In Detroit, NYC, kindness comes one slice of pizza at a time

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Copyright of the New York Sikh Council via AP

In this April 7, 2020, handout photo, Japneet Singh, right, delivers pizza to health care workers at Kings County Hospital in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Singh estimates 1,000 pizzas were delivered to essential workers since the end of March. (Courtesy of the New York Sikh Council via AP)

NEW YORK – Before the pandemic, Shalinder Singh spent Sundays at his gurdwara, helping serve a community meal for 300 people or more at the Sikh place of worship in suburban Detroit.

Now, he’s all about pizza.

Singh and his family have paid for and delivered hundreds of pies to hospitals, police stations and fire departments since the gurdwara suspended in-person services.

They wanted to carry on a tenet of their faith: helping others through langar, the communal meal shared by all who come.

“It just popped up in my mind, this is the time to take care of the heroes in the front,” said Singh, the 40-year-old owner of a pet products company. “I spoke to a couple of doctors and they said pizza is the best because they’re working 12 to 16 hours and they don’t have time to sit and eat.”

The Singhs, including 12-year-old Arjun and 14-year-old Baani, have delivered more than 1,000 pizzas since early April, with no plans to slow down. They drive as much as an hour to spread their pizza love once a week, as Singh continues to run his business, which is classified as essential.

“We’re trying to go to areas that aren’t getting much food,” Singh said.

In New York, 25-year-old Japneet Singh, a fellow Sikh, also thought of pizza for under-resourced hospitals and overworked, minimum wage employees in the crosshairs of the virus.