This Sunday saw thousands of people donate over 10 tonnes of food to the Leicester Sikh Communities annual Vaisakhi Food Drive. The event which took place at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara.was a collaboration with the Leicestershire Sikh Alliance and Kaurageous Leicester who teamed up with charities FareShare, British Red Cross, and The Dawn Centre. Vaisakhi is the holiest day in the Sikh calendar and is traditionally seen as a time to help others.
This year the Sikh community wanted to make an event which was not only relevant to the Sikh community, but also to the people of Leicester. The recent economic climate has seen many people in Leicester become victim to food and child poverty and it was decided that an event should be held to help combat it. Consequently, the food drive was decided upon and the decision to work with existing charities meant that alongside helping those in the local community it would also help replenish their depleting stock levels.
Speaking to Pukaar News, the Event Organiser Karan Deep Singh said that the aim of the event was to ‘’reach out to people in need within Leicester’’ because ‘’The message of Vaisakhi is to share with others’’. Last year the food drive managed to collect ten tonnes of food for charity and Mr Singh said that they were ‘’definitely on the way’’ to reaching last year’s number.
The event saw a number of people from a variety of backgrounds take part, and it saw prominent figures in Leicester contribute to the food drive such as Deputy City Mayor Rory Palmer and local MP Jon Ashworth.
Councillor Palmer told Pukaar News that the food drive ‘’is going to help thousands of people across Leicester, Leicestershire and the midlands’’ as around ‘’three thousand people in Leicester every week depend on food parcels’’. The Deputy City Mayor expressed his admiration for those involved, from the organisers to the donators who are helping ‘’make a real difference’’
MP Jon Ashworth also spoke to Pukaar News saying ‘’The fact that the Sikh community here in Leicester is being so generous and is raising all this food, it really is brilliant and I just want to pay tribute to them’’