FFL

Food for All Team Enters the belly of Beast in Calais

On October 21, FFL Global affiliate, Food for All (FFA) set off from ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta Manor in England with two vehicles loaded with food supplies and provisions such as sleeping bags, tents, and clothes, etc. to a place called “the jungle,” just outside of Calais in France, where some 6,000 refugees were struggling to survive in the worst conditions imagable. After a short ferry crossing, the volunteers arrived at the refugee camp only to find mud everywhere, heavy rain and people wandering around aimlessly, desperation painted on their faces. “Within seconds of arriving, we realised the situation was much worse than we expected,” explained director of FFA, Peter O’Grady (Parasuram das). “Many people had been living at the camp for 3 months or more. There were about a dozen portable toilets, but no showers, communal buildings, or kitchens for people to prepare meals. We saw someone trying to cook some porridge on an open fire,” said O’Grady. “One would expect at a refugee camp as large as this, that someone would be in charge, or for there to be at least some kind of order, but no, not here in “the jungle.” It was basically chaos from wall to wall. So we just drove straight down through the water and mud into the belly of the beast and took immediate action. “It was a little scary to be honest. There were hundreds of desperate people surrounded our van. The first task was to get people to make a queue, which needed all hands on deck, and our team sprung to action. But soon we were distributing delicious hot rice, vegetable stew, cake, apple pie, apples and oranges. The volunteers were serving meals as fast as they could to keep the crowd satisfied, lest a volatile situation arise. “Many had gone without a bath for months. […]

Student Entrepreneur Giving Back to the Community

The Motivate and Inspire Educational Academy opened couple month ago in Forsyth County has already helped students attain their academic goals. It is quickly becoming a tremendous success because middle-school students relate well to their high school instructors. Perhaps the most fascinating and impressive concept about the academy is its owner and founder, Anirudh Bikmal, who is only a high school junior. An exemplary role model for his peers, Mr. Bikmal is an insightful visionary and entrepreneur who has proactively turned his dreams into a reality. Anirudh has always felt his greatest reward comes from knowing he has given back to others and believes in building a karma-free society. When asked what propelled him to start a tutoring academy at such a young age, he explained, “Throughout my sophomore and junior year I realized the number of students excelling in Georgia was exceedingly low. Bringing together friends and fellow students who are accomplished in multiple activities, I created the Motivate & Inspire Educational Academy (MIEdu Academy). The academy is founded on the principle that collective experience of successful high students in key areas will empower students with the drive to succeed. We are committed to offering a standard of excellence and I was determined to make this academy ‘happen’ – despite any challenges we had to face. Since my staff is comprised of overachievers, it is a priority that my instructors manage their time wisely to avoid compromising their own grades”. Marketing his idea proved to be a challenge as well, but Anirudh is not one to be easily discouraged. “If I had to cite my strongest marketing strategy, I would have to say it was brainstorming. I first decided what would greatly appeal to young students and their parents. I also recalled how I myself had always wanted to […]

FFL Annamrita’s food dispatch process is something to admire

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Everyday, 258 cooks prepare wholesome meals in 20 Annamrita kitchens and 301 vehicles carry hope and promise to over a million children in 6288 schools across India. After the raw materials have been procured, the rice cleaned and the cooking completed, the next challenge is the dispatch process. How to get so many meals out to the children as fast and efficiently as we can? The day before, all the containers have been air dried after washing and then sanitized; this ensures that they are 100% clean when filled with highly nutritious hot food. Once the food is ready, it is tasted and observations for temperature, colour, appearance, flavour, consistency and taste are documented. After the documented parameters are found to be acceptable, the containers are passed on the conveyor below the cauldrons. The outlet valve at the bottom of the cauldron is opened and the container is filled with the food. Once filled up to the pre-measured level, the containers are pushed on the conveyor and the next container is filled. In this entire process, food is untouched by hand. This ensures maintenance of high standards of hygiene and sanitation. Next, the filled containers are sealed with security seals to avoid tampering. The security seal is of paramount importance and the schools have been instructed to not accept the containers if the seal is broken. Each container has a specific colour coded security seal (which indicates the variety and quantity of food) to help easily identify during delivery.  Samples of all the food cooked for the day are taken out and their temperature is measured 3 hours after the dispatch to coincide with the school lunch break timings. In this way we can ensure that the food is still at a safe temperature when the children eat their lunch.  After washing and sanitizing the serving spoons, they […]

Food for Life revived in Serbia with the flood disaster

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In the early days of my service to Food for Life, I got to travel through the former soviet union, eastern Europe and the Balkans. I ventured into war zones in Chechnya, Georgia and Sarajevo. But one thing surprised me more than anything else: I found the people in these parts of the world to be the most enthusiastic to start a Food for Life project and the scope seemed unlimited. Many young men and women asked me what to do and how they could model the success of what we had done in Australia. One of those young enthusiasts was Krishna devotee, Srinivas das, who took on the task of developing Food for Life in Belgrade, Serbia.  He very methodically built a program from the ground up and followed all the good practices of others before him in Western Countries. Srinivas was able to get the support of the UNHCR and the Red Cross and position his Food for Life project as an essential partner in improving the social injustices that were present in Belgrade at the time. His project was a model of success for other projects in Eastern Europe and I encouraged other projects to follow suit and work for ways to cooperate with the more established NGOs in the area. “It was the most effective way to build credibility,” I told FFL volunteers, and in fact, partnering as such became an important ingredient in a book I would later release called, The 10 Ingredients of Success, later revised and republished at How to Develop a Successful Food for Life Project. Sadly, however, with the changing political and financial landscape of Serbia, over time, the program he built stalled, lost steam and stopped.  The Balkans floods The flood disaster that devastated large parts of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia stimulated […]

