Sikhs community feed thousands US govt employees amid shutdown

SAN ANTONIO: In a unique gesture, the Sikh community in Texas has offered free meals to fellow thousands of American government employees during the shutdown that has left thousands without pay in the US.

The community, known for its kind gesture and benevolence offered vegetarian meals that include lentils, vegetables, rice, and tortillas.

“Workers and families affected by the shutdown are invited to Sikh Centre all weekend for free meals starting today,” the Centre, oldest gurdwara in the city posted on its Facebook on Friday.


The idea that originated from the community’s willingness to offer help during this hour of difficulty for many American families soon drew many volunteers who offered to come and cook to feed everyone who would come to enjoy the meals.

“We are here to support those federal employees who are not getting their paycheck, and we really appreciate their services… and we believe our nation should appreciate and give gratitude to those men and women who are doing wonderful service for us but are not getting paid so,” said Balwinder “Dillon” Dhillon, President of the Sikh Center of San Antonio. “The least we could do is support them with a hot meal for the next three days.”

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The shutdown, that has now entered its 28th day, was triggered on December 22 last year by a lack of consensus between Democratic lawmakers and the US President on the $5.7 billion funding for the wall on the border with Mexico, which was one of Trump’s electoral promises.

The ongoing partial government shutdown is the longest in the history of the US.

An estimated 800,000 federal workers have been adversely affected by the lapse in funding, as there is still no hope in sight for the end of the shutdown.

With agency inputs