A caring curry

Puran Singh, front, and his son Jassi gave more than 100 free meals to people in need. Photo: John Borren.

Almost everyone loves butter chicken, and one Tauranga restaurant has been offering the tasty curry free of charge to people who are struggling financially.

Punjab Express gave out more than 100 meals to those in need during level three Covid-19 restrictions.

Owner Puran Singh decided to give out the meals after seeing a man riffling through a rubbish bin for food during lockdown.

He was upset by this, so when his restaurant reopened he did what he could.

Butter chicken, vegetarian curry and samosas have been enjoyed by those in need.

Puran’s son Jassi says they recognise how difficult it is for people at the moment.

“We thought we should help those people that are struggling, because it is hard for a lot of people through these tough times,” says Jassi.

Initially they planned to offer the meals from Wednesday until Friday last week, but after seeing how many people needed their help they extended the offer.

Jassi says everyone has been very grateful.

“People do appreciate it and they feel it’s really kind of us.”

They have helped single parents feed their children and anyone else in the community that needs a helping hand.

Punjab Express advertised the offer through their Facebook page, but it was a hand-written note in the window of the restaurant that caught a Weekend Sun reader’s eye, and they reached out to the paper to share the gesture.

Tim was picking up takeaways and says he was “quite touched by the simple hand-written message in the window, saying if anyone needs a free meal in these tough times please ask”.

“Kindness goes a long way at any time, but with things the way they are I thought this was worth a mention,” he says.

Jassi says they have had people offer donations to help with the free meals, but they declined because they wanted it to come from their business.

Puran has owned the Tauranga restaurant for 17 years. He also owns restaurants in Auckland and is looking at offering the meals there when they reaches level three.

The offer was mainly available during level three, but Puran says if anyone is really stuck and has no money, they will help them out.


Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter