In February 2014, Phase IV was approved at a special General Body meeting, Phase IV included Shikhar and a commercial kitchen. Thanks to our devotees for their generous contributions, Shikhar project being first priority was completed in October' 2016 which followed with planning and completion of kitchen project in January' 2020 within the budget assigned for the project. On January 16th, Pujariji performed Sudhdhikarana (purification) Puja for the kitchen which was followed by Ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, January 18th. At the Ribbon cutting, for the first time, mahaprasad was prepared and served from our new Temple kitchen. There was a sense of joy and excitement among devotees as Phase IV was officially complete.
Subsequently,3 mahaprasads were prepared and served during the Akhnad Ramayan weekend celebration in late January and later for other temple functions.
At that time, EC announced two programs - Annadanam on Saturday mornings and Breakfast on Sundays and announced start of this from the first week of March. Both Annadanam and Sunday Breakfast were big hits. Sadly, as COVID 19 started to spread, the temple EC closed the temple and kitchen. After receiving CDC, State and local guidance for reopening, the kitchen was reopened in early May to start Sunday BF and Annadanam still kept on hold. Ever since, temple volunteer cooking teams have come forwarded and presented variety of food recipes from our diversified communities. Sunday Breakfast has become a tradition and devotes order remotely and drive in to pick up the takeout boxes averaging 250. They appreciate fresh, authentic Satvik food prepared in the temple kitchen which is offered to Gods before serving. Our cooking volunteer teams are extremely talented and understandably had to learn how to cook large quantity of food with the best taste and managing the spice level. Processes are developed with cooking, packaging and delivery guidelines. All COVID 19 required guidelines of wearing the mask, social distancing hand washing, wearing gloves while food handling is required to be followed. But we are constantly learning, experimenting and implementing new ideas.
It has all been possible by generous donations by our devotees and our multi-community cooking and volunteer support teams. Due to COVID 19 gap, there is a need for more donations to cover remaining 20% of the total cost of the project and steady longer term volunteer support for our kitchen to thrive. One of the goals of the kitchen project was to provide commercial kitchen for devotees to host weddings, and their celebration events along with pujas performed by our Pujariji. What we have seen is that devotees have been taking advantage and this is going to become bigger part of Hall and kitchen rental. Satisfaction of devotees within the temple established protocols will remain top priority.
If you have any questions or would like to donate or volunteer, please contact OP Gupta at firstname.lastname@example.org.