About 11,000 meals were served in the 2021 Diwali Festival of Lights in Ohio from the collection of over 13,000 lbs. nonperishable food items which amounted 11,000 meals when converted. The Food items collections were made based on the needs expressed by four organizations that partnered with #Sewadiwali Columbus, including NNEMAP Food Pantry Columbus OH – 6060 lbs., Heart Food Pantry Reynoldsburg OH – 2768 lbs., and People In Need Delaware OH – 4214 lbs.
Diwali is a Hindu Festival of Lights rooted in the Indic tradition, celebrated by people of various faiths including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. Despite its religious origin, the spirit of Diwali carries a secular message of “light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” Diwali has gained popularity across the globe and has opened up opportunities for communities to engage in and express themselves in ways that bring joy and purpose.
“#SewaDiwali” is a unique service initiative that was started in 2019 creating opportunities for organizations and members practicing the Indic value of Sewa Dharma — that “Service to Humanity is Service to Divinity”, to partner with each other and serve their communities.
In the United States, this initiative occurs during the Fall-Winter Hindu festive season, which spans over roughly four weeks culminating in Diwali. During this time, partners of this initiative execute programs based on identified needs of their local communities.
In 2019, the good work of #SewaDiwali reached Columbus, Ohio. Several Indic organizations and community groups including Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Sewa International, Jain Center Of Central Ohio (JCOCO), CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc., Indo American Senior Citizen Association (IASCA), Vallabh Youth Organization (VYO) Columbus, Bharatiya Hindu Temple (BHT), Marwadi Association of Columbus Ohio(MACO), Sri Venkateswara Temple of Central Ohio (SVTCO), Samskrita Bharathi, EKAL Vidhyalaya, PRAYAS, Gandhi Society, VT Seva, Indian Women Collaboration (IWC), Support A Child (SAC), Asha Jyothi, Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Wells Fargo came together in this 2021 initiative to serve the Columbus community.
The current pandemic called for much needed support for food in our community. Four local organizations, NNEMAP Food Pantry Columbus OH, Heart Food Pantry Reynoldsburg OH, People in Need Delaware OH, Buckeye Food Alliance, Columbus OH were identified as the 2021 beneficiaries of this initiative.
Food items collections were made based on the needs expressed by these four organizations.
#Sewadiwali Columbus Partners collected over 13,000 lbs nonperishable food items which converted into 11,000 meals.
NNEMAP Food Pantry Columbus OH – 6060 lbs
Heart Food Pantry Reynoldsburg OH – 2768 lbs
People In Need Delaware OH – 4214 lbs.
Sewa Diwali 2021 held between October 5 and November 21, 2021.