In a heartwarming display of unity and compassion, the Diwali Basket Brigade is gearing up to make an even greater impact this year by delivering an impressive 4,000 food hampers to vulnerable families across the UK.
This remarkable initiative, now in its sixth year, has already touched the lives of over 8,000 families, thanks to the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
It came to Manchester in 2019, but because of Covid, this is the second event to be held in our city.
It has already proved a big success, but the charity need your help as it continues to grow.
Deepa Parekh, who takes care of the Manchester event said: “It started in Birmingham, and I kept getting onto the organiser about starting one in Manchester.
“He always wanted to expand, so we finally went for it, and we’ve seen a huge growth of numbers over the two years.
“The core team now runs four sites in Birmingham, Manchester, London and Leicester.
“The Manchester event has doubled in terms of volunteers and the number of hampers distributed. We aim for it to grow every year and involve more people.
‘We’re hoping this year’s event will be the biggest one yet.”
Spreading the Joy of Diwali
This initiative, which has been operating across the UK. for six years, has already helped over 8,000 families and is entirely funded by volunteers and generous donations.
It unites people across all creeds and religions to come together to help the most needy in our societies.
The recipients of the food hampers are from all walks of life, and all cultural backgrounds; disabled children, domestic violence victims, schools on the breadline, the elderly and vulnerable families struggling to make ends meet.
Manchester Organiser Deepa Parekh
Deepa continued:”Essentially, what we do is raise funds throughout the year through personal and corporate donations, as well as a few events to maximise the impact.
“We purchase food from a partner at cost, which allows us to stretch the donated money further than if people bought the same items at retail prices.
“The food hampers contain items like rice, pasta, and non-perishables that can feed a substantial number of people.
“We collaborate with FareShare, who are an amazing Manchester Charity. I know this city is jam-packed with amazing people and charities and we love the work FareShare do.
“We usually have around 750 hampers to distribute, and FareShare helps us allocate them to those in need.
“They’re the largest redistribution company in the country, working with over 200 different charities.”
The unique aspect of the charity, the Diwali Basket Brigade, is that it encourages active involvement.
It’s not just about donating money and hoping it reaches the right places. Even a small contribution, like a £10 donation, can feed a family of four.
Deepa added: “The beauty of it is that we use the spirit of Diwali to spread love, hope, and kindness. It transcends cultural and creed boundaries.
“A diverse group of strangers comes together, united by the common goal of making a positive impact.”The Diwali Basket Brigade
The Diwali Basket Brigade, founded by Deepak Parekh in 2018, is a voluntary initiative designed to share the spirit of Diwali, the Festival of Light celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, with the wider community.
Its mission is to provide nutritious food hampers to families from all faiths and backgrounds who are nominated by local charities and community-based organisations as those most in need, struggling to feed themselves and their children.
What’s in The Hampers?
The Diwali hampers include enough healthy vegetarian food to nutritiously feed a family and are packed and delivered by a dedicated team of volunteers and charity and food bank partners.
All the activities are funded by kind donations from the community, totalling over £80,000 since the initiative’s inception.
This year the initiative will provide a record 4,000 hampers, a huge increase from the 3,000 hampers in 2022.
This year’s expansion to Leicester will bring the initiative to more families in need, with the main packing and delivery events scheduled for Saturday, November 4, in Birmingham and London, and Sunday, November 5, in Manchester and Leicester.
This effort will culminate in the celebration of Diwali on Sunday, November 12, 2023.
The Diwali Basket Brigade’s continued growth and dedication to its cause exemplify the power of community and the enduring spirit of Diwali.
Founder Deepak Parekh
Deepak Parekh, who founded the Birmingham event explained the motivation behind the initiative, saying, “Diwali is a time of celebration and happiness.
“But unfortunately, there are many families in our local communities who have little to cheer about, struggle to make ends meet, and feel rejected.
“Diwali Basket Brigade is our effort to support them and to spread the Diwali message of hope, happiness, and giving.”
In 2023, with the ongoing cost of living crisis, providing food to these families is more important than ever before.
Diwali, known as the Festival of Light, is a joyous celebration cherished by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists around the world.
It symbolises the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil, and it is a time for family gatherings, vibrant decorations, and the sharing of sweets and gifts. At its core, Diwali represents hope, happiness, and the spirit of giving, which the Diwali Basket Brigade embodies in their mission.
To support this amazing initiative, you can visit their JustGiving Page or follow them on social media for updates and information.
For more details about this amazing charity, please visit their website by clicking here
The Diwali Basket Brigades event will take place at Fareshare, Emerge on Sunday 5th November from 12noon.
Their address is FareShare Greater Manchester, c/o EMERGE, Maynard House, New Smithfield Market, Manchester, M11 2WJ.
Another chaity they help out is CAFT (Children’s Activity Farm in Cheshire), a charity that provides a unique and supportive environment for disabled children and their families.
It’s essentially a holiday experience for them, and it allows families to have a break while their children enjoy the facilities.