Utah Sikhs Feed Homeless In Honor Of Vaisakhi Harvest Festival

April 18, 2010

Author: Lana Groves

Source: Deseret News


For families at some homeless shelters, being late for dinner means missing it entirely.

That's why Dawn Sjoblom said she was grateful for the free food that members of the Sikh Temple in West Jordan provided Sunday afternoon for men, women and families at the Road Home in Salt Lake City.

"We don't have a penny to our names," Sjoblom said while keeping an eye on her 3-year-old daughter. "We're in the Crisis center — we can't take food up there. I usually go to the Mission center across the street or the Good Samaritan center."

As part of Vaisakhi, a mid-April observance in which Sikh members celebrate the harvesting of wheat, nearly 40 members of the temple in West Jordan ladled out heaps of rice, beans and potato curry and a white flatbread called naan to anyone staying at the shelter at 210 S. Rio Grande St. The festival marks the beginning of the harvest season — an especially important event for members of the Sikh religion in the state of Punjab, where more than half of the food for people living in India is grown.