10 years later — FFLG’s Most Memorable Relief Effort

10 years later — FFLG’s Most Memorable Relief Effort

I remember the call I got from Indradyumna Swami in Sri Lanka. I was sitting in my office at the World Bank. I had just started a new job and was comfortable and peaceful. “Paul you have to come here. It is really bad. We need to respond to this. It is the biggest natural disaster in modern history.”  I had seen the news, but like most I had not allowed the magnitude of the disaster to really sink in. Television has that affect in that it allows us to watch calamity unfold without being too emotionally involved. I cared for the people, but was not sure how our organization could respond effectively. There was nothing from the past to measure this by. This disaster was unprecedented  in every way. The devastation was spread over thousands of miles! I mean, where do we begin?  The swami was insistent. “We have to do something.” I agreed and wondered what I could do. After all I, was a volunteer for Food for Life too, and I had just started a new job that paid well and I was now supporting my new family. Then other calls started coming in. “Paul, what is Food for Life Global doing for the Tsunami survivors?” “How can we help?” There was no turning back now. I had to do something and it had to be fast. I closed the door on my office and turned it into FFL emergency relief central. I set up a donation page and posted a report that FFLG was planning a response. I appealed for volunteers. I had set the ball in motion. Where it would lead I had no idea. But we were in. I was in. We were going to help. Over the next week, literally tens of thousands of dollars began […]

Gifting the Gift of Gratitude

Typically when we think of exchanging gifts it is all about the material acquisition of stuff that at a certain point in time becomes useless stuff and we either throw it away or donate it to a thrift store. But what if we could gift something that never deteriorated in value — something that lived on well beyond the “Use by Date” and enriched the person’s heart indefinitely with gratitude. Surely this is the kind of gift really worth giving! ConsumerMas Let’s be clear about it: For most people Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ and everything to do with consumerism. But Christmas and the holiday season should not be an excuse to accumulate more things or gift something mundane as a show of one’s love. Yes, gifting is one of the ways we express our love, but the quality of the love being expressed is very much tied to the quality of the gift being given. Now when I say “quality” I am not referring to the material quality of a thing — the brand name, etc — I am referring to the ethical and spiritual quality of something. For example, rather than gifting a pair of cool looking Ugg boots to your teenager because all the cool kids are wearing them, choose the vegan equivalent that are just as nice looking and sturdy and yet a quarter of the price. Moreover, you will be sending a message to your child that it is very uncool to wear the skin of a tortured animal. PETA reported: Just when you thought that footwear involving the mutilation of millions of sheep couldn’t get any ugglier, several makers of knock-off UGG-style boots have been found to use fur from animals who were beaten and skinned alive. Tests conducted on products […]

New Years Gifts for Underprivileged Girls

Dear friends, It is again that time of the year when we gear up for our New Year Gift Festival, we have already received lots of emails asking how to donate for this year festival. Sure you also want to join us in bringing happiness to thousands of small children! It cost only $6 for a gift pack, and you know what that means for those fortunate children who will get the gift, bright smiles and joy, something that they rarely experience if at all. Please send your donation today, by following this link: YES! I want to be part of it! or by contacting our FFLV office in your country: click here for a list of FFLV addresses. If possible send us an email with the amount you plan/pledge to donated so we can sum up ahead of time and prepare the gift pack accordingly. As FFLV does not believe in spending your donated money for advertising, help us by spreading the word, forward this email to your family, friends, colleagues, anyone you know. You could even organise a small event, a sale, a charity dinner. It is a wonderful opportunity to do something special, to make a difference. We invite you to view 2016 Event: you will see the packing work done by our Sandipani Muni School children, the distribution and the happiness and innocent surprise of the children by finding in their bag pencil, sharpener, toy, toothbrush and toothpaste, woolen cap, biscuits, nuts, toffees and more…   We are eagerly waiting to hear back from you. Yours in service to Sri Vrindavan Rupa Raghunath das DONATE NOW

Food for Life and dairy – A message from the director

Food for Life has been a passion of mine for over 30 years now. From the very first day I joined the ashram and decided to be a monk, I was thrust into the kitchen to help cut vegetables for the cooks and then ride 1.5 hours to the Food for Life (Gopals) cafe where I would then serve people their free lunch. I can still recall the smell and excitement from those early days. I was eager to learn as much as I could and I worked with some of the best chefs in the Hare Krishna movement. However, looking back on how we did things then I can now see that our standards of hygiene were nowhere near what we have today and the ingredients we used were also not always pure. Today, most Food for Life kitchens set an extraordinarily high standard in the catering industry. When I finally got the chance to start my own Food for Life project I wanted to make one thing very clear — we had to focus more on quality than on quantity. In fact, this principle became one of the critical “ingredients of success” in a book I later wrote called, HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL FOOD RELIEF PROJECT (formerly known as the The 10 Ingredients of Success). The fact that Food for Life Global is today the largest distributor of cooked plant-based meals in the world is all the more astonishing when you consider that our focus from early on has been on quality and not quantity.  Our Unique Message Food for Life Global offers a unique solution to world hunger in that we are attempting to address the root cause — spiritual inequality — through the indiscriminate sharing of pure plant-based meals as an expression of universal love and respect. The fact that […]

