Heroes of the Week: Gurpreet Singh and the Riverside Gurdwara

Image: Gurpreet Singh/United Sikh Mission

 

The coronavirus pandemic has compounded food insecurity around the world and in the United States has placed great strain on foodbanks. As a result, faith groups have worked diligently to help feed their neighbors.
As CNN reported, Gurpreet Singh and other members of the Sikh community in Riverside, California, started to organize efforts to provide food assistance in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Something Singh figured it would simply be a variation on the work the Riverside Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) had been doing for years.
Worldwide, Gurdwaras offer free meals to anyone who shows up. Known as Langar, it’s a tenet of faith and a key part of the Sikh religion, which emphasizes a concept of selfless service to the community at large. In the pre-pandemic days, the Riverside Gurdwara was used to providing 800 to 1,000 meals each Sunday, now they serve up 1,400.
We thought, ‘we’ll run it two or three days a week — good deed done, pat on the back,'” Singh said. But the line persisted and Singh said he quickly realized the scope of the problem. “Hunger has no days off,” he said, “so there’s no way we can serve less often than every day.” On the busiest days, Singh said, the line of cars can reach two or three miles long.

 

 

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