship participated and provided volunteer services.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused high levels of unemployment and poverty, and many families are struggling to stay afloat. As Dr Urmilesh Arya, president of the National Association of Indian Americans (AIA), observed: “Food pantries have seen increase in demand and cars are lining up for hours to procure free food.”