The India Association of Nebraska and The Hindu Temple hosted a benefit luncheon on Sunday to help victims of the recent flooding in Nebraska. 

Hundreds of people gathered at Omaha’s Hindu Temple community center to participate in the fundraiser lunch featuring cuisines from 40 different Indian cultures. 

The temple raised $47,000.

Weeks of planning went into preparing for the event and more than 200 volunteers helped to prepare the food and distribute it to the community. The luncheon attracted so many people that it was moved from the temple off 132nd and West Center to the social hall across the street. 

“The collaboration between the Hindu Temple of Omaha and the Indian Association of Nebraska helps convey Indian culture through food while also bringing the local community together to help aid with the flood relief projects,” said Sindhu Suresh, a Hindu devotee who also helped at event.

“To me, it shows that we can come together as a community, regardless of religion or culture, and help the people of our community who are in need of basic life essentials.” 

The massive flooding in Nebraska has caused a report $1 billion damage to the state’s agricultural economy. Gov. Pete Ricketts has called it the worst natural disaster in Nebraska’s history with state of emergencies declared in 74 counties and 85 cities. 

“It was a cool experience to try new Indian food and support the cause after hearing so many stories about the flooding,” said College of Nursing student Katie Erskine. “I learned a lot about the culture as well.” 

The India Association of Nebraska and The Hindu Temple hosted a similar a benefit luncheon last September for the victims of a flood in Kerala, India. 

Last weekend, the Omaha Food Truck Association also held a fundraiser at Bellevue University located at 1000 Galvin Road South to support flood relief efforts. The association will host another event again in Fremont this week to raise funds for victims of flooding. A division of the association plans to create a fund to help relief efforts for future disasters. 

The food truck raised $7,000.

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