Food for Life in Japan – Week 6

Food for Life in Japan – Week 6

Miyagi, Japan, May 22, 2011 — Just as small drops make up a large ocean, similarly, the efforts of a few selfless volunteers from Food for Life Japan to alleviate the suffering of the Japanese is growing beyond imagination. People from all walks of life are joining hands with Food for Life with a desire to offer their best service. “What we have seen in past few weeks is no less than a miracle,” explained Food for Life Global director for Japan, Shrikant Shah. “This endeavour is no longer limited to just one team, group or religious group. It truly is a community effort — families joining hands under one banner reaching out to help those less fortunate,” he explained. “Food for Life Global’s financial support, coming from donors from around the world, has also made a huge impact on our success,” he said. Key Highlights A brand new mini-van (Suzuki-Every) donated by BAPS charity NewYork 47 volunteers from various locations, some as far as 150 Kms fromTokyo came to assist. A separate team headed out to Sendai to perform Kirtan. Donations and appreciation from Japanese firms, including the BAPS CHARITY from New York (from Swami Narayan Temple) who generously donated a brand new mini-van, “Suzuki-Every” to be used by volunteers in assisting the elderly at evacuation centres (FFLG Japan managed the legal transaction). And a Japanese firm, Mitsubishi Tote, donated 359 brand new hand bags for ladies staying the shelter in Wataricho (picture: A team of ISKCON devotee counsellors were invited by the local authorities to perform kirtan to rejuvenate the low moral of the people in three shelters in Sendai. A total of 42 volunteers from Kofu, Okachimachi, and the Kasai/Nishi-kasai district came together for the program last weekend. Dinner was served to more than 1,000 people staying in three relief […]

Food for Life in Japan – Week 5

  Sunday, 15th May 2011 (Wataricho, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan) — Last Sunday was one of biggest Food For Life relief efforts since the Tohoku Mega-Disaster in Japan. A sumptuous prasadam dinner was served to 980 people at three relief-camps. In addition, over 1000 kilograms of fruits and vegetables were provided for breakfast meals for 1,375 people over next three days. FFL Global Director, Shrikant Shah said, “These results were possible through tireless efforts of 41 volunteers from Food for Life, Agrawal Association Japan, Hindi Sabha, and the Tokyo Maheshwari Group who worked throughout the day and drove over 800 kms in a convoy of 8 cars and one truck!”   Shah, also explained that the planning and co-ordination of these services has itself been enormous. “We start planning on the following Monday for the next Sunday effort. It requires a whole week of careful coordination and planning. We are especially thankful for Akhilesh Ji for his help in this regard.” A told of six food stalls were setup at the three shelters. The dinner consisted of two hot vegetarian curries (Chickpea masala curry and Paneer masala curry), fresh salad, home-made Thepla (Masala-flatbreads) and a wholemeal cookie. To the delight of all, a special sachet of Organic Tulsi Ginger tea (Caffeine FREE) was served.   “The dinner was relished by everyone and many requested for “O-kawari” (second helpings) of the curries,” explained volunteer coordinator, Madhu Mangal. In serving these delicious meals, Food for Life volunteers try to be as sensitive to the feelings of the Japanese people, many of whom are still in a state of shock and depression. “We do our best to engage in positive conversations with them and also try to play with the children to uplift their spirits,” explained volunteer, Tapasvini Dasi. Other volunteers included residents from […]

Food for Life in Japan – Week 4

May 8th, Sunday (Miyagi, Japan) — FFL Global in Japan once again served two delicious vegetarian curries, paratha (flatbread), salad, cakes, and hot rice to more than 550 Japanese survivors in Miyagi. The program was sponsored by IJAJ (Indian Jewelry Association of Japan). “Our plan is to continue this effort unabated,” said FFL Director for Japan, Shrikant Shah. “Next week we plan to deliver hot meals for 700 people, along with 1,500 kgs of fresh fruits and vegetables, including Oranges (600 pieces), Apple (600 pieces), Grapefruits (600 pieces), Bananas (1,000 pieces), Mikan (600 pieces), Kiwi (300 pieces), Lettuce (100 pieces), Cucumber (30 kg), Spinach (100 packs), Cabbage (100 pieces), Tomatoes (720 pieces), and Cauliflower (100 pieces).” “The Agarwal Group and Hindi Sabha Group have already pledged to support this large task next week,” said Shah. “However, in order to keep this momentum, we are appealing for more people to come forward and sponsor Food for Life’s work.” Once again, Hari-san and Manoj-san from Govinda’s restaurant in Tokyo were key players in last Sundays effort, providing the curries and rice. “The curries were so tasty, that people kept coming for second helpings,” explained Shah. The hundreds of masala paratha (flatbreads) were meticulously prepared by volunteers from the Okachimachi community. The delicious desserts and salad were prepared by FFL volunteer, Yamuna Dasi and others. Kaori-san and Ishigaki-san once more conducted Karada yoga to help the Japanese survivors deal with stress. Suresh, Purnima, Jatin, Mitesh, and Sachin Kalse provided vehicles for the more than 25 volunteers. The local radio station (FM RADIO 92.5) attended the feeding and interviewed the organisers. Other volunteers included: Sanjivji Gupta, Rashmiji, Suresh, Kaori-san, Ishigaki-san, Sachin-san, Ram-san, Reddy-san, Jatin, Manoj-san, Navneet-san, Mitesh, Brijesh, Purnima, Nilaji, Manoj-san, Julie, Joseph, Rakesh and Hetal. HOW CAN YOU HELP? An enormous effort is involved in procuring, preparing, and distributing the food. Food for Life Japan […]

Food for Life Japan – Week 3

May 1, Sunday (Miyagi, Japan) — A convoy of six cars carrying 32 Food for Life volunteers left the Govindas kitchen in Tokyo at 3.50am to bring a freshly cooked lunch to three relief centres in the Miyagi district. Meals were provided for 726 survivors, as well as 50 local relief volunteers. SEE: PICASA Slideshow (PHOTOS). Photos by Mayumi Ishii Hari-San and Manoj-San from the FFL Global affiliate, Govindas restaurant prepared the vegetarian curries for the distribution. Assisting them were Tapasvini Devi Dasi and Mrs. Akibasan who made cakes; local FFL volunteer coordinator Madhu Mangal Das who prepared a giant salad and Mrs. Purnim Shah who oversaw the making of 1100 masala paratha (flatbreads). Other noteworthy volunteers were Vishvambar Das, as well as Anup Bhai, Jayesh Narula, Suresh Ji, Fujita-San, Kubota-San, and Alina Devi Dasi who partnered with Purnima Shah to provide all the vehicles. The volunteers covered all fuel and toll charges so that 100% of the donations could be used specifically for feeding people. The previous week, Madhu Mangala and his assistant Fujita-San took extensive notes on how best to serve the survivors and this proved invaluable on Sunday. “It made the whole planning of our distribution very easy,” explained FFL Japan director, Shrikant Shah. “The FFL volunteers worked so hard and gave their all,” said Shah. “And it was shown by how much the people loved the food we served.” The local relief volunteers told the Food for Life team that they would not waste any of the food, and whatever was left over would be used for the next meal. “The refugees were so happy that they applauded us after serving them,” explained Shah. “They were absolutely thrilled with the cakes. I got a call from the director of the Wataricho relief centre, Mr. Suzuki-San and he told […]