By Parasuram dasa
2,000 Years ago Jesus Christ fed the masses in an attempt to raise the consciousness of the others. Not much as changed in 2,000 years — people are just as materialistic and confused as ever. I have a friend, Tristan Stuart who organises events called, “Feed The 5,000″ all over England and now abroad. We are going to Dublin on the 24 November. Basically it’s a campaign to highlight the huge amount of food that goes to waste in these western countries that could be put to good use. Fruit and vegetables that are over produced, the wrong colour, size, or otherwise just ugly, like a banana that is straight or a carrot that has a bend is being senselessly thrown away! Food For All collects this kind of food daily, diverting it from landfills, and redistributing it in the form of delicious hot vegetarian meals (prasadam). It’s like taking gold from a dirty place.
It is for this and other reasons, why Food for All got the UK recycling project of the year award in 2008, and more recently, why we got a grant from a landfill to make a beautiful garden at the Bhaktivedanta Manor in Watford, England and turning it into a project where people with disabilities and people doing community service can get a chance to grow food for the temple. Cllr Jean Heywood said, “How can you put this sort of project into words. It is fantastic — bringing all parts of the community together – those who are able; those with disabilities; those on community payback, volunteers from all backgrounds, young and old, bringing together everyone, working on the land and growing so many things. There are no differences, it is pure enjoyment. This is a gorgeous place, transformed from disused area into a wonderful peaceful garden and horticultural workplace.”
The Paris “Feed The 5,000″ took place on October 13 in the centre of town and was sponsored by Canal Plus The French TV channel. Even their managing director came to chop vegetables, and they had a team of local celebrities serving the lunch. Since we were sponsored by the TV to do all the cooking we thought we would make the most of it and so we loaded the van with 9 volunteers from our festival team and off we went on a Harinama (chanting parade) weekend to “Gay Parie”. Despite the heavy rain, 5,500 people took a meal. Five television crews came to interview our team. They were all amazed at the size of our pots and it gave us a great opportunity to speak about the benefits of vegetarianism, as well as the principles of karma, karma-free food, food economics and spiritual solutions.
Organiser Site: http://feeding5k.org/