Guru Nanak Food Bank, a noble cause.......by Balwant Sanghera
The establishment of Guru Nanak Food Bank affectionately called the Guru’s Modikhana on July 1, 2020, in Surrey was a very timely and noble move by some of our community’s dedicated volunteers. One of the founders and General Secretary of the Guru Nanak Food Bank is Jay Minhas.
He, along with Giani Narinder Singh Walia, Inderjit Singh Dhillon, Anoop Singh Loodu, Bill Sandhu, Surinder Manj, and Neeraj Walia responded to the special needs of the community brought on by the pandemic. Since its inception, Guru Nanak Food Bank has been doing a commendable job in helping those who need it the most. Before establishing Guru Nanak Food Bank, this group of volunteers was providing Welcome Packages to international students, victims of the pandemic, and anyone else who needed help.
These Welcome Packages consisted of mattresses, blankets, bedsheets, pillows, etc. At about the same time, the nearby Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran was getting large donations of groceries like sugar, atta, salt, lentils, spices, etc. The Gurdwara management offered these groceries to Guru Nanak Food Bank for onward transmission to the needy clients of the food bank.
In this process, Guru Nanak Food Bank was handing out groceries and other items worth close to $9,000 per week. As the demand increased the organizers felt the need for a permanent venue for the food bank and to make it more sustainable.
With this in mind, the group decided to fully incorporate Guru Nanak Dev Ji's philosophy of universality. Consequently, they incorporated Guru Nanak Food Bank as a charity in May/June 2020. It was registered as a charity designed to help everyone who came to it for help.
One of its members, a prominent property developer, Anoop Singh Loodu was kind enough to provide the food bank a place for free from where it could operate. Its growth has been amazing. It had begun serving about 200 individuals and families in the early stages. However, on its second anniversary on July 1, 2022, it had served more than 6,500 families.
Here it needs to be stressed that Guru Nanak Food Bank receives no grants. Donations form philanthropists and the community are its only and main source. During this short period, this food bank has become a multi-million dollar enterprise totally from donations and the Guru’s blessings. Its clients, once registered can access its services any time without being questioned. Guru Nanak Food Bank’s popularity reached even Ottawa. A few months ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a visit to Guru Nanak Food Bank. He was very impressed by its work and complimented the organizers for providing a great service to the community.
India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas (8600 #5 Road, Richmond) management was very impressed with the great job Guru Nanak Food Bank has been doing in and for the community. This place of worship is always ready and willing to support any cause that benefits the community. Recently, the organizers of this food bank approached the Gurdwara management for assistance... The managing committee of Gurdwara Nanak Niwas was pleased to help.
Its chairperson, Kashmir Kaur Johal, along with some members of the management committee, presented a cheque for $10,000 to Jay Minhas, General Secretary of Guru Nanak Food Bank on Wednesday, September 21. We wish this organization every success in helping those who need it the most.
October 4, 2022
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