Grand Opening of Hindu Temple Kitchen
The grand opening for the new upgraded Kitchen at the Hindu Temple of Las Vegas took place on Sunday, September 8th with over 150 Hindu community members in attendance.
The kitchen building project has been long overdue for the community. It was about 3 years ago when the Temple management dropped the idea of charging for Sunday luncheon served at the Temple. Since that time, a group of volunteers from the community have dedicated their time and energy in bringing groceries, purchasing supplies and preparing food in the Temple. The cooking facilities at the Temple were not of commercial standards as volunteer group ladies used to cook on open stoves using propane cylinders in the Temple patio. With ever increasing volume of visitors, it was getting extremely difficult to cook under the patio – especially in the harsh summer and winter months. Despite all the obstacles, the food program survived through all these years. It was for this reason that the Board of Trustees of the Temple authorized the construction of kitchen within the Temple premises. This project was completed in 6 months time and all of the cooking appliances – Steel Cabinets, Refrigerator, Freezer, etc., are of commercial quality. The Volunteers finally have a place they can call ‘Their Kitchen’.
It is difficult to recognize all the volunteers who helped keep the food program going but there are a few people who spent their personal time every Sunday so devotees could have lunch on Sunday afternoons after the religious services. The key volunteers in the Sunday food program over the past 3 years were Neeru Piplani, Savita Kaushal, Bharti Sharma, Preetha Sanwal, Rima Jagtiani, Ramesh Piplani, Virender Sanwal and Dilip Shukla. Apart from the above volunteers, there were a many many other volunteers who spent an extraordinary amount of time in the Temple kitchen for the last few years and hats off to all of them.
Beginning 2013 – the food program at the Temple has been extremely successful. From financial point of view there is no cost to the Temple as there are devotees sponsoring Sunday luncheon for all 52 Sundays. During the recent festivities especially during Sri Krishna Janmasthami (250 people), Kitchen Grand Opening (150 people) and Sri Ganesh Chaturthi (300 people) – the volunteers prepared the food – a feast – in the new kitchen. In contrast, during the past few years, the Temple administration would order vegetarian lunch from the local restaurants and had to use the Temple funds. The past three events alone helped save the Temple over $4,000 as dedicated group of volunteers prepared vegetarian delicacies in the new kitchen.