Golden Sikh Temple volunteers Manjit Dhami, Baljit Bassi and Ajay Kumar unload donations for food bank. (Claire Palmer photo)

Golden Sikh Temple makes donation to food bank

The donation was done in the spirit of Vaisakhi, a centuries old festival that takes place in April

For the Golden Sikh Temple members, the COVID-19 virus has provided them with an opportunity to give back to the community.

A handful of volunteers from the temple made a sizeable food donation to the Golden Food Bank this past week, dropping off dry goods such as pasta, flour, sugar and lentils to help support those who are in need.

“People are reacting to this situation differently and for me, I want to be out there helping,” said Baljit Bassi, who sits on the committee for the temple.

“I want to do whatever I can to make things easier and make people feel better.”

It’s an important time of year for the Sikh community, as Vaisakhi is typically celebrated in mid-April. A historic and religious festival, it is normally acknowledged with large celebrations and parades world wide.

With COVID-19, that hasn’t been possible this year.

According to Bassi, helping out in the community through monetary and food donations is also an important part of celebrating Vaisakhi, with the Golden Sikh Temple choosing to celebrate this year through their donation to the food bank.

“It’s hugely satisfying, people are stressed and it’s a way to make people feel better and feel good, because at least they can be sure that they’re eating well,” said Bassi.

“Especially East Indian communities who have a special need with different kinds of food.”

The donation actually came from Surrey, arriving over the weekend on a huge 53-foot trailer through a program organized by Sanjha TV, North America’s leading Punjabi TV Channel based out of Surrey.

Bassi, who is good friends with one of the program hosts, was contacted by the show when they had heard of the shortages in Golden’s grocery stores. With supplies at the temple dwindling, Bassi said they could use a couple bags of flour. Sonjha TV sent 100.

Bassi says the temple will be storing about half of what they received, with 25 per cent going to the food bank and the other 25 per cent going to different families in need, along with the food bank and women’s centre in Invermere.

“We had an abundance of supplies so I started reaching out to everyone to start sending them stuff,” said Bassi. “We’re just sharing it with everyone we can give it to.”

For Bassi, giving back to Golden is important. Having been with the temple for 10 years, she was there when the temple was really struggling with membership, creeping dangerously close to zero with a building in disrepair.

With the help of the community, the temple was able to fundraise to help fix up the building with the help of volunteers from across the province and even Alberta.

“It all started from here and this community. This is our way of giving back,” said Bassi.

“This is why we wanted to do this now when the community need it the most. If not now, when?”

The food, both at the food bank and at the temple, is accessible to all who are in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CoronavirusVaisakhi

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wildsight Golden prepares for GET WILD! summer camps

The day camps will limit enrollement to ten campers and will practice social distancing

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

Pregnant Revelstoke woman catches COVID-19 days before giving birth

Michelle Hunter said the ordeal was like a horror movie

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Join Kootenay family in virtual walk for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert,” Brigitte Ady shares.

Most Read