International Ministries

A School Creates a Community Kitchen in India

A School Creates a Community Kitchen in India
The staff of the Riverside School feeds students and families in India. Photo courtesy of ISPCK.

Students in India were writing their final exams for the academic year 2019-2020 when the prime minister called for a people’s curfew in March followed by a strict lockdown to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Though this was the right decision, we knew it would negatively affect families at the Free Schools sponsored by the Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (ISPCK), especially the children of migrant laborers at our Riverside Free School. Many family members of students and staff are daily wage workers and live below the poverty line. In response, ISPCK decided to set up a Community Kitchen at the Riverside school.

The village in which the school is located is densely populated, which meant we had to get creative about how to distribute meals—in our desire to prevent death and sickness from lack of food we didn’t want to cause death and sickness by spreading coronavirus. We worked hard to maintain social distancing and called people inside in small batches to receive meals and provisions. Many migrant laborers left the village and returned home, but our families were able to stay on. Every day more than 80 to 90 people were fed. We are hoping to safely continue the Community Kitchen.

ISPCK also sponsors a women’s empowerment program called Disha. Participants in this program are making and distributing masks to those in their communities who cannot buy one. The work of ISPCK is supported by United Methodist Women members’ Mission Giving.


Ella Sonawane is associate general secretary for the Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. This article was featured in the September/October issue of response magazine.

Posted or updated: 10/9/2020 12:00:00 AM