Over the past few months I’ve seen some of the work my friend Bal has been doing preparing food and serving those in need in Nottingham, and for a while now, I have been saying to him that I’ll come along one time to help out. I felt that it would be both enjoyable and rewarding to help those less fortunate than myself to get a good meal particularly as I enjoy eating out and writing about food; I felt this was a good way to give something back.
The group was set up by a man called Harry, who I met whilst volunteering last summer (on Monday 29th July 2019) and a few others after they saw the work being done by a Guru Nanak’s Mission group in Derby. Since the group began operating in Nottingham in 2014 they have gone from strength to strength and now regularly prepare food for around 80 people three times a week from various Sikh temples in Nottingham.
The food they used to prepare the meals was kindly donated by two local supermarkets, individuals and family members of the volunteers. Food such as bread, vegetables, rice and pasta are among the staple items used and donated. Myself and a group of people who regularly give up their time to feed others started the food preparation at 5:30PM and set about washing the produce and outlining what needed to be done to create the meals for that night. On the day I volunteered, we served Mediterranean vegetable pasta and rice pudding with a choice of raspberry ripple milkshake or a bottle of water.
My first job was to chop the onions, courgettes, peppers, mushrooms and aubergines that were perfectly fine to eat and the group using them had saved them from being wasted. Once this was done the ingredients were mixed together in a pan with several tins of chopped tomatoes and passata being added whilst the pasta cooked in another giant pot. After a short while of washing, chopping, slicing and cooking the team of volunteers and I continued to work tirelessly as we put the pasta and vegetables into over 70 containers to feed those in need. Other members also placed homemade rice pudding into a similar number of containers.
Following the work of the volunteers at the Gurdwara on Percy Street, Basford, Nottingham myself, Bal and a few others took the food into the city centre (Nottingham) close to the Marks and Spencer’s store where we met several other volunteers who worked together with us to serve those who are homeless or in need of a meal. The group serve here every Monday from 7:30PM and often give out over 70 meals. A variety of people volunteer and support this great initiative which is brilliant to see. Despite my limited involvement this time, this is something I’ll try and support as and when I can.
This was a review that I undertook unpaid and of my own accord to support those who give their time and money selflessly to look after others. If anyone has any free time or could support in any way please feel free to contact them via Twitter @GuruMission or if you own a business that may be able to donate food then I’m sure all donations and support would be greatly appreciated.