Feeding The Needy In Yuba City Successful (Punjabi American Heritage Society)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
On Dec. 4, Yuba-Sutter Sikh community members fed about 100 needy fellow human beings. About 200 sandwiches and soft drinks were served. Large numbers of volunteers and needy people showed up at this event despite the rain.

The Sikh community organized this meal to celebrate Gurpurab (Day of Guru) of first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The meal is called Langar (Food for Needy). Langar is a 500-year-old tradition that was started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, when he used 20 rupees given to him by his father for business, but he used 20 rupees to feed hungry pilgrims passing through his town. Ever since then, feeding the hungry has been a tradition in the Sikh community, which is practiced in the form of a community kitchen.

November was also designated as Sikh appreciation and awareness month by the California Legislature. Organizers of Food for Needy feel that while the Legislature has done its part, now it is their turn to do something to raise awareness as well. Sikhs believe in praying for the welfare of mankind, earning an honest living and sharing with others.

This event was organized in partnership with Pastor Ron Brasier of A Hand Up Ministries and River Bottoms Church. Community organizers are pleased by this partnership with members of other faiths with Sikhs to help the needy. They wanted this to be more than just a meal-serving event, for it to be an opportunity to engage with other communities.

Sikhs have been living in Northern California for more than 100 years now. At first they established themselves as farmers in Sutter County and more recently as entrepreneurs, transporters, engineers and doctors. Several members who have excelled in these fields take part in serving the meals. They look at it as an opportunity to give back to community they have adopted.

Jasjit Singh Kang

Punjabi American Heritage Society