In a historic first, The Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand has won the NZ Food Hero Award 2020 under people's choice category announced at the NZ Food Heroes Celebrations event at Cordis on Thursday, October 8.
Supreme Sikh Society is the first Indian organisation ever to win this coveted award and was in league with 340 total nominations put for 2020.
The award is a recognition of Society's exemplary role in providing food and essential services to thousands of struggling families in South Auckland and beyond that included locals, international students, stranded visitors from overseas across all spectrum of nationalities and ethnicities during different stages of lockdown in New Zealand.
Supreme Sikh Society comprising of the Takanini and Otahuhu Gurudwara was given the 'Essential Services' status by MBIE earlier this year and had been the foot soldiers delivering and distributing essential food items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, bread, rice, lentils and other items for families facing the loss of income to survive through different levels of lockdowns.
Their food distribution drill, which was held at least three times a week during lockdowns were not limited to just food, SSSNZ also distributed blankets, stationery items for school children, PPEs, food and medicines delivered at doorstep for elderly and senior members of the community, providing financial assistance and free accommodation to the homeless.
SSSNZ's charitable operations extended from different parts of Auckland, primarily from Takanini Gurudwara in South Auckland to Tauranga and Rotorua in Bay of Plenty, Hamilton and parts of Waikato region, North Shore, and West Auckland.
Supreme Sikh Society has been on the headlines of every major news channels across New Zealand for giving out at least 66,000 free bags and essential items to over 280,000 community members during the two waves of Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand.
For its services during the first wave of lockdown, Supreme Sikh Society was acknowledged and thanked by National List MP Kanwaljit Bakshi and Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods in the parliament. SSSNZ also received a certificate of appreciation from Counties Manukau South Police, Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and the High Commission of India in Wellington.
Supreme Sikh Society was nominated in the 'Greater Good' category sharing the finalists' space with names such as Everybody Eats NZ, KiwiHarvest, Chateau Marlborough Hotel and Quench Restaurant, Fair Food Charitable Trust etc.
Receiving the trophy at the NZ Food Heroes Celebrations award ceremony, Daljit Singh from Supreme Sikh Society said, "thank you so much New Zealand for bestowing this Prestigious Award of People's Choice NZ Food Heroes Award on us by voting so generously and extending your blessed love to us."
"This award is not only a big motivation for all the suppliers and volunteers who made this food distribution to more than 66,000 families a reality but also a confirmation to the great philosophy of our great guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji 'Sarbat da Bhla' which means 'Universal Well Being'," Daljit Singh told The Indian Weekender.