Texas Sikh Community to Donate $250,000 to San Antonio Food Bank

Sikh community

A Sikh community in Texas is donating about $250,000 to their local food bank to help prevent hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sikh Dharamsal, the local gurdwara in San Antonio, initially set out to raise $75,000 through its Together We Can campaign, which ends on April 30.

Image via Sikh Dharamsal of San Antonio

However, the community managed to raise $248,788 as of April 28 — over 300% of its original goal.

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Every $1,000 donation would produce 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms) of food.

“We don’t want anyone in San Antonio to go hungry,” Gurpaul Singh, the gurdwara’s director of community outreach, told NBC affiliate NEWS 4 SA.

“Part of our mandate just through our belief system and our faith is, that everyone should be entitled to food and food security and so it’s a very important central part of our belief system.”

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Gurpaul Singh. Image Screenshot via NEWS 4 SA

Six weeks ago, the San Antonio Food Bank realized that the coronavirus crisis will put their facility to the test like never before.

Singh, who runs the campaign with his uncle, was among the first to step forward.

“At the start of the crisis, he reached out to say, ‘How can I help? Where do you need me? How can I be useful?'” Food Bank CEO and President Eric Cooper told the San Antonio Express-News.

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“It wasn’t, ‘I’m coming to you with the big idea.’ It was ‘I’m not telling you how to run your business. I’m a servant.'”

Image via Sikh Dharamsal of San Antonio

Sikh Dharamsal already opens its doors to people of all faiths on Sundays to share a meal called “langar.”

But when places of worship were told to provide online instead of in-person services, the gurdwara sought to be more creative.

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Image via Sikh Dharamsal of San Antonio

“We challenged ourselves to marry the ideas of seva [selfless service] and langar … to do what we can to positively help the community in need,” Singh told the San Antonio Current.

As a result, the campaign was conceived to help feed some 120,000 residents who now depend on local food distributions.

San Antonio’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in mid-February, according to local ABC affiliate KSAT. As of this writing, Bexar County, where the city is located, has 1,307 cases.

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Donations for the Together We Can campaign can be made here.

Feature Image via Sikh Dharamsal of San Antonio

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