Hunger is on the rise across metro Atlanta and north Georgia as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact families, and the local Indian American community is doing its part to ensure no one goes without food, especially during this holiday season.
The Atlanta chapter of HungerMitao, which translates to "Wipe Out Hunger," was launched at the Atlanta Community Food Bank on Oct. 2, 2019. In just one year, supporters have donated and raised enough food and funds to provide 1 million meals to neighbors in need, a press release notes.
"The Atlanta Community Food Bank is grateful to the members of HungerMitao Atlanta for stepping up when food banks need it most. We deeply appreciate their leadership, generosity and commitment to help ensure that the 1 in 7 people facing hunger across our 29-county service area have access to food," said Kyle Waide, CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
HungerMitao is a volunteer-driven grassroots movement focused on raising awareness about hunger in the U.S., improving community engagement, and channeling resources and contributions of the Indian American community to fight hunger through the Feeding America network of food banks, it said.
Launched in 2017, the movement has now enabled 30 million meals through Feeding America and member food banks in North Texas, Houston, New York City, Atlanta and Seattle, with plans for future chapters in Central Texas, Connecticut, Alameda, New Jersey and the Tarrant Area.
The Atlanta chapter recently named two co-chairs, Dijjotam Raina and Chetan Polavaram, to help increase hunger awareness and expand the movement within the greater Atlanta Indian American community, the release said.
"With Diwali and the holiday season upon us, there is no better time to make a difference for children and families who are experiencing hardship right here in our own backyard," said Raina.
"HungerMitao is as much about eradicating hunger as it is about unifying the fragmented efforts of our community and focusing it on the humanitarian cause of hunger," added Anna Asava, co-founder of the national HungerMitao movement. Fellow co-founder and Asava’s husband Raj Asava added: "In the spirit of 'give where you live' we invite the Indian diaspora in metro Atlanta and north Georgia to join us in the mission of HungerMitao and ensure no one goes hungry."
More information about HungerMitao can be found at HungerMitao.org.