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Food Insecurity In New York,  Indian-Americans Work To Raise Awareness

"In the spirit of ‘give where you live', the community through IAC, has enabled close to five million meals in Texas in just over a year," said Raj Asava in a press release. 

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The group has mobilized the Indian-American community with the rallying call of "Hunger Mitao!", which means "Wipe Out Hunger." Pixabay

Indian-Americans across New York are coming together to fight food insecurity, with a major organisation working to end hunger throughout the city’s five boroughs.

The Food Bank For New York City’s new Indian-American Council (IAC) will work to raise awareness, improve engagement and channel community resources to help end hunger, The American Bazaar daily reported.

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“We are excited to bring this model to New York City and are confident that the Indian community here will galvanise around Food Bank and provide millions of meals for the city’s food insecure children, seniors, veterans and vulnerable families,” added Anna Asava. Pixabay

The newly-formed Council kicked off its “Million Meal March” campaign at Baar Baar restaurant earlier this month.

The event garnered more than 100 attendees and raised over 610,000 meals for New Yorkers in need.

The group has mobilized the Indian-American community with the rallying call of “Hunger Mitao!”, which means “Wipe Out Hunger.”

food
The Food Bank For New York City’s new Indian-American Council (IAC) will work to raise awareness, improve engagement and channel community resources to help end hunger, The American Bazaar daily reported. 
Pixabay

The Council’s Co-Chair is Payal Sharma, the Managing Partner of the restaurant, and its Founders and Advisors are Raj Asava and Aradhana Asava.

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“In the spirit of ‘give where you live’, the community through IAC, has enabled close to five million meals in Texas in just over a year,” said Raj Asava in a press release.

“We are excited to bring this model to New York City and are confident that the Indian community here will galvanise around Food Bank and provide millions of meals for the city’s food insecure children, seniors, veterans and vulnerable families,” added Anna Asava. (IANS)

Next Story

New York City’s Mandatory Measles Vaccination Order Stands Still

The health department's lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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Materials are seen left at demonstration by people opposed to childhood vaccination after officials in Rockland County, a New York City suburb, banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces. VOA

Brooklyn judge on Thursday ruled against a group of parents who challenged New York City’s recently imposed mandatory measles vaccination order, rejecting their arguments that the city’s public health authority exceeded its authority.

In a six-page decision rendered hours after a hearing on the matter, Judge Lawrence Knipel denied the parents’ petition seeking to lift the vaccination order, imposed last week to stem the worst measles outbreak to hit the city since 1991.

The judge sided with municipal health officials who defended the order as a rare but necessary step to contain a surge in the highly contagious disease that has infected at least 329 people so far, most of them children from Orthodox Jewish communities in the borough of Brooklyn.

Another 222 cases have been diagnosed elsewhere in New York state, mostly in a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Rockland County, northwest of Manhattan.

The New York outbreaks are part of a larger resurgence of measles across the country, with at least 555 cases confirmed in 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health experts say the virus, which can cause severe complications and even death, has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to get them vaccinated. Most profess philosophical or religious reasons, or cite concerns — debunked by medical science — that the three-way measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism.

The judge rejected the parents’ contention that the vaccination order was excessive or coercive, noting it does not call for forcibly administering the vaccine to those who refuse it.

He also dismissed assertions in the petition disputing the “clear and present danger” of the outbreak. “Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion,” the judge said.

FILE PHOTO: A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019.
A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019. VOA

Secret identities

The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine.

The court challenge was brought in Brooklyn’s Supreme Court by five people identified only as parents living in the affected neighborhoods. Their identities were kept confidential to protect their children’s’ privacy, their lawyers said.

In court on Thursday, they told Knipel the city had overstepped its authority and that quarantining the infected would be a preferable approach.

Robert Krakow, an attorney for the parents, estimated that just 0.0006 percent of the population of Brooklyn and Queens had measles. “That’s not an epidemic,” he said. “It’s not Ebola. It’s not smallpox.”

The health department’s lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine. Pixabay

The judge cited 39 cases diagnosed in Michigan that have been traced to an individual traveling from the Williamsburg community at the epicenter of Brooklyn’s outbreak.

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The surge in measles there originated with an unvaccinated child who became infected on a visit to Israel, where the highly contagious virus is also running rampant.

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 compared with the same period last year, the World Health Organization said this week. (VOA)