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Northern Lights recipient – Dil-E-Punjab Restaurant and Green Scholars

On July 28, Dil-E-Punjab Restaurant and Green Scholars of Alberta was recognized for feeding the hungry in the city.

Dil-E-Punjab Restaurant and Green Scholars of Alberta logos

Location: Edmonton, Alberta

When volunteers with Green Scholars of Alberta began to see how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting the food security of some of Edmonton’s most vulnerable, they decided to take action. For a non-profit working to raise environmental awareness and encourage responsible citizenship, finding ways to fill hungry stomachs was a bit beyond their ecosystem.

An organization well-versed in the interconnectedness of nature knows how to adapt to the landscape, and Green Scholars expanded their horizons and made a few new connections of their own. With a single request, the owners and staff of Dil-E-Punjab Sweets and Restaurant in Edmonton’s Mill Woods community put a hold on renovations to their popular eatery, volunteering their services and expertise to offer free meals to students, seniors and those in need. All that was required for a healthy helping of traditional Indian and Pakistani cuisine was a text requesting a meal – no questions asked.

In the first 2 weeks of the program in April 2020, Dil-E-Punjab delivered 1,200 meals, with the total topping 2,000 by the end of that month. By June 2021, that number climbed to more than 50,000. Program users were also able to access cloth masks, created by volunteers, at a time when masks were in short supply.

With the support of donations from the community, Dil-E-Punjab and Green Scholars of Alberta have demonstrated that care and compassion are able to combat even the most daunting of challenges. You do not need to be a scholar to pass that lesson along.

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