California’s Sikh Community Distribute Food

Southern California’s United Sikh Mission has been distributing about 1,400 meals daily for the past month with help from hundreds of volunteers in the local community, a media reported.

This is one of the largest operations in the region, supplying thousands of vegetarian meals not only to seniors and health-care workers at local hospitals, but also through the daily drive-through, India-West news quoted a local media report as saying. 

In addition, it was also distributing groceries and face masks on weekends at the Jurupa Valley temple here.

Gurpreet Singh, a coordinator with the United Sikh Mission, spoke to the Orange County Register of how their small operation, which started out serving about 175 meals daily outside the temple, grew with help from the local Sikh community into a significant project that has handed out 40,000 meals over the past four weeks.

The nutritious food is made fresh daily at local restaurants in Fontana and Upland. 

Volunteers then pack the meals, comprising mostly of rice and lentils seasoned with Indian spices. 

Rupnagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays obeisance at Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara in Rupnagar district of Punjab on Nov 25, 2016. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

The Mission is now partnering with community leaders and churches in the Inland Empire to help with meal deliveries to seniors in Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley and Riverside and to area hospitals.

Another organization pitching in to feed those in need is the Khalsa Food Pantry in Pacoima run by the Khalsa Care Foundation, said the India-West news report. 

The Food Pantry provides hot meals every Friday in partnership with Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’s office.

The pantry has started a GoFundMe page to raise donations to meet the increasing demand.

Apart from food and groceries, the pantry also provides feminine hygiene products once a month, said the report.

In Bakersfield, meanwhile, the Sikh Riders of America, is providing face shields for law enforcement, first-responders and frontline health-care workers.