By Raquel Mustillo
SINCE moving to Millicent more than seven years ago, Sukhchain Dhaliwal says he and his family has experienced overwhelming community support for their award-winning Indian restaurant.
Now, the restauranteur has expanded into the supermarket business and is intent on repaying the community that has supported the New Heaven Indian Restaurant by fighting hunger.
Mr Dhaliwal, who is a part owner and manager of Millicent IGA, has launched a free meal initiative in an effort to reduce food insecurity for community members who need it most.
Each Monday evening, residents in need will be able to pick up a traditional Indian meal cooked by Mr Dhaliwal made with ingredients donated by IGA and New Heaven Indian Restaurant.
The initiative is based of a Sikh practice referred to as langar, which serves vegetarian meals to community members free of charge.
“In our tradition in India, langar is available in every Sikh temple 24/7 all over the world,” Mr Dhaliwal said.
“Members for the community come and help in the Sikh temples, so it is prepared by the community for the community.
“Here it will be different because I will be donating my time as a volunteer for my community because I want to bring that Sikh tradition here.”
In addition to the free meal initiative, Mr Dhaliwal said the store will donate a portion of its takings each month to a community member or community group in need.
“That could be in the form of a family who is struggling with their child’s education or uniforms, someone who is having trouble with their daily living expenses or community organisations or small clubs,” Mr Dhaliwal said.
“If we can’t find anyone who needs help in a month, we will build up the fund.
“Whoever needs help should know we are here and to contact me at any time.
“I can’t thank the community enough for the way they have supported and loved us since we moved to the town and we thought it was time for us to give back to the community.”