The organization’s 18th annual gala focuses on healthy food.
The South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS) honored New York City Councilman Peter Koo and Indian American Dr. Jagat Narula, an associate dean for Global Affairs at Mount Sinai Hospital, at its 18th annual gala held on October 21, 2018.
Koo, who represents District 20, was honored “for his compassion, and unwavering commitment to serving New York’s underserved communities,” SACSS said in a press release.
Narula was “honored for his devotion, dedication and contributions to medicine that enriches the health and well-being of communities,” it said.
READ: Congresswoman Grace Meng, Commissioner of NYC Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal attend SACSS reception (October 17, 2014)
Founded in 2000, SACSS addresses social, educational, economic and cultural issues within the South Asian American community. The services it provides include healthcare, seniors support, education and civic engagement. Its weekly South Asian Food Pantry serves nearly 4,000 people.
The theme of the gala, held at the Utsav restaurant in New York City, was “Food for Health.” It focused on the significance of healthy food in the maintenance of the physical, mental and emotional well-being.
“Over the past 18 years, I have seen clients come to us with varied and multiple needs,” said Sudha Acharya, Executive Director of SACSS. “It is unbelievable how many are food insecure and from how many diverse communities. The food pantry has been an eye opener for us.”
She added that regardless of their status, all people should have access to fresh and nutritious food.
Koo urged the gala attendees to use their “expertise and time to make a difference for other people.”
“You can’t take your money to heaven so make sure you do important things with it on earth,” he said. “Spend it down here!”
Narula lauded SACSS, which he described as “a noble and credible organization,” for providing vital services to vulnerable individuals. “It’s all about our lifestyle and what we eat and how we live,” he said.
The gala also recognized SACSS supporters Raj Kumari Chhabra and Syeda Chowdhury and youth leaders Satvika Marepalli, Aditya Rao and Varuna Shekar.
Anita Mirchandani, Dietician and Nutritionist with The NY Nutrition Group, delivered the keynote address at the event, while Prianka Nair, Staff Attorney with Disability Rights New York, served as the master of ceremonies.
Navatman Music Collective’s Preetha Raghu and stand-up comedian Raghav Metha performed at the event.