Published On: Thu, Apr 30th, 2015

Chabad Center Serves 2, 000 Meals in a Single Day to Nepalis

Emissaries continue to help and house the stranded, and expect to feed even more people tomorrow

Chabad is able to restock on some basics like rice flour and fresh produce,   and will continue to feed the hungry there. (Photo: David Karsenty/Chabad of Nepal)
By Faygie Levy

On the ground in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, the urgency and desperation of those living in the region is acute—and in some places, desperate. Thousands of people have no homes to return to, no food, no water and no way to get supplies they desperately need.

It’s a situation that is repeated over and over again in Nepali towns and villages days after a massive earthquake on Saturday destroyed much of the infrastructure in a country that was already one of the poorest and least developed nations in the world.

While a few stores are open, the shelves are pretty bare.

Children enjoy a meal and seem to keep up their spirits. (Photo: David Karsenty/Chabad of Nepal)

Rabbi Yehuda Rose, who came to help with disaster relief after the quake, adds: “The ingredients are very basic, and we understand that we need to do what it takes to make sure these people have at least pita and dal bhat [a lentils-and-rice local food staple] to feed their families.”

To help their neighbors, Chabad set up a food stall on Wednesday in a particularly improvised area and began handing out food to anyone who was there. Some 200 men, women and children quickly lined up for bowls of warm sustenance, which was distributed by Israeli tourists staying at the Chabad House. The sheer joy on people’s faces as they took the food was infectious, describes those close to the situation; it also gave the volunteers a feeling of accomplishment and empowerment knowing that they were helping others.

To help their neighbors on day five of the disaster in Nepal caused by a massive earthquake,   the Chabad House in Kathmandu set up a food stall on Wednesday in a particularly improvised area and began handing out food to anyone who was there. (Photo: David Karsenty/Chabad of Nepal)

“The whole time, they didn’t stop saying ‘thank you, ” and ‘please, please bring more foodtomorrow, ’ ” Karsenty recounts, adding that they will indeed go back tomorrow.

“It’s an amazing experience helping people, ” he says. “But when you hear the number of victims and see the burning bodies in the street, you understand this is not a joke.”

All of this activity comes as the Lifshitzes continue to feed the dozens and dozens of Israelis who are still making their way down from the mountains and villages, and finding respite at the Chabad House.

The sheer joy on people’s faces as they took the food was infectious,   describes those close to the situation. (Photo: David Karsenty/Chabad of Nepal)

Chabad estimates that it prepared nearly 2, 000 meals on Wednesday and will make more for Thursday. They are also organizing food aid to be sent on motorcycles to outlying areas.

“They come back weak, tired and very hungry, ” says Chani Lifshitz on Facebook. “We are constantly bringing huge pots of food out of the kitchen. Now are spreading out sleeping bags and blankets arranging places for the few hundred [people] to sleep.”

(While Chani Lifshitz was serving up 2, 000 meals to Nepalis outside the Chabad House in Kathmandu, her husband, Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, was out in a helicopter rescuing travelers, and their children were being hosted at the home of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.)

Some 200 men,   women and children quickly lined up for bowls of warm sustenance,   which was distributed by Israeli tourists staying at the Chabad House in Kathmandu,   Nepal. (Photo: David Karsenty/Chabad of Nepal)

 

To help with the earthquake relief effort, visit the special relief fund page: www.Chabad.org/Nepal.

 

They were served a hot dish of "dal bhat,  " a lentils-and-rice local stapled,   and pita bread. (Photo: David Karsenty/Chabad of Nepal)

The Nepali people,   many of them neighbors,   expressed their gratitude for the warm food. (Photo: David Karsenty/Chabad of Nepal)

The volunteers,   many of them young Israelis,   felt empowered at being able to help. (Photo: David Karsenty/Chabad of Nepal)

 

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