By Ekta NZ | NEW ZEALAND |
The service started after the Christchurch shooting. The intention was to have an ethnic community meet a gap in the city’s food banks that exists at the weekends and to do it visibly so that the larger New Zealand community could also witness that the migrant communities were equally concerned with the city’s issues and, were contributing to its solutions albeit in a small way.
In doing so we also wanted to create ‘ekta‘ (unity) by sharing the platform with the different faith and ethnic groups.
That is the story of the Guru Nanak Free Kitchen Wellington (GNFKW) which has now reached the one year mark. It is a project undertaken by charitable organisation Ekta New Zealand Inc
In the last 12 months, we have served over 4,000 meals for the needy of the city. The meals have come from people and organisations of various faiths and ethnic groups. The highlight was when we had a Sikh family providing the main meal, a Muslim family providing the dessert and the food was distributed by members of the Christian community.
The service has grown from providing prepacked prepared meals, to providing blankets, warm clothing, footwear, and household needs as the need arises. In addition to meeting the needs of individuals, Ekta NZ is now also contributing to the other main charities of the city.
During lockdown 4 and 3, groceries and vegetables were supplied weekly to Downtown City Mission, the Soup Kitchen, the Night Shelter and City Mission. Over a ton of rice and over few hundred kilos of vegetables and groceries were distributed.
Additionally, along with St Peter’s Church of Willis Street and the Brahma Kumaris of Lower Hutt, Ekta NZ provided meals and Indian grocery items to Indians students/migrant workers and Indian visitors stuck in Wellington daily at the two sites. Save for part of the costs of the meals and groceries distributed at St Peter’s during alert level 3, all the other costs were met by donations from supporters and members.
Our attached video encapsulates the story of the first year of Ekta’s GNFKW.
The plan for year 2 is not only to continue and build on year one but also to grow our range of activities to meet the needs of the vulnerable in Wellington.
NZ interfaith food distribution for Guru Nanak’s birthday (Asia Samachar, 27 Nov 2020)