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Indo-American Council aims to fight hunger in North Texas

Raj and Anna Asava North Texas Food Bank Indo-American Council

Raj and Anna Asava

Raj and Anna Asava retired early from corporate IT jobs to do more of what they found meaningful. Philanthropy, extensive travel, and time with family became their focus.

About four years ago, upon learning about the rampant hunger lurking in North Texas, they decided to get involved with North Texas Food Bank. Anna joined the philanthropy Council of NTFB, and both Raj and Anna started volunteering their time and raising awareness about Hunger in North Texas. They­ recently spearheaded the launch of the Indo-American Council for North Texas Food Bank (NTFB-IAC), a first of its kind community-led initiative.

Read more: How Jake’s Heart, a nonprofit that cares for homeless people, was founded by a child

The NTFB-IAC exists to improve engagement, raise awareness and channel resources and contributions of the Indo-American community towards North Texas Food Bank’s mission of a hunger-free community. With “Million Meal March” as its mission, the IAC is targeting impactful outcomes.

“We want to help mobilize the Indo-American community to fight hunger in North Texas through volunteering, advocacy, and donating food and funds.” says Raj. “Our immediate goal is for the Indo-American community to fund 1 million meals for the North Texas Food Bank”.

The response has been amazing. “Everyone we speak with, agrees that we need to be more engaged and active in our communities,” says Anna who is pleased to report that many people are signing up to volunteer, be donors and to spread the word. “The Indo-American community has wholeheartedly accepted the challenge! I guess it was just a catalyst that was needed!”

What is the Million Meal March? Raj and Anna word its purpose perfectly. “We set out on a mission to initially fund a million meals for North Texas Food Bank. It seemed like a good goal: ambitious and tangible. The strategic intent is to keep going and measuring progress in 1 Million meal increments.”

Indo-American Council for North Texas Food Bank, Raj and Anna Asava

Anna and Raj Asava with Trisha Cunningham, CEO of North Texas Food Bank

In just six months since its launch, the Indo-American Council has received commitments of almost eight hundred thousand meals! Hundreds have volunteered at North Texas Food Bank distribution center and many organizations and individuals are conducting awareness sessions and holding food drives.

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With this momentum, the Indo-American Council of the North Texas Food Bank expects to reach its campaign goal of the “Million Meal March” comfortably within the first year of its launch!

Want to help/get involved? Find out more at: https://www.ntfb.org/iac

Five years down the road, Raj and Anna see many ways the initiative can continue to grow and expand. “In addition to fighting hunger, we see Indo-American Council contributing in the areas of education, safety and health by partnering with other efficient and effective organizations like the North Texas Food Bank,” says Raj.

Indo-American Council for North Texas Food Bank, Raj and Anna Asava

Anna and Raj Asava with the steering committee of the Indo-American Council for North Texas Food Bank

Melissa Richardson
Melissa (Mimi) Richardson is a twenty-four year old HIPster at My Possibilities, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Melissa is a “High Functioning Autistic” woman.

Melissa enjoys cooking for her family, drawing, writing, reading fantasy and roman mythology, playing video games like Pokemon, and playing with her pets. Melissa lives at home with her older brother, mother, and father. She graduated an A+ student with the class of 2014 from the online high school, Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA) . Melissa calls the city of Richardson, Texas her home.

During High School, Melissa ran for twelfth grade Student Council Representative and won by a landslide. Her favorite subjects in school were Literary Analysis & Composition, Art, Biology, History, Journalism, and Forensic Science.

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