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More than 30,000 home-cooked meals were prepared and packaged by the Sikh Center of New York for Americans in coronavirus self-isolation.
New York's Mayor office approached the Sikh community. The packages were handed out to various distributing federal agencies in the area.
Strict food hygiene practices such as maintaining social distancing and using face masks and gloves were observed while the food was prepared.
America: Sikhs have opened gurus' treasures to thousands of people affected by the Corona Warrior in New York. pic.twitter.com/Jxlh2JmiYz— Jot Zaildar (@ZaildarJot) March 24, 2020
"The 'Sewa' or service provided by the Sikh volunteers is a vegetarian meal comprising of dry fruits, rice, and lentils," coordinator of the American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (east coast), Himat Singh, told news agency ANI.
"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," Himat Singh added.
According to Guru Sahib's command, service is in their lap whom God makes his servant. It is a great service to put yourself in the forefront to serve others, regardless of your life in this tough phase.— UNITED SIKHS (@unitedsikhs) March 23, 2020
Donate https://t.co/TNjM0NpyuK#UNITEDSIKHS #COVID19 #CoronavirusNewYork pic.twitter.com/l7EwsKOndT
The food will also be distributed among the elderly, specially-abled, as well as homeless, having trouble getting food at the supermarket. It also includes single parents looking after their kids and unable to go out.
While the Gurudwara funds are being raised, food items that have been previously donated to the Gurudwara are being used for the initiative.
Americans comprise 99 percent of the people using the meals, while the rest are Indians coming from overseas or students who are isolated for 14 days.
Sikh volunteers from the East, West Coast, and the Mid West of the United States are geared with free food, shelter at Gurudwaras and delivering essentials and medicines for the needy.
"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) told ANI.
The efforts of the federal agencies, who have been working day and night to combat the crisis, were applauded by the Sikh volunteers.
"We have requested gurudwaras across the country and the world to especially reach out to the stranded Indian students and provide them meals and shelter, which will give relief to many worried parents back in India," said Jathedar Harpreet Singh, Sri Akal Takht Sahib and the spiritual leader of the Sikh community.
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