Food drive set for Satur­day

The main drop-off lo­ca­tion is the By­ers Sta­tion De­vel­op­ment

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - Staff Re­port

UP­PER UWCHLAN >> The fifth an­nual Di­wali Food Drive is sched­uled for Satur­day, Nov. 5.

The drive will be held on Satur­day, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon in the listed com­mu­ni­ties. The main drop-off lo­ca­tion is in the By­ers Sta­tion De­vel­op­ment at 1190 Sta­tion Boule­vard, which is lo­cated off Fel­low­ship Road, south of 401. Ac­cept­able food items in­clude peanut but­ter, rice, whole grain pasta, ce­real, canned tuna, canned veg­eta­bles and canned fruits.

Drive founder and coor­ga­nizer, Ki­ran Nuki­ranti notes that the in­au­gu­ral 2012 drive col­lected 1,700 pounds of food do­na­tions to lo­cal fam­i­lies. The food drive last year col­lected and do­nated 30,000 pounds of food to The Ch­ester County and Kennett Square Food Banks, help­ing count­less fam­i­lies to put food on their ta­bles. To date, more than 72,000 pounds have been do­nated, ac­cord­ing to event or­ga­niz­ers.

The Di­wali Food drive hon­ors the cel­e­bra­tion of a hol­i­day. Di­wali, an an­cient Hindu “Fes­ti­val of Lights” spir­i­tu­ally sig­ni­fies the vic­tory of light over dark­ness, knowl­edge over ig­no­rance, and good over evil. Di­wali falls in Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber de­pend­ing on the po­si­tion of the moon. Ac­cord­ing to the Hindu cal­en­dar, Amavasya or “no moon day” is con­sid­ered as the per­fect day to cel­e­brate Di­wali, the third day of a five-day cel­e­bra­tion.

The fes­ti­val is cel­e­brated by light­ing “diyas” which are tra­di­tional earthen can­dles, to drive away the dark­ness of Amavasya. It is marked by large fire­work dis­plays. Puja, or prayers, are of­fered to Lak­shmi, the god­dess of wealth, pros­per­ity, love and for­tune. Peo­ple cel­e­brat­ing the fes­ti­val also clean their houses, buy new clothes and dec­o­rate their homes with ran­goli art, pat­terns cre­ated on the floor with col­ored rice or pow­der. After prayers and fire­works, fam­i­lies share a feast with sweets and ex­change gifts. Ad­di­tion­ally, there is a strong tra­di­tion of giv­ing food and goods to those in need, event or­ga­niz­ers noted.

They added that his­tor­i­cally its pos­i­tive im­pact of unit­ing Ch­ester County com­mu­nity re­sources to help sup­port fam­i­lies in need. The goal for this year’s drive is to in­crease our com­mu­nity im­pact by do­nat­ing 50,000 pounds of food to the Ch­ester County Food Bank, KACS - Kennett Area Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, Phoenixville Area Com­mu­nity and the Lords Pantry and a “Hunger free hol­i­day in Ch­ester County.”

This tra­di­tion con­tin­ues to be hon­ored by a found­ing group of res­i­dents in the By­ers Sta­tion Com­mu­nity. It has now ex­tended to in­clude Re­serve at Ea­gle, Malvern Hunt, Ea­gle Hunt, Wind­sor Ridge, Wayne­brook, White­land Woods, Chest­nut Ridge, Bell Tav­ern and Ap­ple­cross com­mu­ni­ties. Funds can be do­nated via www. Di­wal­iFoodDrive.org. Funds will be used to pur­chase food from Acme at a dis­counted rate.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the food drive, visit at: www.face­book.com/ Di­wal­iFoodDrive or http:// www.di­wal­ifooddrive.org/.

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