By Danielle Kutchel
A dedicated army of volunteers is crossing the city every day to deliver hot, home-cooked meals to those locked down due to Covid-19.
Devon Meadows-based Sikh Volunteers Australia have swung into action once more, carrying out their famous meal delivery service to those most in need.
With the announcement of a snap lockdown last week, the volunteers committed to provide meals to residents of Maribyrnong’s Covid-affected apartment buildings.
Jaswinder Singh, secretary of Sikh Volunteers Australia, said all deliveries are carried out in a no-contact, Covid-safe way.
Residents call the organisation to request the number of meals required; these are then prepared, labelled and given to health authorities on site for delivery to each family’s doorstep.
Mr Singh said the organisation had received positive feedback on the service.
It’s been a remarkably busy time for the volunteers, who had just finished a stint delivering food to storm-affected households in the Dandenongs when the lockdown was announced.
The ravaged landscape presented a different challenge as the volunteers had to prepare their vehicles with generators to ensure a supply of power to cook the meals.
“But apart from that, the need was the same,” Mr Singh said.
And it’s not just meals that they deliver, he added.
“Apart from meals there is a requirement for moral support and empowerment.”
For now, the group is committed to serving a full 14 days at Maribyrnong, and is prepared to stay for longer if required.
The volunteers are also preparing for their next big milestone: a move to a brand new site in Cranbourne West.
“We want to expand this service, so we have purchased a place in Cranbourne West where we are making a commercial kitchen to make 4000-5000 meals in one day,” Mr Singh explained.
Sikh Volunteers Australia will soon commence fundraising for the kitchen.
Currently, they are open to accepting new volunteers and, Mr Singh added, donations of food or funds always help.
“This whole operation is community based, so if you can spend a few gold coins, please buy the ingredients or donate to our organisation so we can buy whatever is needed,” he said.
“We are trying to serve the whole of Victoria from Cranbourne and we need community support.
“We will make sure that this service keeps going and covers more Victorian areas.”
For more information, to request a meal or to donate, find Sikh Volunteers Australia on Facebook or visit http://www.sikhvolunteersaustralia.org/