The Diwali Basket Brigade is a voluntary initiative that organises food hampers for vulnerable families from all faiths and backgrounds every year in time for the festival of light.
The families are nominated by local charities and community-based organisations and identified as those most in need, struggling to feed themselves and their children. In 2022, given the energy and cost-of-living crisis, the charity believes helping these families with food is more important than ever before.
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Deepak Parekh, the founder of Diwali Basket Brigade, explained: “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.”
Diwali is the Festival of Light celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains & Buddhists. Parekh started Diwali Basket Brigade in 2018 as a way for the community to give back at this auspicious time.
To date, Diwali Basket Brigade has delivered over 5,000 food hampers. The effort has expanded from Birmingham, where it is centred, to London and Manchester. It continues to operate and grow despite the challenges from Covid-19 in recent years.
The special Diwali hampers include enough healthy vegetarian food to nutritiously feed a family. They are packed and delivered by our team of volunteers and charity and foodbank partners.
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All activities are funded by kind donations from across the community – over £72,000 has been raised since Diwali Basket Brigade began. This year, the initiative will provide 3,000 hampers, an increase of 500 hampers from last year.
The main volunteer-led packing and delivery events will be held on October 22, ahead of this year’s Diwali celebrations on October 24.