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Sikh volunteers prepare over 30,000 meal packets for Americans in self-isolation

The Sikh Center of New York prepared more than 30,000 home-cooked meals for Americans in self-isolation amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Sikh community was approached by New York's Mayor office for food packages that were handed out to several distributing federal agencies in the area. The agencies will further distribute and deliver free food to people affected by Covid-19 in New York City, one of the worst affected cities in the US by the novel coronavirus.

Strict food hygiene practices were observed while the food was prepared. The volunteers wore gloves and masks while preparing the food. Himat Singh, coordinator of the American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (East Coast) told ANI, "The sewa (service) provided by the Sikh volunteers is a vegetarian meal comprising of dry fruits, rice, and lentils."

"The distributing agencies will provide the food packages to the elderly or people having trouble getting food at supermarkets, specially-abled, homeless and single parents who are looking after their kids and can't go out," he further added. Food items that have been previously donated to the Gurudwara are being used for this initiative and even the Gurudwara funds are being used. United Sikhs, an NGO based across the United States, also made an appeal to people from all walks of life to donate generously.

"Once we heard people can't find food at shopping centres, we started reaching out to people in our personal capacity," Dr Pritpal Singh, coordinator of the American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (West Coast) told ANI. The Sikh volunteers applauded the efforts of the federal agencies who have been working round the clock to combat the crisis and also appealed to follow the advisories sent out by the city, state and federal agencies.

"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," Jathedar Harpreet Singh, Sri Akal Takht Sahib and the spiritual leader of the Sikh community told ANI.

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