Russell Brand supports Food for All in UK

Russell Brand officially supports FFLG affiliate, Food For All – Feeding the Poor in this 2 minute film created by the extremely talented Shoot The Music chaps: Big thank you to them for filming, editing and writing the music for this: NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. FFA director Parasurama das was appreciative for Russell’s personal invitation to cater for his book launch and for Mickey Martin and Alfie for orchestrating the film crew, as well as John Sterry, Ruti Ahronee, Lee George Keen and Achintya Rupa for her top quality cooking, along with Prema, Laura Allen and Jo Foster and everyone else that was involved from start to finish. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz3RBCE-Ez4[/youtube]

Danny Webber lends his support to Food for All in UK

Danny Webber a professional football player from Salford City came down from Manchester and spent the day with FFLG affiliate Food For All – Feeding the Poor. Danny has made a pledge to assist FFA in the future along with many othe musicians, friends and caring people. [youtube]http://youtu.be/Pw6UXZb9Sn4[/youtube]

Paramatma Animal Sanctuary wins Vegan of the Year award

Juliana with Gita the cow whom she rescued from a slaughter house.

Juliana Castaneda, founder of the Paramatma Animal Sanctuary based in Colombia, South America has won the 2014 Vegan of the year award for category of Outstanding Animal Rescue/Animal Rights Organisation. The Vegan of the Year Awards is managed by the Vegans are Cool website and recognises the achievements of talented and dedicated vegans worldwide. A quick online search reveals countless vegans worldwide doing amazing things to help save the lives of innocent animals. We want to recognise these great people for the work they are doing in their area to promote the vegan lifestyle. Vegans deserve worldwide applause, so these awards are our way of saying “you are vegan awesome!” With the win, the Paramatma Animal Sanctuary will receive 100% of the proceeds of all fundraising the Vegans Are Cool web site does over the next 12 months. “I am so thrilled and honoured to win this award,” said Castaneda.  Paramatma Animal Sanctuary is a new affiliate of Food for Life Global because their mission is to teach humans to respect all animals as spiritual equals, especially cows, who are abused more than any other land animal. The sanctuary is the only vegan and (no kill) sanctuary in all of South America.  To learn more and to support Paramatma Animal Sanctuary, visit: www.paramatmafarm.com  Donations are currently being handled by A Well Fed World, a US-based 501c3 charity. 

The story of the “Mountain of Food Festival”

Today marks the anniversary of lifting of Govardhan hill by Lord Krishna some 5000 years ago, however the festival celebrating this event is more popularly known as the “Mountain of Food Festival.” Govardhana is a hill located near the sacred town of Vrindavana, in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It was a favourite place of pastimes for Lord Krishna who was born in Vrindavan and is considered sacred especially in the Vaishnava traditions within Hinduism. The famous hill is also known as Giriraj and is identified as one of the natural forms of Lord Krishna. The name ‘Govardhana’ has two primary meanings, ‘Go’ translates to ‘cows’, and ‘vardhana’ translates to ‘nourishment’, so the name is simply a place of nourishment for the cows. But ‘Go’ also refers to ‘the senses’ and ‘vardhana’ can also mean ‘to increase’ – thus the name can be translated by devotees as that which increases their attraction to Krishna. In this connection, it is believed that the personality of Govardhan blesses the devotee by increasing their devotion (bhakti) to Krishna (God).  The lifting of Govardhan The worship of Govardhan hill, known as Govardhana Puja is celebrated the day after Diwali the festival of light. On this day, some 5000 years ago Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the God of thunder and rain. Young Krishna saw the local residents making enormous  preparations of food for their annual offering to Indra. Practically the entire hill was covered in food. Young Krishna questioned his father Nanda about the need for such a ritualistic offering. At the time, Indra the demigod was feared by human beings because he would either give the people no rain or flood them if he was not satisfied with their worship. However, Krishna called this annual offering useless and openly debated with the villagers about what their true duty as farmers was. He told them to concentrate on farming […]

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