Guest blogged by Damanjot Kaur
Khalsa Food Pantry: A Connected Community
A gift is something that is enjoyed twice–once by the person giving the gift, and once by the person receiving it. Through these simple exchanges come smiles and gratitude, but most importantly, bonds. These bonds have connected individuals of separate communities through a common purpose.
The Khalsa Food Pantry opened its doors in October 2013. Initially, our main goal was to provide for those in need, but what resulted was the integration of multiple cultures and communities. Most of our guests were unaware of our Sikh community members in the Los Angeles area, and through the food pantry, they have had the opportunity to learn more about who we are and what we wish to accomplish.
As Sikhs, our mission is “seva,” or selfless service. The concept of the food pantry fully sufficed this principle. We partnered with Valley Food Bank which generously provided us with the necessary supplies needed to operate the pantry. Not only were we working with our immediate surroundings to branch out and make a positive name for Sikhi, we were also witnessing Sikh values in action.
Personally, the connections I have made at the pantry are ones which I will hold with me forever. Whether it be the exchange of a friendly smile or an in-depth lesson in Spanish, the bonds which have been created truly inspire not only myself, but every person who takes part in the food pantry.
In the end, the thanks and gratitude aren’t what keep the Khalsa Food Pantry alive. The relations we have been so lucky to construct give us insight into the lives of others, thus improving our understanding of the various people we are constantly surrounded by. The impact we have on the lives of just these few help us further improve our goal of serving and giving back to the community.
Damanjot Kaur lives in the LA area. She is a youth leader in her local Sikh community and participates in Camp Gian. She graduated from high school this year and will be attending the University of California at Davis in the fall.