“The Good Karma” feeds the unhoused on Skid Row in LA

%22The+Good+Karma%22+volunteer+Karan+Chadda+gives+food+to+the+unhoused+on+skid+row+in+Los+Angeles.+They+served+300+meals+on+Feb.+10.+Photo+credit%3A+Vincent+Medina

Vincent N. Medina

“The Good Karma” volunteer Karan Chadda gives food to the unhoused on skid row in Los Angeles. They served 300 meals on Feb. 10. Photo credit: Vincent Medina

Vincent Medina and Samuel Carey

“The Good Karma” charity served 300 meals to the unhoused in Los Angeles’ Skid Row on Feb. 10. They have served lunch on East 5th and San Pedro Street every Wednesday and have given 11,300 meals to people in need since June 2020.

Volunteers of "The Good Karma" set up 300 meals on the corner of E 5th and San Pedro St. in Los Angeles as a line forms. As of Feb. 10, the charity has served 11,500 meals to the unhoused.
Volunteers of “The Good Karma” set up 300 meals on the corner of E 5th and San Pedro St. in Los Angeles as a line forms. As of Feb. 10, the charity has served 11,500 meals to the unhoused. Photo credit: Vincent Medina

Founder and President Vishal Narayan used his personal funds to buy a food truck. He partnered with food banks and non-profit foundations to serve fresh, hot meals to the unhoused.

Each week, Narayan and his volunteers serve a different meal. On Feb. 10, they served pasta, chips and Hint flavored water. Hint Water is a sponsor of the charity.

“Normally we would walk. We would take pull carts and walk to skid row and pass out meals,” said Narayan. “It’s too dangerous to do that now, so we set up on E 5th and San Pedro St.”

“If we were to walk around, we would bring 600 meals, but we want to make sure that food is warm. 300 meals are easier to pass out in an hour and a half.”

"The Good Karma" President ___ serves the first meal of the day to ____ . The charity served 300 meals on Feb. 10.
“The Good Karma” President Vishal Narayan serves the first meal of the day to Usabel Islam. The charity served 300 meals on Feb. 10. Photo credit: Vincent Medina

“The Good Karma” began serving food at noon, and by 1:30 p.m., they gave all 300 meals to their unhoused neighbors.

Usabel Islam accepted a meal as he passed the food truck and expressed his gratitude for the hot meal.

“The good karma is an honest truth,” Islam said. “This is so much better than the packaged food they give in the Skid Row area. These meals are delicious.”

Volunteers Sonia Sandha, Sunny Tripathy and Karan Chadda, assisted in handing out food.

Chadda started the organization with Narayan but stepped away to focus on his family. Feb. 10 was his first day back.

"The Good Karma" volunteer __ serves a meal to a grateful man on skid row. The charity served 300 meals on Feb. 10.
“The Good Karma” volunteer Karan Chadda serves a meal to a grateful man on skid row. The charity served 300 meals on Feb. 10. Photo credit: Vincent Medina

“We get lost in our own lives and our own work,” said Tripathy. “It’s good to come out and help others and to be grateful for what we have.”

Narayan’s inspiration to start the charity came from his father, who reminded him to do his “Good Karma” and help one person every day as a child.

“It’s good they are giving back to the community,” said J.J. Sterns as he accepted a meal and water. “I see more people out here because they know people will be serving food.”

As they began to run out of meals, Narayan and Chadda walked down the street to pass out meals to people in their tents. Narayan wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to receive a meal.

"The Good Karma" President _____ asks people living in their tents if they would like a hot meal. He and his charity served 300 meals on Feb. 10.
“The Good Karma” President Vishal Narayan asks people living in their tents if they would like a hot meal. He and his charity served 300 meals on Feb. 10. Photo credit: Vincent Medina

While “The Good Karma” is funded through Narayan’s personal funds, he started a Go Fund Me page and applied for a city grant. He also stated that most of the meals are donated from the “Joy of Sharing Foundation,” along with toys and blankets.

“With this truck, we can go where most charities do not. The city has drive-by food banks, but what about the people who do not have cars? That’s where we come in,” Narayan said.

The charity president shared how he wants to expand his charity.

“I want to install a kitchen in the truck to serve meals on the spot and ask chefs to come to cook as well,” Narayan said. “We would also like to build a community center through our organization, where we serve three square meals and have an after-school program for kids.”

“My goal for this charity is to be able to serve excellent food to the unhoused.”