A Sikh organization in New York City is helping the community by cooking and giving away free food to people in self-isolation amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The volunteer work was organized and executed by the U.S.-based Non-Government Organization (NGO) United Sikhs’ emergency response team.
Volunteers worked tirelessly every day to prevent over 30,000 people from going hungry as they continue to battle the virus, according to its Facebook post on Wednesday
The group was approached by the New York Mayor’s office for help, asking them to make meals for those who have been affected by the outbreak, Asian News International
Volunteers follow a strict hygiene protocol while preparing meals such as maintaining social distance and using masks and gloves.
“The ‘Sewa’ or service provided by the Sikh volunteers is a vegetarian meal comprising of dry fruits, rice, and lentils,” Himat Singh, coordinator of the American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (east coast), said. “The meals were prepared on Sunday and were packaged and loaded for delivery. The distribution starts on Monday in the morning, by local authorities. Volunteers who prepared and packaged the meal had a medical check and have been approved by physicians and health authorities.”
The food, which was prepared using the Gurudwara funds and supplies, are given to the elderly, homeless people, single parents looking after their children who can’t go out, disabled people, and others who may find it difficult to fend for themselves.
Sikh communities throughout the country are also organizing to provide help to those in need.
They are gearing up infrastructure to help agencies across the country as they prepare to provide free food, shelter at Gurudwara’s, and deliver essentials like medicine for the homeless and those in need.
“Once we heard people were having a problem with food when they go shopping, they can’t find food in the shopping centre, then we started reaching out to people in our personal capacity in the Bay Area (San Francisco),” Dr. Pritpal Singh, coordinator of the American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (west coast), said.
About 99% of the people who received free meals are Americans. Indians who have been in 14-day isolation overseas or students also received help.