CORDOVA, Tenn (WMC) - Members of the Mid-South Sikh community spent part of their Saturday preparing and packing 170 meals for international students who attend the University of Memphis.
"One of the basic tenets of our faith is community service and there could not be a better time for us to come forward and contribute toward the community," said Vaneet Singh, a member of the Memphis Sikh community.
Practicing social distancing, volunteers from the community gathered at the Sikh temple in Cordova to prepare, pack, and load meals onto a van for U of M international students.
"This is all volunteer," said Singh. "This is the Sikh community of Memphis chipping in and who is supporting this whole effort."
Many international students find themselves in a precarious situation, trapped with nowhere to go in the pandemic.
Most are staying on college campuses, which are largely empty after in-person classes were canceled and American students left to go back home.
Visa restrictions prevent international students from getting jobs off-campus. Therefore, they're largely dependent on the generosity of others in the communities their schools are located in.
The Sikh community has pledged to provide them with 100 pizzas every Thursday and at least 300 individual meals every Saturday for the next four weeks.
Also, the Sikh community has provided meals to employees at all major Memphis area hospitals during the pandemic.
“This is the time we really need to come out and help each other,” said Singh.