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Sikh community wins peoples' choice award as 'Food Heroes' in New Zealand

Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand team at the NZ Food Heroes Award 2020 Source Source: Supplied

The Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand has won the Food Hero Award (People's Choice) at the NZ Food Awards 2020. This is the first time that someone of Indian-origin has won at this event, which attracted 345 nominations this year.

The Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand (SSSNZ) received a prestigious award in October 2020, for  providing food and other essential items to the community during the various stages of COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand.


Highlights:

  • The Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand is the first Indian organisation ever to win People's Choice NZ Food Heroes Award.
  • SSSNZ won this prestigious award with an overwhelming margin of votes.
  • 66,000 free food packages were distributed to support the community during Covid-19 lockdowns in New Zealand.

The society's food distribution drill was held at least three times a week during the coronavirus lockdown at Takanini Gurudwara in South Auckland and was later extended to the other parts of New Zealand including Tauranga, Rotorua, Hamilton, Christchurch and North Shore as well.

Mr Daljit Singh, the president of SSSNZ, told SBS Punjabi, “Supreme Sikh Society distributed over 66,000 free food packages to support the community during Covid-19 lockdowns in New Zealand."

SBS PUNJABI Sikh community wins peoples' choice award as 'Food Heroes' in New Zealand
Volunteers preparing food packages at Takanini Gurudwara in South Auckland
Supplied

"Each package had enough in it for a family of four people, to be able to cook meals for four days."

“In addition to food, we also distributed several other essential items including blankets during the winter months, stationery for school children, and even medicine,” said Mr Singh.

Mr Singh added, "We purchased around 12 tons of food including milk, bread, pasta, salt, sugar, vegetables, fruit and other essential foods three times a week at a cost of $25,000 every single time. All of the money was donated by members of the Sikh community, and many farmers even donated truckloads of fruit like apples and kiwifruit."

Sikh community wins peoples' choice award as 'Food Heroes' in New Zealand
Many farmers even donated truckloads of fruit like apples and kiwifruit
Supplied

He says the government offered to reimburse the costs, "but we politely refused, because serving the community is an intrinsic part of our value system. We asked them to channel those funds for other needs of the Sikh community."

SSSNZ is the first Indian organisation ever to win this prominent award of People's Choice NZ Food Heroes Award 2020 out of 345 other organisations nominated for 2020.

The award is a recognition of Society's exceptional role in providing food and necessary items to thousands of struggling families including locals, international students, stranded visitors from different nationalities and ethnicities during COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand.

Sikh community wins peoples' choice award as 'Food Heroes' in New Zealand
Daljit Singh, the president of SSSNZ
Supplied

Expressing his gratitude, Mr Daljit Singh said, "I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this cause. This award is great recognition for our Sikh community and belongs to every member of the Sikh community in New Zealand."

To hear their full interviews click on the audio link above.

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