Since starting as a grassroots project in India in 1974, Food for Life Global has expanded to now include 210 projects in 60 countries serving up to 2 million meals daily. And on December 30th we will hit the 4 Billion Meal mark!
“This is truly astonishing,” says Paul Rodney Turner, the director and co-founder of Food for Life Global. “And to think that it is highly probable that FFLG network of affiliates has served even more meals than this is mind boggling.”
Yes, the numbers we are using to calculate the current distribution rate and volume over the last 42 years are based on conservative estimates and do not include all projects over history, simply because many projects closed down, many did not maintain accurate logs of meals distributed, and many do not report numbers at all.
Since the inspirational “founding” of Hare Krishna Food for Life when the founder/acharya of ISKCON, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada told his students, “No one should go hungry within 10 miles of our temple,” volunteers have set up projects in more than 60 countries.
For the first 19 years of Food for Life’s history, it remained a grassroots operation, with no formal headquarters, training materials, or guidelines. Then in 1993, Turner released the first official Food for Life Training manual that covered all aspects of how to set up, manage, promote, and support a Food for Life project. That same year he left his native country of Australia and began helping volunteers around the world start their own project. Then in 1995, Food for Life Global was officially established in Potomac, MD, USA to serve as the headquarters and training and support office for all Hare Krishna Food for Life projects around the world.
Around 2005, Turner released a new book called, “How to Build a Great Food Relief” and for the first time, opened the doors for anyone, regardless of religious affiliation, to start their very own Food for Life project and be endorsed by Food for Life Global.
In 2016, the Hare Krishna movement celebrated the 50th anniversary of their founding in New Work in 1966. Most of the projects included in the Food for Life Global international network are managed by Krishna devotees, however, since the concept of prasadam (pure sanctified food) is not exclusive to the Hare Krishna movement, Food for Life Global has adopted an inclusive policy, allowing anyone to be involved in serving and starting a Food for Life projects as long as they are willing the follow the high standards of purity. In this regard, Food for Life Global launched a new department called FOOD YOGA which teaches a non-sectarian approach to spiritual eating.
Per the mission of FFLG, “to unite the world through pure food,” FOOD YOGA teaches people how to nourish their body, mind, and soul and to see food as a means to elevating consciousness and seeing the spiritual equality of all beings.
4 billion meals is a major benchmark, but we hope to do much more. Until that day that no one goes hungry, we will never consider our mission complete. And of course, the only realistic way to achieving that goal is when the world begins to see equality at the deepest level.
We wholeheartedly thank those that have supported FFLG on this noble mission and hope you will continue to support us until the mission is complete.