The dedicated Food for Life team has been in Tacloban city since Christmas

The dedicated Food for Life team has been in Tacloban city since Christmas

_DSC0150

With the sincere efforts of volunteers and the kind support of donors around the world, Food for Life Philippines continuous to reach out to victims of Typhoon-Haiyan. The dedicated volunteers have been in Tacloban city since Christmas, 2013 cooking vegan (prasadam) meals daily and serving them to different areas throughout the city. One member of the team stationed in Tacloban commented : “We gain strength everyday to carry on as we see the victims receiving our hot meals with tears in their eyes. They are full of appreciation because it is after a long time that they are eating hot meals again. It gives them hope and strength once again to face their difficulties. We are very grateful to everyone who has extended their help and have trusted us to do this feeding service on their behalf.” Local director, Julie Anne Borge (Radha Lila) added: “We also have a volunteer from England, Paul and two Australian volunteers, Mal and Lee who just recently left. Mal said that our team is doing fantastic work everyday. They all got up at 4 am with the local volunteers to prepare for cooking and then distributing the food into the afternoon. Both Mal and Lee really enjoyed volunteering with our Food for Life team in Tacloban. Unfortunately, Mal hurt his back while carrying heavy pots. We are now praying for his successful treatment in Australia. Thank you all for your kind help.” The Red Cross of Philippines accommodated the FFL volunteers by giving them facilities to set-up their kitchen and tents, as well as provide purified water for cooking. The area where the FFL emergency team is based in Tacloban is in one of the main streets of Tacloban where a ship had been blown ashore at the height of the storm. The place was completely devastated by the strong winds and massive […]

Food for Life feeds poorest kids in Colombia

banner650

After their last distribution to a nursing home, Food for Life volunteers, Juliana Castaneda (Jaggy) and Hema Kanti decided to create a slightly larger event. The response they got from the local people was overwhelming. January 15, 2014 , Bogota, Colombia — “Up until early 2013, I had been doing this free food distribution all by myself for the last 8 years,” explains Juliana. “Hema Kanti has been a tremendous help and this most recent event just blew us both away!” Juliana created an event on Facebook and to her surprise more than 40 people offered to help within a few hours of it being posted. “At first I thought this was not something I should take seriously; social media can sometimes create false hope, but these people really took it seriously and I started getting messages asking me what needed to be done.” Juliana immediately began delegating tasks, and each task was not only carried out perfectly, but she found the volunteers actually improving on them. All the volunteers had a specific service and they relished it. “I had never seen so much enthusiasm in my country when I had tried to make food distribution before. Times are changing!” she said. “Because we were going to a poor children’s home, volunteers decided to bring notebooks, pencils, and everything the kids needed to help in their education. Other volunteers printed flyers to speak to the kids about a healthy diet, and our talented artist volunteer Juan Faundez from Chile, shared his amazing graphics about caring for animals and having respect and love for all living beings,” she explained. At 8am, all the volunteers assembled at the local vegan kitchen, “Comida Rapida Vegana,” owned by one of the volunteers Niyi Gil. Juliana said she learned a powerful lesson that morning: “I learned what a […]

Despite weather challenges, FFL meals continue to go out in Tacloban

Children enjoying their vegan prasadam from Food for Life.

January 16, 2014 — Food for life volunteers distribute pure vegan food daily to more than 1,000 victims of typhoon Yolanda-Haiyan in different barangays in Tacloban, Leyte and Samar. A total of 64,210 meals have been served over the last the two months from November 11, 2013 to January 11, 2014. “Everyone has appreciated the kindness of the Food for Life team since the beginning. We are only our organisation here that provides properly cooked hot meals,” explains local director Julie Anne Borja (Radha Lila). “If not for Food for Life, they would only have the canned sardines provided by other relief organisations.” Weather Challenges For the past two weeks, a low pressure system brought heavy rains to Tacloban and nearby places. However, the FFL volunteers braved the rain and stayed on, despite flooding in their makeshift kitchen and having to sleep inside wet tents. Their typical daily schedule is to travel one hour in the morning to collect vegetables and other ingredients and then  the rest of the day cooking and serving meals from morning to night to around 1200 people in different areas. Many foreign volunteers have been helping the local FFL team, and they are expecting more Filipino volunteers to come in soon too. “Two couples from Australia are also expected to arrive next week, and with this increased volunteer manpower we are hoping to increase our prasadam distribution even more,” said Julie. Please Donate

