Sodhani Foundation, Canal Walk Group Donate To Food Bank

Money and food were raised by the Sodhani Foundation and the Indo-American Association of Canal Walk.

A local foundation partnered with a Canal Walk-based group to raise nearly $1,400 for the Franklin Food Bank to help it widen its offerings to its clients.

Representatives of the Sodhani Foundation and the Indo-American Association of Canal Walk gathered Oct. 24 at the Food Bank headquarters on Churchill Avenue for a short ceremony to present the donation.

The money will be used to purchase meal items for vegetarians, said Mike Rossi, the Food Bank’s development director.

Sodhani Foundation president Vimal Sodhani said the donation was made to commemorate Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

“Diwali is our largest festival, like Christmas,” Sodhani said. “The main purpose is to create harmony and friendship and give back to our community.”

Diwali, he said, “represents the triumph of righteousness over treachery, truth over falsehood, good over evil and light over darkness.”

“Diwali also teaches us to give back to society,” he said. “This is our day of giving. We have decided to donate food items to the Franklin Food Bank. They are doing a wonderful job helping poor people below the poverty level who do not have jobs or enough money to buy food for them and their family.”

“Most of the staff who help at the Food Bank are volunteers and I am very proud of them,” he said. “I request all of you to join the divine cause of helping the people in need.”

Jay Sethi, a member of the board of the Indo-American Association of Canal Walk, said the donations would be made twice a year, during Diwali and in the summer.

“We are so fortunate, and we have to give back,” he said. “I’ve experienced to give back is such a pleasure. We know how totally blessed we are. But we also know that there are plenty of people out there, those who are not so blessed, even for food. It is a great opportunity for us. Let’s give it back and celebrate the good life.”

Mayor Phil Kramer said Franklin is celebrated for its diversity, and now the Food Bank will be able to cater to diet diversity.

“There are people with vegetarian diets, and the food bank will now support them,” he said. “Rather than the standard American fare, you can diversify your fare to the people the food bank is trying to serve.”

“We’re super-excited about the ability to partner with you and your foundation, and the folks at Canal Walk, and be able to provide more diverse food types and diets to people in need,” Rossi said to Sodhani. “We are truly a community of neighbors and it is things like this in times like Diwali and other holidays where we show what it means to be a good neighbor.”

The groups also collected food donations, which were also presented to the Food Bank during the ceremony.

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