Los Angeles Mother's Kitchen

Los Angeles Mother's Kitchen began in the 1990's with Raduca Kaplan organizing veggie stew and peanut-butter sandwiches for the homeless.  Soon she joined forces with Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Eat) which had legal permission to distribute food to the homeless in the Santa Monica beach district, providing over a thousand meals per month.  Since then, Los Angeles Mother's Kitchen is additionally providing  a monthly luncheon at the Los Angeles Downtown Women's Shelter.

Amma's devotees in Los Angeles have never lacked enthusiasm!  Please read the following accounts by Los Angeles Mother's Kitchen seva participants:

Anita shares: "I joined Mother's Kitchen to help feed the homeless. In truth, it was the beautiful, wise, funny and fierce ladies of the Downtown Women’s Center who fed my heart, spirits and soul each and every time. It felt like spending Sunday mornings hanging out with 150 of my best sisters, cousins, aunties and grandmas."

Elizabeth shares: "I remember the face of hunger changing radically during the recession. Friends and neighbors began losing their homes. Families with small children needed help with meal support, socks and warm coats."

Visuddha shares: "When I first began serving the homeless meals in Santa Monica it was through the LA Satsang. It was a casual sharing of food in the park. The numbers of homeless is nothing like today.  By getting involved I started not being afraid to make a connection with homeless people. I said hello, asked how they were doing, and we looked into each others eyes.  I melted and my heart opened.  The gratitude was clear and I loved doing it.

"I wanted to do more but doubted I could cook for such large numbers.  In my small kitchen I found myself working very hard and feeling tired by the end of it.  Yet, when it came time to deliver the food, I started to feel my energy come back as I arrived and saw all the faces waiting to be served. My mind did not focus on my body. My spirit was ready to serve the food to others.  The more I served the food, the more I would get energy from the experience.  I would come home a bit tired yet mostly peaceful that I had contributed in some way to making this world a kinder place."



Bhavesh shares: "Ever since I began volunteering on Sunday mornings for Mother's Kitchen Seva many years ago, I have found the experience so inspiring and full of joy!  The teamwork and delicious food we prepare by Amma's Grace and Guidance and serving the lovely women at the Downtown Women's Center has truly been a great seva experience. Food preparation is one of the many loving things we can offer as seva to others. In India, the offering of food to others and those in need is considered a sacred tradition referred to as 'Annadanam'."


From Jill and Chetana, past and present coordinators of Los Angeles Mother's Kitchen: "We started co-coordinating in 2009 after Elizabeth Tobias.  Raduca Kaplan was our first coordinator starting in the early 1990's serving veggie stew and peanut butter sandwiches in the park in Santa Monica."

Chetana shares: "For me, Mother's Kitchen was a beautiful opportunity to break bread and deeply connect with others. I have a wonderful collection of experiences that have made a lasting, meaningful impression. It's a sweet pleasure recalling several events that stand out."

Jill shares: "
Here is a story that still makes me laugh: Chetana and I were announcing the dishes we made for lunch to the ladies at the old Downtown Women's Center location.  Blank stares at the mention of lentil curry.  Finally a woman shouted "What's a lentil?"  Most had never heard of it much less tried one!  Imagine our pride when everyone had seconds!  A couple months later the same woman gave us a lecture on exactly which type of lentil she preferred!"


Nicole shares: " When I met Amma 15 years ago I was very curious about the people lucky enough to do the Arati or other forms of devotional service close to Amma when she came to Los Angeles. Around that time, Mother's Kitchen tried to make a fundraiser using my house as the venue for a raw food workshop.  It was a lot of work and not many funds were raised, so after that I would just call  the Mother's Kitchen coordinator and send money when it was needed.

"Sometimes for no good reason I will wake up and wonder "Is Mother's Kitchen out of funds?"  Jill lets me know if they are low and we start the process of me sending a check and it getting processed.  When I had an assistant I would send him to drive the food where it was needed and that felt good too.  

"I am very blessed to be able to help and, of course, Amma, knowing my secret wish, found a way to get me on the list for doing Arati since I am a volunteer. I may be the volunteer that no one ever sees, but my heart is with the Mother's Kitchen every day. It has been an honor to find ways to serve that do not interfere with my kid raising and work. 

"So get involved, people!  There are many many ways."

Our Beginning...
In 1996, people inspired by Amma's teachings about serving the poor asked her if they should find a place with a real need and try to help. When Amma said yes, they found a small soup kitchen in west Oakland serving free meals every weekday while operating on a shoestring budget. Mother’s Kitchen began serving hot meals there twice a month, soon adding bagged lunches too.  Very soon, Mother's Kitchens began popping up all over the map, first in Dallas and Seattle, then Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, and we are now at 50 plus in the United States, Canada and Central America, serving over 150,000 meals annually. Our bi-monthly Newsletter will highlight the wide variety of Mother's Kitchens across the country.

Join us to make a difference. Check the Mother's Kitchen closest to you here >>.

Serving the Hungry . Helping the Homeless . Spreading Amma's Love .

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