Seva. The word means “selfless service,” and for the spiritual Sikh community, it is an integral part of daily life – a practice of acting selflessly and helping others without any expectation of personal gain. One act of seva is langar, the act of preparing and serving a free community meal, and in that spirit, Sikh Dharma of Massachusetts recently opened a new pick-up food pantry, operating every Saturday from 12-2 p.m. in the drive-through parking lot of Woodside Montessori School at 350 Village Street in Millis.
Anyone from Massachusetts is welcome “We’re trying to help as many people as possible,” says Meglio, who has reached out to the Franklin Senior Center to work on getting food delivered to local homebound seniors. “Sometimes people who need the food don’t have the means to come and get it,” he says.
Since the Ashram is a vegetarian community, the foods distributed are vegetarian and as natural as possible, with most in BPA-free packaging. “We offer non-perishable foods that are cleaned and bagged up, stapled and sealed, along with personal hygiene items that are separate from the food,” says Meglio, adding, “We’re not looking to influence anyone religiously or spiritually, and there’s no obligation to come to a service or anything like that.”
Down the road, Dr. Khalsa envisions a community garden being added to the mix.
“We have land we hope to farm, and we’ll educate people on how to grow their own vegetables,” she says.
In the future, Meglio plans to conduct food drives for the food relief program.
Right now, Guru Nanak’s Community Kitchen is accepting monetary donations at its website, www.Nanakskitchen.org, and those interested in volunteering can contact Edwin at email@example.com.