Sikh kids feed hungry local children every week December 28th, 2009 by Guru Simran Kaur Khalsa Sikh kids feed hungry local children every week | SikhNet Many times over the holiday season people make a donation to feed homeless or poor people. However the truth is, people are hungry all year long, not just over the holidays. Hunger is especially hard on children. Just imagine... when our own lunch is late, we get easily irritated and are no longer focused. When they are hungry, kids can't focus either, and they get irritated as well. During school days, many schools provide a breakfast and lunch. But what do those kids to do on the weekends? For some low income children, 'no school today' means little or no food at all to eat on the weekends. In some states in the USA there is something called a backpack program. This is a program where kids who live below the poverty level get a backpack filled with food every Friday so they can take it home and have something to eat on the weekends. Here in New Mexico this program exists in some of the larger cities but there is not enough food available to cover all the schools in those cities. Here at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das during our weekly children's program we teach our children about the Gurus and about seeing God in All and established the free lungar where all can eat. In that spirit, in addition to our two weekly langurs, the children pack food which has been donated by ashram members for the backpack program. Every Friday morning a member of the Sangat drops the food off at a local school which is just a minute away from our ashram. The school counselor and school nurse know which children are in need and they hand out the bags of food to all those who need them. Currently we feed twenty-eight children each week through this program. The food provided meets the same high standard as in the national backpack program. This means single serving foods which can be opened by a child and which do not require heating or cooling. A typical bag includes a package of aseptic milk, fruit-juice, cereal, muffins, apple sauce and/or fruitcups, pudding made with real milk, raisins, bean dip and crackers or cheese dip and crackers, cereal bars and nuts. In order to ensure purity, everything must be factory sealed, so no home-made foods are allowed. The school counselor we work with here is very good. She doesn't allow any junk like chips, cookies or candy. This policy really makes sence because this kids need food with high nutritional value. It is such a blessing for us to be able to serve in the spirit of our Gurus right here in our own neighbourhood. It is sad that in the USA, the 'land of milk and honey' many kids go hungry. What a great opportunity to serve the children. Everything is done as seva so there are no administrative cost whatsoever. This is the Guru's way. This continues to be a wonderful program for the children in our Sangat. It is good for our Sikh children to experience the joy at an early age of sharing and caring for others. Perhaps in your own community there is an opportunity to establish a similar program. Check with the school counselors at your local schools in poorer neighborhoods.