THE Sikh community has a philosophy its member’s call “caring and sharing”. On Saturday, they put it into practice by offering free food to 200 needy northwest suburban residents.

Unfortunately, only two elderly men were able to make their way to the Sikh temple in unincorporated Palatine Township to receive a loaf of bread, butter, cheese and milk.

“This is our first year of doing this way,” said Gurjit Singh, ‘one of the organizers of the food giveaway. “It is very cold weather and people may not have heard about it. Next year, we will advertise and our goal is to give food to 2,000 people”.

Although there were few takers at the temple, the Sikhs were not discouraged. Instead, they found Joy in giving to the two men who were taken to take advantage of the Indian sect’s kindness.

William Blume, 90, of Palatine came to the temple with Art Coughlin, 74. They were notified by Palatine Township officials about the giveaway

“We can really use this, being on Social Security,” Coughlin said. “I think this is great, but I didn’t believe it when T first heard about it. I figured this had to be a gimmick. This is very nice”. Coughlin and Blume were helped to their car with three large bags of groceries, including one for Coughing’s ex-wife, who was too sick to make the trip to the temple,

To the turbaned Sikhs, giving away food is nothing new, but they are just beginning to reach out beyond the Sikh community.

“We are thinking we should get into the mainstream of America’, said Surinder Pal Singh, one of the area’s Sikh leaders. “For our own people, we have free food every Sunday. Actually, that is open to anyone, but people don’t know about us outside’.

The money for the food came from the temple’s congregation and Surinder Singh said it was not difficult to raise.

“We told the community what we wanted to do and within only a few minutes we had the money”, he said.

With few people arriving at the temple to take advantage of the giveaway, the Sikhs decided to give some of the food to St. Joseph Home for the Elderly in Palatine and contributed the rest to Palatine Township to give with its next giveaway of U.S. government surplus cheese and butter

Article extracted from this publication >> January 22, 1988