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Local charity welcomes hundreds at southeast Edmonton food bank


Hundreds of Edmontonians got some help with groceries Sunday.

Volunteers from Sikhs for Humanity, a local charity, spent the morning building and handing out food hampers in southeast Edmonton.

Founder Manjit Nerval said the charity is not affiliated with any religion, and everyone is welcome to stop in to volunteer or pick up some groceries.

"We see all humanity as one. We see everyone come here like our own brothers and sisters, like our own family," he said. "We don't ask anybody's name. We don't ask their religion, we don't ask where they come from. We just serve them with a smile."

Volunteers have been gathering to hand out food every week since 2014.

The group began with handing out meals in downtown Edmonton, but they were forced to switch to hampers when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the community couldn't gather together to eat.

More recently, Sikhs for Humanity opened its own food bank near 49 Street and Roper Road.

Nerval said the first drive through hamper program saw around 100 families come each week. Now between 400 and 500 families are coming for a care package.

"Every week more and more people coming here, it just keeps on growing," he added.

Donations from big retailers like Costco are helping them keep up with demand, he said, but community donations are always welcome. 

Each Sunday before building and distributing the hampers, the group meet for an hour-long spiritual awakening class.

Nerval said it's not a religious class, and it's open to anyone who wants to drop in and take some quiet time to reflect.

"We're doing this service here to help the people, but we also want to take something home for us," Nerval said. "We all busy in life. We have no time anytime for ourselves to relax and really contemplate on ourselves to understand what we're doing in this world."

Hampers are available at 4954 Roper Road every Sunday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Top Stories

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