Coronavirus: Sikh community in Australia works tirelessly to deliver free meals to needy

Coronavirus: Sikh community in Australia works tirelessly to deliver free meals to needy

Melbourne, April 4

The Sikh community in Australia is working tirelessly to deliver free meals daily and groceries to people struggling with self-isolation and financial hardship amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a recent facebook post, the Sikh Volunteers Australia (SVA) has called upon families in Victoria to reach out to the group for free meal deliveries.

From soup and pasta to rice and curries on the menu, the group, which has over a dozen of delivery vans and only 20 volunteers, deliver more than 800 meals a day.

"The initiative was started three years ago in South East part of Melbourne and we have been serving free food packs to those in need, like elderly, single parent or people in self isolation," SVA member Manpreet Singh said on Saturday.

"We have also started a new service for international students now and we expect the deliveries to go up," he said, adding that the group follows all the rules, put in place in the wake of the pandemic, while preparing the food, packing and loading it in vans.

Another organisation named the United Sikhs has also come forward to help the needy by providing free meals and basic food supplies.

They are also providing basic over-the-counter medicines to overseas students, senior citizens, low income families, disabled and self-isolated people.

According to Gurvinder Singh, a member of the United Sikhs, the group cooks 100-200 meals twice a day for the needy and then delivers the food at their doorstep.

"We are also helping them with over-the-counter medication and basic food supplies like milk, canned food, flour, rice and lentils. We are working with the local councils and the state and federal governments to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

Pritam Singh Gill of Gurdwara Sahib Tarniet said he provides close to 70 meals a day in his personal capacity and almost 30-40 meals are collected from the gurdwara premises everyday for international students living in the area.

"We are giving free meals and even groceries," he said.

The Sikh community in Australia is well known for their community services during crisis situations. They have earned accolades and praises for their selfless services.

In a "thank you" note to Sikh Volunteers Australia, Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews recently said the volunteers "fed countless Victorians during the bushfires" and this time they "hit the road again -- delivering hundreds of home cooked meals to isolated people across Melbourne's south east". PTI

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