Sikhs in San Antonio are helping government workers stay fed during the government shutdown.
We’re fast approaching a month with the United States Federal government completely shut down over a political impasse on funding a wall bordering Mexico. It doesn’t look like there’s an end to this shutdown, and that means 800,000 government employees are going to be without pay for over a month.
That’s the kind of income disruption that has people worried not only about how they’re going to make rent but if they’re even going to have enough food on the table.
Luckily, government employees in San Antonio, Texas have one particularly tasty option to turn to.
The Sikh Center of San Antonio offered government employees free meals last weekend and their gurdwara (which is basically the Sikh word for “temple”). Meals were vegetarian in keeping with Sikh tradition and consisted of curried lentils, vegetables, rice, and tortillas.
Texas might be a meat-eating state, but you gotta admit, those curried lentils look delish.
"Workers and families affected by the shutdown are invited to Sikh Centre all weekend for free meals starting today," the Sikh Center posted on their Facebook page last Friday. Community volunteers cooked up a storm in order to make the feast, with some coming in as early as 4 AM to ensure enough was made for hungry San Antonians.
Speaking to News 4 San Antonio, Balwinder "Dillon" Dhillon said that the idea to feed furloughed government employees sprung from the entire Sikh community.
"We are here to support those federal employees who are not getting their paycheck, and we really appreciate their services... and we believe our nation should appreciate and give gratitude to those men and women who are doing wonderful service for us, but are not getting paid so," Dhillon said. "The least we could do is support them with a hot meal for the next three days.
"We don't worry about one community. We all belong to one race, which is the human race. We think we are all brothers and sisters and we need to support each other no matter who we are. We may have different color, different class or religion, or social and economic status, but at the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters."
The Sikh center plans to offer free meals to government employees for as long as the shutdown lasts. Unfortunately, the shutdown appears to have no end in sight.