Here’s a feel good story we can get behind: a group of volunteers came together to create Seva, a food bank to serve hungry families in Mississauga. They’re now fundraising for their second food bank, and you’re invited to join them at The Seva Spark Annual Fundraising Gala.

SEVA food bank fundraiser Sikhs Toronto

Story by Priya Chopra

About 4 years ago, Seva started as Sikhs Serving Canada, an initiative aimed at mobilizing Sikh youth. The team of volunteers worked with Habitat for Humanity and later joined The Mississauga Food Bank. With a growing clientele, The Seva Food Bank opened its doors in 2010 and has served over 1000 families across two Mississauga postal codes. Each month, they distribute 25,000 pounds of safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food to families in need.

What has made this organization so successful?

“An element of respect for each client, a young energized Board of Directors, and a strong desire to create a warm, comfortable environment,” says SEVA board member Manraj Singh Pannu. “We would not be operational without such a phenomenal team of volunteers, donors, employees, and board members.”

After a successful Mississauga operation, Seva is ready to expand into Malton in 2014. Malton has been identified as a high-need area in the Peel Region, where food insecurity is a major concern. This new location will be far more than a traditional food bank. The board wants to make the ‘Seva Centre’ a hub of collaboration, support and empowerment for the community, with resume writing, training, and resource awareness.

“We don’t need to create more dependencies – we want to build self-reliance. We all know that food banks are band-aid solutions to a bigger societal problem. This hub will serve to bridge the gap between resources and clients,” says Angie Rehal, this year’s gala chair. Rehal has been with Seva for the last 2 years and lives by a famous Churchill quote: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

Support Seva by attending this year’s gala and help make the Malton hub a reality. The evening will include keynotes from Dr. Prabhjot Singh from Columbia University (watch his inspired and humble response to his racist attackers in Harlem) and Manmeet Kaur, Executive Director of City Health Works in New York. With live entertainment, dinner by Filmi Dhaba and a silent auction, it’ll be a night to remember.

Seva Spark Gala: A Night at the Site on Saturday November 9, 2013 | 2832 Slough Street, Mississauga | sevaspark.com

You can also support SEVA with a donation here.

 

Story By: Priya Chopra