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The Sikh Coalition News
May 28, 2020
  • How You Can Support Texas Foodbanks

    May 28, 2020 (Austin, TX) -- The current COVID-19 public health crisis continues to hit already vulnerable communities hard. Texas, like many other states, is dealing with ongoing food insecurity. Feeding Texas is a network of 21 food banks serving all Texas counties, but their program has struggled with low food supplies and limited volunteers as more people depend on this resource to take care of their families.

    Since March, the Sikh Coalition has been shifting organizational resources to meet the extraordinary challenges of the moment. Part of our response has included connecting sangat members to appropriate state and local agencies to ensure coordination on seva projects. Our outreach to the Texas Division of Emergency Management helped us identify the need for food assistance in the state and ways that community members can help fulfill that need.

    In San Antonio, sangat members have raised more than $225,000 for the San Antonio food bank. In Austin, sangat members at the Singh Sabha Gurdwara have ongoing fundraisers to support their local food bank. Several Houston-area gurdwaras are preparing to support the Houston Food Bank through food drives and are also serving hot meals several times a week in high need areas. And finally, community members at the Gurdwara Sikh Sangat in Euless, TX (Dallas-Fort Worth area) are continuing to reach out to those in need through their monthly mobile food pantry initiative in partnership with the Tarrant Area Food Bank. For more information about how you can be introduced to Sikh community leaders already working on these efforts across Texas, please contact community@sikhcoalition.org.

    Support Feeding Texas Directly:

    1. Donate food: Connect with your local food bank to get a list of high demand items and donate accordingly. This is a great option for sangat members who have the ability to donate and are mobile to procure and drop off supplies.
    2. Donate time: Food banks are short of younger volunteers who are able to work safely to meet the growing demands. Please first assess your own personal medical needs before volunteering. We highly recommend that you review all medical guidelines and practice social distancing. For those looking to volunteer in cities or states that are under ‘shelter in place’ restrictions or other emergency directives, please review those directives before mobilizing.
    3. Donate money: Donating directly to Feeding Texas allows the organization to allocate money where the need is greatest. You can also donate directly to your local food bank if you wish. This is a great option for sangat members who have the ability to donate but are continuing to practice social distancing.

    If you are already working on a COVID-19 seva project or need help connecting with your local food bank, please contact community@sikhcoalition.org. If you or someone you know needs food assistance, please be aware of the 21 Feeding Texas food banks. Additionally, families with children that have received free or reduced-price school meals may also be eligible for pandemic food benefits; click here for more information.

    Finally, the Sikh Coalition continues to update our COVID-19 resource page, which includes updated resources in English and Punjabi. Resources include information on how healthcare workers can protect their religious rights, in-depth analyses on federal bills, state benefits information, and more.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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