Sewa Diwali initiative collects over 590K pounds of food, donated to about 240 centres across US

Washington, Dec 11: This Diwali season, a group of Indian American organisations under the Sewa Diwali initiative collected over 590,000 pounds of food and donated it to about 240 food distribution centres across the country.
The Sewa Diwali initiative that extended across 200 townships in 31 states involving more than 300 Indian American organisations, channelled its continued dedication to selfless service and shared celebration into a collective, far-reaching initiative involving volunteers across all age groups and serving a wide American demographic, a media release said Friday.
These organisations align themselves with the Dharmic values originating in the Indian subcontinent — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, it added.
“This festival presents us with an important opportunity to put one of our core Dharmic values into practice: the entire world is a family,” says Krishnamurthy Woonnimani, the national coordinator for Sewa Diwali.
“We want to extend our celebration and warmth beyond just our families and friends,” he added.
The distribution centres which received food through Sewa Diwali included food pantries, schools, colleges and houses of worship.
Mark McCormick, president of Middlesex College in Edison, NJ explained, “We have over 10,000 students and many of them experience food insecurity. The food donated today will go a long way toward alleviating that food insecurity and helping them focus on their studies. We’re very grateful.”
Aparna Jujjavarapu, the North America executive secretary at Chinmaya Mission added, “We are very glad to be a part of Sewa Diwali and hope to continue to live up to our pledge of producing more than what we consume and giving more than what we take. May we all continue to stand as one family with love and respect.”
Sewa Diwali also received recognition from several government officials across the United States.
“Your partnership with Sewa Diwali to supply the town of Harrisburg’s Community Food Pantry is of great merit,” said State Senator Paul Newton of North Carolina, “and I believe your service to those in need will have a significant impact.”
“We were very happy to see so many children practice and experience something so essential to our culture and to humanity – that is, selfless service, or sewa – on this auspicious occasion,” added Chand Mehta, president of the Rajasthan Association of North America, in a media release. (PTI)