Operating 3 times a week, offering out vegetarian food cooked fresh that day and handing out outside M&S from 8pm.
The people they serve are either homeless or living in poverty. To a lot of them, this may be the only hot meal they get and you can see the appreciation as they are offered hot freshly cooked meals and a hot tea.
The food is prepared at different locations and although the project is founded by Sikhs, the volunteers are from many different backgrounds but work together to help those less fortunate. ‘Langar' or free community kitchen was introduced by the first Guru of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Dev ji. Langar however means so much more. Guru Nanak Dev ji has enabled Sikhs and people from all backgrounds to come together and be treated as equals. The food that is given out is a symbol of the Guru's teachings; oneness, equality between all people, inclusiveness and community. It is also important that Langar remains simple and humble and that no one is turned away. These principles have been at the forefront of GNM since it first started, 6 years ago.
The team meet at 5:30pm to prepare the food and by 7pm they have prepared enough food for 80 or more people. Although the volunteers work hard to achieve this goal, there is a grate atmosphere in the kitchen and it was clear that having fun and enjoying the work they do is key to the whole project, the kitchen has facilities to cook on mass, the volunteers get busy peeling and chopping the veg and it isn’t long before the ingredients are cooking in the huge pans. Timing is done to perfection as everything is ready to pack at the same time.
Every part of this project is thought through with the best of intentions, they operate entirely on donations, the only finance they need is to maintain the biodegradable packaging that they use, not an easy task when the alternative is so much cheaper. They make a point of making sure everyone feels included in the work they do and take the time to hear the stories of the people they serve.
The service users line up ready for them on arrival and in 20 min’s, the long line of people were gone and only those arriving late hoping not to have missed out and by 8:30 the team are packing away their tables and are getting ready to leave. It’s incredible how quickly the food is handed out and many of the people they have served are now taking the time to pass on their appreciation.
If you would like to know more about the work they do, please visit their Facebook page.