The society’s aim is to ‘help the homeless and provide food/hunger relief to those that really need it’. Their name comes from Sikhism and the Punjab, where the word ‘langar’ means a canteen where food is served for free. They operate across the Midlands, providing food in Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Birmingham, among other sites. They have successfully grown the organisation over time, and travel out to serve more and more locations when possible; December saw Northampton and Ilford added to their list, and in January they launched a new branch at the Missionary Cafe in Huddersfield.
The organisation has volunteers in many cities now, including families and children, who give up their time every week – often several times per week, and even on Christmas Day – to go out and provide people with hot meals, serving an average of around 2000 people every week. Some of their recent events over the festive period included serving hot drinks and mince pies at St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton, with the help of a local councillor, and Santa giving out Christmas cards and treats in West Bromwich and Birmingham.
Although primarily based in the UK., the Midland Langar Seva Society also do work overseas, in Punjab, India. The operation there also provides food to those who need it most, as well as undertaking various other projects and forms of assistance. These have included feeding people in Pinglewara (a home for mentally disabled), installing air conditioning in an old people’s home and opening a sewing school and installing a water pump for a Sikh community in Maharashtra.
It’s small acts of kindness like this that can really help brighten someone’s day. A hot meal or warm blanket may not seem like much to those of us who have them every day, and take them for granted, but they are simple things that make a big difference to people who aren’t fortunate enough to have them. The organisation’s Facebook page also includes stories about other ways they’ve helped people, such a team member comforting an emotional young man whose mother had just passed, or even calling an ambulance for an elderly man unable to stand in the cold.
Anyone who wishes to help this cause by donating can go to their drop box in Walsall, or contact them directly, as listed on their Facebook page. Donations of food or clothing are welcome, though not monetary donations. You could even help set up another branch in a new city!
Facebook – www.facebook.com/midlandlangarsevasociety
Website – http://midlandlangarseva.org.uk