Plumstead businessman sets up food bank for homeless people
AN INSPIRING business owner from Plumstead has set up a food bank outside her store to help those in need.
Tej Singh Chaggar, 35, started the food bank in January outside TSDesigns in Plumstead High Street as he wanted to help those struggling in the area.
He told the News Shopper he first thought of the idea of placing boxes full of essential foods at his neighbour, Ade Gbadecro.
Tej said he wanted to make sure everyone had access to essential food and that no one went to sleep on an “empty stomach”.
He explained: “I have seen part of the local community struggle to buy essential foods over the years.
“Our goal is simply to give back to locals who are struggling with basic sustenance due to increased energy, gas, food and general expenses.”
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Tej volunteered with a charity called SWAT in central London where he served hot food to the community.
He said the “sense of giving back” drives him to help others and he is also driven by his religious beliefs.
He explained: “I am a Sikh, so giving back to others was taught to us from an early age.
“It’s about giving and helping others and not expecting anything in return, which is our fundamental principle.
“We are blessed with a healthy lifestyle and we are able to feed ourselves, so why not everyone?
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what religion you believe in. We are one human race and we should all help each other.”
It costs Tej and Ade around £50 each a week to fill the boxes to ensure everyone has access to food.
Tej said, “The cost doesn’t matter to us because we have the ability to feed other people.
“You can have all the money in the world and buy all the food, cars or clothes you want. But is that life?
Tej says he plans to continue helping others in need by keeping the food bank running throughout the year.
He added: “I wish I could expand the food bank and do more, but right now that’s all we can do.
“I hope other businesses will get involved or even donate so we can give to more people.
“It’s amazing to change someone just by giving them little things.”
Tej encourages other businesses in the area to get involved by donating to others and making sure everyone eats.
You can donate non-perishable food to the Food Bank located on Plumstead Highstreet outside TSDesigns.
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