Washington, DC: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, an initiative by the Indian American community in the Washington DC metro area to provide groceries and food has helped over 15,000 families since May.
For more than six months now, almost 250 cars lined up the parking lots of designated churches and schools for a drive-thru food giveaway as part of an initiative to help those who are still struggling because of the pandemic.
“We have supplied groceries to at least 15,000 families in the area. And that lasts for about three to four days for people, a family of four …This was an effort on the part of the Indian-American community to tell people that our community is a giving community. We are here to help them in these tough times,” Dr Suresh Gupta, a leading member of the Indian American community told ANI.
Being able to do their part to help those in need “fills the volunteers with a great sense of accomplishment,” Dr Gupta said.
The food drive was in partnership with several members of the Indian American community, the local church and the county administration in the Washington DC metro area. “Everyone is eager to help. In fact, many times we have to hold back the volunteers who want to come here and participate,” said Rajiv Jain, an Indian American who has been volunteering.
About 250 plus families in their cars lined up-almost bumper to bumper on a Sunday morning to receive donated food items like fresh produce and packaged food — a necessity for some in poverty or anyone else in search of a meal amid COVID -19. People from different faiths show up early and lined up for the drive to begin.
“We are just so grateful that you’re helping the community,” a couple thanked the volunteers.
“This food drive is very important to us, it means a lot to my family, stay blessed,” another overwhelmed lady thanks the volunteers while picking her supplies.
The Indian American community shares information about the distribution through local NGO”s, food banks and even reaches out to places of worship in the community to get the word out.
The community plans to have their next drive on October 2 to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary followed by a food drive during Diwali.