Stepping up to help

Sikh volunteers deliver free meals to those in hotel quarantine. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

By Brendan Rees

Kind-hearted volunteers of the Sikh community have sprung into action yet again – this time delivering free meals to those in hotel quarantine.

In their latest act of generosity, The Sikh Volunteers Australia – a not-for-profit organisation based in Devon Meadows – delivered 250 free meals to returning travellers at the Mercure Hotel in Melbourne on Sunday 28 June.

The volunteers have become renowned as unsung heroes since lockdown began by delivering 72,000 free home cooked meals to people every day since 18 March.

This is on top of their regular free food van service which sets up twice a week at car parks in Frankston and Tooradin feeding the needy.

Vice-president of the Sikh Volunteers Australia Manpreet Singh said their latest call for help came from a group of returning travellers undertaking 14 days of self isolation at the Mercure Hotel as part of a government effort to contain coronavirus.

He said the guests consisting of people from the Indian community said they were not used to eating non-Indian food “continuously” while in quarantine.

Mr Singh said after receiving approval from the Department of Human and Human Services the volunteers delivered the first batch of Punjabi vegetarian meals to the hotel reception.

“We were receiving these calls for the last three months but we could not get the permission,” Mr Singh said.

“This time they all got together and asked a request to the hotel,” he said.

He added they were delivering meals to the Mercure Hotel at this stage while offering free food with home delivery services to those in need.

“It’s hard work but still we have to do it,” he said.

The volunteers have been working around the clock taking orders and working alongside three professional chefs.


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