Published: 14:03, 16 April 2020
| Updated: 21:21, 16 April 2020
Although the gurdwara closed to the public on Monday, March 23, thanks to the support of dedicated sewadars - or volunteers - the gurdwara has been running a Langar (free food) delivery service for vulnerable people since Tuesday, March 24.
More than 50 people are now receiving two cooked meals, for dinner and the following day’s lunch, every day but the number is rising and the temple expects it to rise significantly in coming weeks.
Manpreet Singh Dhaliwal, who is Mukh Sewadar, president, of Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara said: “During these challenging times, it is important for the whole community to come together and support each other.
"As Sikhs, it is our duty to play our part in serving humanity, hence the reason why we have launched our Langar Delivery Support.
"I am very grateful to our amazing team of volunteers who have made it a huge success, I also want to thank the local businesses which are supporting the service with donations of food and ingredients.”
Since Friday, April 3, the Langar service has also been providing hot meals to NHS frontline staff.
More than 200 meals are now being delivered daily to Darent Valley Hospital, and more than 150 meals each day are being taken to the Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington.
More than 100 volunteers are already engaged in the sewa (selfless service), and several more are on standby if needed.
The volunteers have been organised into five teams - a telephone helpline operating from 9am to 9pm, cooking and preparing, packing, delivering and cleaning.
Councillor Tony Rana, who has been coordinating the effort on behalf of the gurdwara, said: “Arguably, it’s just food, but the whole Langar Seva initiative is touching people in a much more profound way than that.
"The local community who are isolated, the vulnerable and the NHS staff - their unreserved gratitude has been overwhelming and humbling for us.
"This is the power of Seva, which has been a part of the DNA of the Sikh faith since its inception.”