Sikh Sewa Society of Reno (SSSR), a local non-profit, will be distributing food to about 400 homeless people on July 22nd near the downtown homeless shelter. The organization cooks and distributes meals on the last Sunday of every month and twice on longer months. Rae Mangat, the Founder and President of SSSR, said, “The purpose for this organization is to help those who are in need with life essentials without discrimination of age, gender, disability or race.”
Each month, the organization receives donations from regular donors, purchases and prepares food, and then distributes it. “It’s me and nine of my members. We contribute $50 a month into a pot, and we use that money to cook for the homeless,” said Mangat, “We serve without judging. The point is not to judge, it’s to treat each others as humans. You know, it’s just selfless care.”
Mangat said she started feeding the homeless about two years ago when she decided to start the non-profit, which now serves 300-400 homeless every month. “If it’s snowing really hard, we still feed, and there are still people there. We try to quickly prepare plates and start distributing them, so they don’t have to wait too long,” said Mangat, “I mean, we come home [after]. They’re actually sleeping under the bridges. We have a home to go to— they don’t.”
Mangat said she was inspired by the beliefs of Sikhism. “Sikhism, that’s what we are. It’s a new religion. It’s about 500 years old and the belief is, you do selfless care to others,” said Mangat, “We are firm believers of taking care of each other as humans without judging anyone. And the best way to take care of each other is by feeding the hungry.”
SSSR has plans to expand their efforts to help the community by assisting a broader demographic. According to Mangat, the organization will donate backpacks and school supplies to 100 children who are in low income housing, and will be supplying mobile help emergency helpline buttons to several elderly members of the community.
Mangat encourages the community to become involved by volunteering their time to help distribute food. “It’s the manpower we need more than anything,” said Mangat, “If we have more people, we can distribute food faster.” Mangat also encourages the community to donate clothing and shoes to the homeless as well.