About Us Contact Us Help




New Hampshire Indian American Community Serves Food At the Homeless Shelter In Manchester

Prithvi Kumar and Padma Mathur

On July 12, members of the India Association of New Hampshire (IANH) Public Service group prepared and served dinner at the New Horizon shelter for the homeless at Manchester, New Hampshire.

The bell rang exactly at 4:30 PM and the soup kitchen opened for dinner. The guests began to arrive and were served. There were 120 guests although we had expected over 200 for the day. We were told that the summer attendance is rather unpredictable and in winter as many as 300 would show up. Dinner was served with several second helpings and the guests appreciated and thanked the members of our team. The clean up began around 5:45 PM. The volunteers rinsed and washed the plates of all guests and cleaned up the tables, kitchen and the serving table. The leftover food was given to the shelter for guests who arrive late and for the next day. We undertook this task with pride and completed the job at 6:00 PM.

In the beginning of this year, the Public Service committee discussed about organizing a cookout and serving a meal to the homeless guests at the soup kitchen in Manchester. We then made several calls to the administration of the soup kitchen about our idea. A team from the committee visited the soup kitchen of the shelter to see the facility for preparing and serving the meal. The talk was quickly translated into action plans. Padma Mathur contacted the New Horizon shelter authorities for the date and we were given Saturday July 12 to cook and serve dinner at the soup kitchen.

The planning team then took on the project and prepared an estimate of the materials required for vegetarian lasagna, garlic bread, fruit salad, garden salad, and dissert to serve 200 guests. The bread, garden salad, and the cakes were provided by the shelter. The group estimated $250 in expenses for materials. The fund raising activities began in June. We raised over $570 through generous contributions from our members. The plan was announced at the Spring Festival of the Association. We received a number of calls from our membership for volunteer help.

Members of the committee organized a vegetable preparation night on July 11. Seven ladies took part in the event at the residence of one of our members. All the veggies were cut and bagged at this time. For the day of the cookout, we organized the volunteers into two groups: the first group was given the responsibility to prepare the lasagna in the morning and the second group was given the responsibility to prepare garlic bread and fruit salad, serve at the counter, wash dishes and clean up.

On July 12, the work began at 10:00 AM. Kala Kumar, Vandana Dhakar, Geetha Padmanabhan and her mother and Homai Khanna arrived at the kitchen to prepare the lasagna sheets, prepare veggies, and set the lasagna pans to bake. The second team took over at 2:30 PM and prepared the rest of the items and got the service counter ready for service. Padma Mathur, Barinder Ahluwalia, Arninder Singh, Pushpa Sodlapur, and Mr. Prithvi Kumar participated in the second part.

Community service has been one of the core activities of the India Association of New Hampshire. We have been actively involved in providing charitable and social services. IANH raised money for the victims of the earthquakes in India in 1993 and 2001. In the year 2000, we organized an Indian classical dance show for the residents of the Hillsboro county nursing home in Goffstown, NH. We provided cash and goods for the start up of “Angie’s Shelter” for homeless women in Manchester.

At the Spring Festival in 2001, we donated $1,100 collected through selling dinner tickets to the Saraswati Mandiram in Epping, NH. In 2002, we donated $1,000 from the proceeds of the Diwali Festival to Jadwani Scholarship Fund of Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. On an ongoing basis, we are collecting sandwiches, fruits and nonperishable food items from the members for the homeless shelter in Manchester once each month. We collect these from the donors at specific sites and deliver them to the shelter on the second Sunday of each month.

Our goal is to do more of all this in the future, possibly at different shelters. We will appreciate your contribution to our public service activities. Your tax-deductible donations will be used solely for serving food to the needy. Potential donors are requested to make their checks payable to IANH and mail to IANH Public Service fund, c/o Dr. Padma Mathur, 1008 Ray Street, Manchester, NH 03102. For more information, contact Barinder Ahluwalia barinder@aol.com 603-472-4882, Prithvi Kumar saidharma@comcast.net 603-472-5835 or Padma Mathur spadmarm@aol.com 603-669-8564.

Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help