Hot, fresh vegetables and rice with a little bit of spice – Sunday night is now curry night for Tauranga's street community.
Volunteers from Te Puke's Sikh Sangat group are putting on free dinners every Sunday for anyone who needs it at the Willow St bus stop in the CBD.
"We are making around 80kg of pulao – rice with a mix of veges, and one curry, yoghurt, Milo or coffee," organiser Honey Singh (also known as Harry) told the Bay of Plenty Times last night at the dinner.
Sikh Sangat New Zealand helps feed the homeless in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Rotorua, Te Puke, and now Tauranga.
Singh said they aim to serve and feed the community as one, "regardless of any background, caste, colour, race or religion".
The organisation's work with the homeless is driven by the teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus.
All Sikhs are encouraged to perform selfless service – volunteer work without any thought of reward or personal benefit.
In the Punjabi language, a person performing such a service is called a sevadar.
Singh said there was a large street community in Tauranga that needed help and his organisation wanted to play a part.
Last night was the second dinner hosted by Sikh Sangat Te Puke in Tauranga.
After feeding those gathered at Willow St in the CBD, the group was driving to Greerton to do the same there.
They were then going to drive the streets of central Tauranga to see if any other rough sleepers wanted food.
"They love it actually," Singh said of the fragrant curry meal and the hungry attendees.
Ross, who has been living on the streets in Tauranga for years, said the food was great.
"It fills you, it's got good vitamins and that in it, it's good for you. They're trying to give us healthy food, which is really good," the 57-year-old said.
"It's a very restrained curry. It's not going to hurt no one, it'll make you well, eh. Good for the winter."
Singh said Sikh Sangat Te Puke also provided containers so people could take leftover food away with them.
The fresh vegetarian offerings are made at the Sikh Temple in Te Puke, where there are up to 50 volunteers helping out.
Sikh Sangat has been feeding the needy in Te Puke every Sunday for the past two months, setting up near the post shop.
Singh, who works and lives on a farm in Te Puke, said he loves helping his community.
"I'm trying to help the homeless and people who don't have a house or don't have a job. Our aim is to try help everyone, help the needy and homeless especially. In this cold winter, you can't be outside, it's very hard."
Milo Night organiser Tracey Carlton, whose group helps feed the homeless in central Tauranga twice a week, was also at the Willow St dinner last night.
She said the city's streeties were enjoying the food and hot drinks provided by Sikh Sangat Te Puke.
"For the Milo Night team, it's wonderful to have Harry and the Te Puke Sikh community on board with us in service to our community. Absolutely enjoying having their support."
To help support Sikh Sangat Te Puke, phone Honey (Harry) Singh on 021 030 3804.