khalsa help

Khalsa Care Foundation volunteers helping prepare meals for first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. (photo provided)

The Pacoima, California-based Khalsa Care Foundation has been heavily involved in preparing meals for first responders as well as for the needy, and has been providing thousands of pre-packaged warm meals as requested by the Los Angeles mayor's office and other agencies during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This selfless voluntary service is provided around the clock by a team of dedicated Indian American and Sikh American volunteers, a news release notes.

Not only are the meals freshly prepared and varied, but they are being delivered to the needy who cannot come to KCF because of reasons such as lack of transportation or health issues, it adds.

Safety guidelines are strictly adhered to with face masks and social distancing enforced for all. Anyone coming in for whatever reason has to have a face mask on and if they do not have one, face masks are readily available at the desk where volunteers hand them out and everyone has their temperature taken to make sure no one enters if they are not well; hand sanitizing stations are conveniently located for all to use, as well, the KCF said in its release.

Devotees going in to the prayer hall find marked spots on the carpet for them to sit at social distances, it adds.

The Ragis in attendance sit behind Plexiglass barriers to meet health and safety guidelines to limit public exposure. Prasad is put in small one-time use individual covered containers for the public to take home which precludes the eating of food on premises, the KCF said.

Langar, or free kitchen, follows the same protocol and is handed out in containers for people to take home. This ensures hygienic conditions from preparation to consumption of food in keeping with the volatile health concerns inherent with COVID-19 pandemic, the release said.

Additionally, last month, a routine maintenance ritual of the changing of the Nishan Sahib Chola took place as the old one was showing signs of exposure to the outside elements. A new one had been made and the old one replaced with the singing of hymns and loud Jaikaras of ‘Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal’ exuberantly sounded in a joyous mood by the Sangat in attendance, the release said.

KCF also has a free Food Pantry for the local people who make good use of it. And on Fridays, care packages are handed out to the families in need and in this time of uncertainty, the release said.

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