MEMBERS of the Sikh community have donated “masses” of food and ingredients to a zero-waste non profit organisation which feeds people in need.

Typically throughout the week, Darlington’s Gurdwara typically hosts a regular Langar at the temple, which is a term used in Sikhism for the community kitchen in a Gurdwara where a free meal is served to all the visitors, without distinction of religion, gender, economic status or ethnicity.

Since Covid-19 however, the Gurdwara has been unable to open their kitchens – but have chosen to donate their large supply of foods and ingredients to another good cause, Food For Thought Darlington, a volunteer run initiative which salvages food destined for the skip in order to provide hot meals for those in need across the community.

Food For Thought has been working throughout the coronavirus lockdown to make sure vulnerable people in the town do not go without.

Usually, Food For Thought serves up regular communal meals using leftover food donated from supermarkets and individuals, as well as holding cooking classes to teach others how to cook on a budget.

During the pandemic however community meals have been postponed, but the charity’s mission to help vulnerable people continues, and since the start of lockdown, the organisation has used its event budget to purchase food vouchers for its existing recipients, and delivering food and essential packages around the town, spending around £4,500 and helping around 300 households in the town.

Organiser Louise Graham said: “In this very difficult time where new people are contacting us each week in need of our support, we’re so thankful for donations.

“We really appreciate the very generous donation from the Sikh community, and are so grateful to them. Acts of kindness such as these really are the backbone of our community.

“We received a huge selection of dried food, lentils, rice, beans, chickpeas, tea and coffee - all of which we can utilise in meals we make for the community.”