My journey with Food for Life – A summary of 30 years of Service

40YEARS-ad-800x800

I could hardly imagine Hare Krishna Food for Life being so successful when I first became a volunteer way back in 1984. Back then, I worked as an assistant cook and server at a free food cafe called, Gopals in Parramatta, Australia. That was one of the first free food cafes set up by the Hare Krishna movement in Australia and it was a forerunner to other Food for Life projects throughout Australia. The Beginning days In 1974, Srila Prabhupada (1896 – 1977) the founder acharya of ISKCON and the pioneer of the kirtan movement in the West, was alarmed by some commotion outside the window of his room in India. He looked outside to see village children fighting off dogs over scraps of food that had recently been thrown out after a festival feast. The leaf plates still had some rice and curry stuck to them and that was just too much to ignore for these kids. Unfortunately, it was the same for the local street dogs and they wanted those remnants. The children waved sticks and screamed while the dogs sneered with the hair on their backs fully raised. It was war and from the swami’s viewpoint and no one was a winner. He stood there in silence and cried. “How can this be?” he wondered. Feeling guilty that he had just finished his lunch, he called his students to come and see what was happening. “Do you see how hungry those children are?” he told them. “This is a temple of God and where there is God the father there should be no hungry children…No one within a ten-mile radius of our temples should go hungry! Begin feeding these children immediately!” Back then the program was called ISKCON Food Relief and it only operated in Mayapur, West Bengal. The […]

Jayapataka Swami talks about the beginning of Food for Life

[youtube]http://youtu.be/6MBeuP76mAA[/youtube] Jayapataka Swami was one of my early inspirations in my service to Food for Life. I wrote him many times through letters and later emails for guidance in the 80s and 90s as a monk, and whenever he saw me he told me, “Please tell me how I can help you.” He loved that I was trying to expand the distribution of prasadam (sanctified food), because he understood its power to create peace and unity in the world and also knew how important it was to his guru and the founder of Food for Life, Srila Prabhupada. In this short video, he shares the story that started it all — how Srila Prabhupada witnessed poor village children in India fighting with dogs over scraps of food and how from that one incident the idea of a worldwide food relief program was seeded, that now serves up to 3 MILLION meals a day! Yes, that is over 2000 meals a minute or 35 meals ever second. It is truly amazing and it all started in 1974. This is the 40th anniversary of Food for Life and I am so honoured to be part of its growth. Thanks to people like Jayapataka Swami, who inspired many of us, this program just keeps getting better and better and expanding more and more. This year I visited a festival in South America and he made a point to tell everyone at the festival just how important Food for Life is. I was so happy to hear that from a man with so much influence over millions of people around the world. Thank you Jayapataka Swami for your kindness and care. – Paul Rodney Turner Director Food for Life Global

New Affiliate – Vegan Animal Shelter

pequeño

All Living Beings are Equal Food for Life Global is happy to welcome our newest affiliate, Paramatma Animal Shelter in Colombia.  Founded by Juliana Castaneda and Edicson Jem in 2009. The 19,000 sm property  in Guasca-Cundinamarca shelters 34 animals (21 dogs, 7 cats, 1 rooster, 1 quail, 1 lab rat, 1 horse, 1 cow and 1 ox) get the love and respect they deserve. They are the only vegan sanctuary in all of Colombia, and the only shelter in all of South America that protects cows. In a meat-eating culture like South America, that is a big deal. The main goal of the shelter is to teach humans to respect all living beings. Paramatma is a Sanskrit word that means, “God within the heart” and it is Juliana and Edicson’s belief that all living beings have a soul and that God is in everyone’s heart. Many animals today do not get the love and respect they deserve. Paramatma Animal Shelter began in 2009 with a desire is to protect one of the most abused animals in the world: cows. In the United States alone around 5 billion cows are killed annually for food, while hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are abandoned by their owners. The animals at this shelter were abandoned or rescued from slaughter houses and test laboratories. Juliana is the sole money earner and every penny she makes from working in the city goes to help protect and feed her animal friends. Sometimes her and Edicson have to survive off bread and corn just so that the animals get the very best vegan foods she can provide them. Paramatma Animal Shelter needs your help While Edicson takes care of all the needs of the sanctuary, including feeding the animals, cleaning their stalls, fixing broken fences, caring for their […]