Food for Life in New Zealand brings unity to the community

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May 24 – Whangerei, New Zealand FFL Director, Paul Rodney Turner, was the special guest at the Manaia primary school in Whangarei, New Zealand, which is one the schools selected by FFL Northern Island to receive a free lunch. One day a week the children are fed a sumptuious vegetarian feast by Hare Krishna Food for Life Northern Islands, run by Buddhimanta Khan Das and his staff of volunteers. Before the event, Paul gave a small talk on the power of food to unite and it became very obvious once the serving began just how powerful this message was. “There is a real sense of unity here,” explained one of the teachers, as the older students went about serving lunch to the younger students. “Even  the parents get involved with cleaning, and all us teachers also sit down to eat with the kids.” Todays meal was a sweet and sour vegetable stew, rice and a vanilla semolina pudding (halava). The students relished the lunch and then grooved to some dance music as they cleaned the entire hall. Feeding children at Manaia school in New Zealand (28 photos on FACEBOOK) To learn more about Food for Life Global visit www.ffl.org or if you are in New Zealand, please get involved in this absolutely wonderful project, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hare-Krishna-Food-For-Life-Northland/124023621049817

Food for Life Vrindavan New Gift Festival

Dear Friends, Food for Life Vrindavan New Year Gift Festival is here again. Thousands of very poor children every year on the first of January receive a gift pack from us. Last year we did 5,000 gift packs. This year we hope we can do the same. It cost US$ 5 for a gift pack, which includes a school bag, pencil, sharpener, toothbrush and toothpaste, a ball, chocolate, toffees and biscuit, a woolly hat for the coming winter and some hope… It is this time of the year again when we call upon you to help us gift smiles to Vrindavan’s poorest children. You know very well, we are their only hope! During this festive period, giving is on everyone’s mind, making someone happy is a treasure to share. And it’$ a fiver! We are not asking for the moon, just your pocket change to make a poor child happy like he has never been before. Send in your contribution today and please forward this message to anyone you know. We are confident that with your help we can do it again this year. You can donate online at www.fflvrindavan.org or you can email to nygf@fflvrindavan.org Please, download the slideshow now and forward it to you friends. We still have a long way to go and a little time left… Yours in service of Vrindavan poor children – Rupa Raghunath das About FFLV Food for Life Vrindavan is a humanitarian association officially recognized by the Indian government. For the last ten years, Food for Life Vrindavan has worked in the poorest villages in the Vrindavan area (120 Km south of New Delhi). Our work includes: food distribution basic medical assistance training courses for women drilling for drinking water and constructing water tanks assistance to the elderly and the disabled distribution […]

Happy Cookies Project

Food for Life’s new Happy Cookies project is growing fast! Founded in Slovenia by FFL Global’s European Director, Mukunda Das, the new program now provides cakes, nutritious meals and free vegetarian cookbooks to shelters for women and children in cooperation with the Wave network in over 15 cities. Children receive “Learn to Read” sets by Dr. Edith Best, while the Pizza Effect and Tea Time Cookies projects serve elementary and secondary schools, as well as universities, women’s shelters and homes for the elderly with delicious vegan meals. “Adding to this, we now have a healthy cooking workshop called ‘Happy Chefs’,” explains Mukunda. “Our indiscriminate offering of healthy vegan cookies are a symbol of our unconditional care,” he says. Locations: Paris, Amsterdam, Liege, Geneva, Barcelona, Brussels, Stuttgart, Warsaw, Trieste, Ljubljana, Sri Lanka, Varshana, Durbuy, Govardhan, Johanesburg, Mumbai, New York. How you can help? Become a volunteer today! Donate to Happy Cookies projects at www.happycookies.org Become part of the Food for Life – Social Entrepreneurship project Employ underprivileged people involved in our programs Donate land for growing organic produce Become an advocate Contact: info@happycookies.org

Meet Food for Life volunteer KRS-One

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KRS-One Explains Early Hare Krishna Affiliation And Changing His Name by RASHAD PHILLIPS | Source: http://www.hiphopdx.com/ Posted June 15, 2012 at 1:00AM EST In an exclusive outtake from Ice-T(TM)s oeArt Of Rap documentary, KRS-One explains how helping feed the homeless led to a few name changes. While he answers to many aliases—“Blasmaster” and “The Teacha” to name a few—people generally recognizeKRS-One by his Rap name and occasionally by his given name of Kris Parker. All of the above are fine, except Kris is not his given name. It’s Lawrence. In one of the many viral outtakes from Ice-T’s Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, KRS breaks down how an encounter with the Hare Krishnas led to his name change. “When I went into the street, I was hanging with the Hare Krishnas,” KRS explained to Ice-T. “They used to come into the shelter and feed the homeless. They used to say, ‘If anyone wants to help us feed the homeless, we’ll give you a free Bhaktivedanta.’ My little philosophical self said, ‘Yeah, I’ll help you feed the homeless.’ And I got my Bhaktivedanta.’” KRS said he developed an appreciation for a story about Lord Krishna instructing Arjuna on the battlefield. However upon returning to the shelter, the man then known as Larry Parker was uniformly teased by everyone he knew. “They started calling me Krishna, and I’m like, ‘Yo. Stop calling me Krishna. My name’s Larry. Stop calling me Krishna…that’s the name of their god. That’s like calling somebody Jesus or Muhammad if you’re not down with that.’” Parker was removed from the shelter due to failing to meet the minimum age requirements. However, due to a clerical error by the Bureau of Child Welfare Services, all of his paperwork said Krishna Parker instead of Lawrence. Krishna was shortened to Kris, and when graffiti bombing […]