Indian American Council raises 600,000 plus meals for needy in New York City

Indian American Council Founders and Advisors Aradhana “Anna” Asava and Raj Asava, and Co-Chair Payal Sharma. Photo courtesy of Indian American Council.

Indian Americans across New York are coming together to fight food insecurity with Food Bank For New York City.

The newly formed Indian American Council (IAC) kicked off their Million Meal March campaign at Baar Baar restaurant on March 12, 2019. The launch event garnered more than 100 attendees and raised over 610,000 meals for New Yorkers in need.

The group has mobilized the Indian American community with the rallying cry of “Hunger Mitao!”, which means ‘wipe out hunger’.

The Council’s Co-Chair is Payal Sharma, the Managing Partner of Baar Baar restaurant, and its Founders and Advisors are Raj Asava and Aradhana “Anna” Asava. The council will raise awareness, improve engagement, and channel resources and contributions of the Indian American community in New York City to support Food Bank’s mission, according to a press release.

“In the spirit of ‘give where you live,’ the Indian-American community – through IAC – has enabled close to five million meals in Texas in just over a year,” said Raj Asava.

“We are excited to bring this model to New York City and are confident that the Indian community here will galvanize around Food Bank and provide millions of meals for NYC’s food insecure children, seniors, veterans and vulnerable families,” added Anna Asava.

“In order to be Food Bank FOR New York City, it’s imperative that New Yorkers from every community see a place for leadership within our mission,” said Margarette Purvis, President & CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “We are grateful to be selected as the recipients of the great passion, commitment and focus of the Indian American Council.  Their important work punctuates how every New Yorker has a role to play in the fight against hunger.”

Originally launched in North Texas, the co-founders have since expanded the Indian American Council to Houston, as well.

For 35 years, Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs.

Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers.

Through its network of more than 1,000 charities and schools citywide, Food Bank provides food for more than 61 million free meals per year for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank For New York City’s income support services, including food stamps (also known as SNAP) and free tax assistance for the working poor, put more than $110 million each year into the pockets of New Yorkers, helping them to afford food and achieve greater dignity and independence.

Food Bank’s nutrition education programs and services empower more than 50,000 children, teens and adults to sustain a healthy diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget. Working toward long-term solutions to food poverty, Food Bank develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts.



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