BAPS devotees and volunteers at Neasden Temple launched a community food drive to collect for local food banks in the run-up to Christmas 2022.
People were encouraged to donate the most sought-after items – including biscuits, coffee, tinned vegetables, tinned beans, vegetables, pasta, cereals and rice – to help families adversely impacted during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis around the UK.
The collection amounted to over 10,000 units of vegetarian food, which were donated to The Trussell Trust food bank in Brent near the Temple.
The donations to The Trussell Trust help food banks to provide emergency food parcels to people in crisis and support thousands of families in communities across the country. Neasden Temple also topped up the donations during the collection with food resources from its own kitchens to ensure more food can get to where it is most needed.
Kamlesh Patel of Neasden Temple attributed the incredible donation to all the devotees at a time when people needed the most help. “Our devotees have always been forthcoming with their generosity during such times of need. We realised that families and households are struggling, and it is genuinely heart-warming to see so much kindness. The community food drive around the country has been inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, whose centennial anniversary we are celebrating this year. He lived and taught us, ‘In the joy of others lies our own.’”
Daniel Kennelly of The Trussell Trust’s Brent Food Bank said, “This donation of 10,000 units of food raised by Neasden Temple is an amazing and fantastic donation! We are so grateful. The demand at The Trussell Trust and the Brent Food bank has skyrocketed due to the energy and cost-of-living crisis. The volunteers at Neasden Temple and their contribution will go a long way towards supporting local Brent residents and we are so grateful for your continued support.”
Neasden Temple has been a regular contributor to The Trussell Trust across the UK, with donations also being made from BAPS mandirs in Birmingham, Leicester, Luton and Manchester, with several other mandirs supporting other similar charities helping the needy over the winter.