Norwich Sikh community provides free meals Mondays, Fridays outside restaurant

New London

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)– The Royal Punjabi restaurant is open for delivery and to go orders only. But Friday, the chef is busier than usual.

He’s preparing meals which the Sikh community is providing for any member of the Norwich community free of charge on Mondays and Fridays. They are the only evening meals offered in the city to those in need.

Norwich public schools picked up twenty of them.

“There’s a concept called Seva which means selfless service in our community and Langer is another tradition and concept in our religion, which is community kitchen,” said Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, who is a member of the Sikh community in Norwich and sits on the Board of Education.

Friday night, they’re giving out pasta meals and on Monday it will be rice and beans. It is all in keeping with the healthy vegetarian Punjabi diet.

Members of the Sikh community already provide free meals on Sunday outside the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen. 

After 9/11 they say Sikhs were targeted because people weren’t familiar with their culture and that has changed somewhat since then.

“This will give us exposure as well, like who we are, where we are from. Nobody even knows that Sikhs are from Punjab,” said Khalsa. “So it’s very important for our broader community to know who their neighbors are.”

The meals are given out between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. outside The Royal Punjabi restaurant on Mondays and Fridays.

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