In 1976, a few devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba began distributing sandwiches to the hungry around Manhattan. It eventually evolved into the Bowery food service that spanned over 40 years, serving 150-200 people weekly. Spearheaded by the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Metropolitan New York, in collaboration with other Sai Centers in New York City, the food service continued uninterrupted until 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the project.
After a two-year hiatus, the service was revived in August 2022. For the first three weeks of August, Sai devotees picked up trash in a local park and met individuals facing food insecurity. In response, about ten Sai Center members put together 40 brown bag lunches with sandwiches, fruits, granola bars, juice, and water to distribute to those in need of food at the park. Since then, the food service has grown, and volunteers from the New York City Sai Centers joined hands to distribute lunch bags to 50-60 people each week.”