Sewa in Pandemic time
Sewa International Distributes Hot Meals and Groceries in East San Jose: Helping People in Need in Pandemic Times
Sewa volunteers with Nam Giao restaurant owner and military personnel in San Jose, California
San Jose, CA (June 25, 2020): Sewa International’s Bay Area Chapter distributed hot meals, groceries, and hygiene kits to more than 1000 people as well as schools-supply kits to children in a drive through distribution event held at the Nam Giao Restaurant in San Jose, CA on Friday, June 19 as part of its extensive COVID-19 relief efforts. This community outreach is part of Sewa International’s goal to distribute 75,000 meals and 750,000 masks to those in need nationwide.
“During these trying and unprecedented times, we move forward with the understanding that establishing a support structure for the well-being of all is of paramount importance. When we all come together with the idea that no one should go hungry or suffer because of lack of basic resources, then the whole society prospers,” said Guru Prasad, Sewa International Bay Area Chapter Coordinator.
“We distributed hot meals as well as grocery and hygiene kits to homeless shelters and senior citizen homes. These meals were graciously donated by Nam Giao restaurant,” said Mr. Prasad.
In addition to the meals and groceries distributed in this drive-through event, Sewa International also donated more than 1,000 masks including KN95, surgical masks, and face shields to Washington Hospital, Tri-Valley Health in Hayward, Heartland Hospice Services, and San Quentin Prison as well as another 250 hot meals to the HomeFirst Shelter for the homeless.
Sewa International volunteers preparing for food distribution in San Jose, CA.
Boxes of surgical gloves and face shields ready for distribution
California Assemblyman Kansen Chu was present during the drive. Organizations such as Sleeping Bags for the Homeless of Silicon Valley, Philips Creek Ranch, Bengaluru Voice, Trivalley Kannada Sangha, Rajasthani Association of North America, and Friends of Hue participated in the drive.
Mr. Chu expressed his gratitude saying, “It is really an honor to be here with Sewa and many other organizations to join hands to provide food, sleeping bags to the needy families in the East Side of San Jose. During this pandemic, so many families are suffering, including the owner of this restaurant who had to close down the restaurant, and so the fact that we have people from the community, from Sewa, that come out and help out with face masks and protective equipment and food that was already delivered has really touched my heart.”
Over the past month, the Bay Area chapter distributed almost 6,000 meals and 7,000 masks to individuals impacted by COVID-19. The Bay Area chapter has also played an instrumental role in helping stranded passengers and students. In addition, 50,000 KN95, N95, surgical masks and face shields were donated to organizations including the United States Postal Service, Valley Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, San Ramon Police Department, City of Sunnyvale, and the City of Cupertino, among others.
At this juncture, Sewa International has donated over 650,000 masks, 1,000 liters of sanitizer, 63,000 hot meals, and over $100,000 to food pantries in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Through the hard work of more than 2,500 volunteers across 43 chapters and in collaboration with over 800 organizations across the country, Sewa International has committed to supporting essential workers and service industries in these trying times. In addition, Sewa International has set up eleven national helpline centers to field and monitor all calls for help and information. Through the information received via these helplines, Sewa International launched the Plasma Registry Drive which led to successful registry matches for four COVID-19 patients.
For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19.