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Cost of living: The Sikh community serves hot meals to more people than ever

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According to Sky News.

In the last 12 months, the Sikh community has served around 60,000 hot meals on the streets of the UK – a large increase over previous years.

Since the cost of living rising, Sikh places of worship (Gurdwaras), where anyone can receive a free meal and eat for free have seen a large influx of people of non-Sikh faith.

There will be langar visits at Gurdwaras around the world this week, the name given to the vegetarian communal kitchen inside every Gurdwara.

Jag Singh, a committee member at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Slough (SGSSS), said: “We’ve never seen so many people in the Gurdwara which is great, but sadly we can tell they’re really struggling.

“You know the situation’s bad when people are unable to put food on the table.”

He added: “Our doors will continue to stay open for all, regardless of faith, gender and status because that’s exactly why langar was set up.”

Langar was introduced over 500 years ago, by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism because of his belief in the oneness of humanity.

A number of Gurudwaras across the country- all of whom have shared that they have experienced notable changes recently.

The Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick serves 14,000 people per week on average, compared to 10,000 last year.

Besides the places of worship, many Sikh organisations have increased their efforts to distribute food on the streets to those in need.

Each week, nearly 60,000 meals of langar are served on the streets of the UK, almost double the amount before the pandemic.

A government spokesperson told Sky News: “Our £37bn support package is helping with rising costs, including £1,200 to help the most vulnerable pay their bills. This is on top of the £316m we are giving to councils this year to help prevent homelessness.”

The langar service also regularly extends into helping people in other areas of support, such as with housing and medical and mental aid.

For the past seven years, Jennifer Button has made a daily trip to the Langar Aid feed in Coventry. Due to her impaired vision, the 67-year-old is unable to prepare meals for herself.

She said: “I’ve been struggling bad this year. For the first time in my life, I’ve had to start budgeting.

“I thank them (Langar Aid) from the bottom of my heart. If they weren’t here, I wouldn’t know what to do.”

Teared up, she added: “They don’t have to do it, but they do it from the kindness of their heart. I love them all. They’re like a family to me.”

Image Sourced By: Sky News


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