Today, July 3rd, the cooks are a little late, and are still calmly and steadily preparing the puri (bread) dough when the children run noisily in.
The menu today is potato and squash curry, puri and khir (a nutritious milk rice pudding). When it is time to serve the food, the children are very quickly seated and ready to receive. After the plates are prepared, we lead the children in a round of chanting. After this everyone loudly acknowledges Sai Maa in unison for providing this great gift of nutritious food before commencing eating.
Just One serves 130 people before we run out of food. Those receiving the meal have been hungry and have eaten more than usual. At these Ashram feeding programs, we are very careful to only serve small portions to the children. This means more work for the servers, as they must return to fill the plates more often, but it ensures food is not wasted. The servers, the Sai Maa Vishnu Shakti Trust staff and Ashram guards included, are focused only on ensuring the children living around the Sai Maa Moksha Dham have been well fed and leave content.
The smiles, laughter and arms around our necks as the children leave seem to say that we have succeeded.