The power of food to unite all people

The power of food to unite all people

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If there is one thing absolute in this world it is that food has the power to unite. And the recent floods that devastated parts of the Balkans is a case in point. People from all ethnicities are reaching out to help their “brothers” and “sisters.” Using the purest food (prasadam) to create peace and unity in the world is Food for Life’s primary mission. We are not a hunger relief organization, per se, but rather a network of projects aimed at addressing the root cause of hunger, and in fact, all social issues, by helping people from all ethnicities and religions to understand one common truth: That we are all souls having a human experience. Therefore, every man, woman and child is essentially a member of one universal family of God. And there is no more powerful way to illustrate that truth than by the indiscriminate distribution of pure food that has been prepared with loving intention. 5/26/2014 Nine FFL volunteers visited Begov Han and Topčić polje and served 300 hot meals, as well as 300 apples and sweets. With help of local authorities, meals were served to 81 families that had lost literally everything in Begov Han. Then, with a help of one local imam (Muslim priest), the volunteers continued through a very dangerous road to the isolated and destroyed village of Topčić polje. “The village people welcomed our volunteers with open arms,” explained FFL coordinator for Sarajevo, Dhira Prasanta das. 5/27/2014 Prasadam distribution to the victims of the massive floods and landslides continued thanks to the generous support of donors around the world, and the dedication and enthusiasm of the FFL volunteers. In Begov han, 200 hot meals were served and another 40 in Topčić polje and 60 in Nemila. Volunteers also distributed 300 apples and 300 sweets. Some of our mothers, Amritavati, Campaka Valli and Manjari-rupa also donated baby and childrens clothes […]

Food for Life volunteers expand food distribution to flood victims

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Volunteers from Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia continue to battle difficult conditions, even as flood waters recede. “Dead bodies and human waste are now being exposed as the water levels drop, but disease is a major threat now to everyone,” explained FFL co-ordinator for Bosnia, Dhira Prasanta das. Volunteers are serving meals at many of the shelters throughout the region, bringing hope and a smile to those that have lost everything.  Food for Life Global is collecting tax-deductible donations for US citizens and wiring the money to teams in Serbia and Bosnia. “So far we have collected only $430 via our web site, however, we managed to send $800 today to our volunteers,” said FFL Global Director, Paul Rodney Turner.  Money can go a long way, so even a small donation of $20 can do tremendous good.  “Every single penny will be used for the purposes for which the money was given – only to feed the people who were effected by the catastrophe,” promises Dhira Prasanta. In the meantime, the small Bosnian ISKCON community will continue to put their hearts and souls into helping their fellow countrymen. “Our effort is small, but it is very sincere and is driven purely by enthusiasm and a desire to satisfy our spiritual masters and Srila Prabhupada,” says Amala Prema. “We want to help everyone in this difficult situation by giving them prasadam.” According to Relief Web the highlights and key priorities are: Forty-six (46) municipalities have been affected by the floods: Most affected at this point are: Samac, Odzak, Orasje, Doboj, Bijeljina, Brcko, and Maglaj; 230 health and educational institutions have suffered damage in the affected areas One quarter of the country’s population has been directly affected by the floods [EPA]; Residents have been advised to leave the affected areas; those who remain will […]

Food for Life begins food distribution for flood victims

Food for Life volunteers in Bosnia began distributing hot vegan meals in the towns, Vogošče and Svrake and nearby villages in cooperation with local authorities. The floods that have engulfed Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina have left behind a wasteland, causing more than 2,000 landslides. Huge buildings in the village of Sericite, near the city of Zenica disappeared in seconds. “It is extremely difficult situation in the Zenica-Doboj Canton. Numerous villages were literally wiped off the face of the earth, landslides swallowed assets in which people had invested their entire life,” reported www.klix.ba Food for Life volunteers respond Another 400 meals were distributed in the city of Obreonovac, which was worst hit by the  massive flooding. Local FFL coordinator for Serbia, Madhva Muni said, “The police had to take us over the floods waters to reach the blocked parts of the city. We are cooking around 200-300 meals per day and we could do much more with a little more financial help.” FFL coordinator for Bosnia, Dhira Prasanta reported: “We distributed hot meals in three locations in the municipality of Vogosca, Sarajevo Canton, including the Red Cross Children’s Hospital where people relished the meals.” Volunteers collected donations amongst themselves, then purchased the produce, cooked, transported and served vegetable stew, bread, salad and drinking water, while media crews from TVSA and BH Radio 1 interviewed FFL spokesperson Amala Prema. “We plan to collaborate with the Crisis Staff in Vogosca to distribute more hot vegan meals tomorrow and in the coming days” explained FFL coordinator for Sarajevo, Dhira Prasanta. “The flood victims said the Food for Life meals were tasteful and that they were a great improvement over the canned foods they had received thus far.” Tomorrow volunteers will bring lunch at two locations, and then a third group of people will be served dinner. How you can help You can help us […]

FFL teams respond to tsunami-like floods in Bosnia and Serbia

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Dozens of people are feared dead in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia after the worst floods in 120 years. Tens of thousands fled their homes as heavy rain fell creating tsunami-like flooding and causing rivers to burst their banks. In the higher lands, the torrential downpour caused landslides that buried houses. In the Bosnian town of Doboj, the mayor reported that more than 20 bodies had been taken to the mortuary. The republic’s police chief, Gojko Vasic, said, “the flood waters acted like a tsunami, reaching three to four metres high. No-one could resist it.” Observed from the air, almost a third of Bosnia, resembled a massive muddy lake, with houses, roads and rail lines submerged, the Associated Press reports. According to a spokesman for Bosnia’s Security Ministry, about a million people – more than a quarter of the country’s population – live in the affected area. Food for Life’s Response Citizens of the country ​are​ now mobilized to help those affected with drinking water, food supplies, clothes and anything else needed. Food for Life Sarajevo plans to offer hot meals. Food for Life Sarajevo is one of the oldest Food for Life projects, having started during the Bosnian conflict on the early 90s. Volunteers at that time were challenged to the limits and were only able to offer freshly baked bread and cookies in a city besieged by conflict, harsh winters and no available fruits and vegetables. Emergency coordinator, Dhira Prasanta said that many people have literally lost everything. “They are being accommodated in schools, gyms and anywhere they can have a roof over their heads in the coming days,” he explained. “Our volunteers are now preparing to cook, transport and serve prasadam (sanctified plant based meals) to the most affected people. However, Bosnia​ and Herzegovina is a poor country, so we are humbly asking for as much help […]

Russian FFL team develop “Auto-Kitchens”

Russian Food for Life Foundation have developed a customised camper van for emergency food relief, called “Auto-kitchens.” The principle sponsor of the project was Major Cargo Services, represented by President Alexei Ponomarev and Denis Chepurov of of Studio Artpremium for designing the  vans. Food for Life Global affiliates have been involved in some of the world’s biggest disaster relief efforts, including Grozny and Sarajevo wars and tsunami relief in Sri Lanka and Japan. This new project is a step forward in to creating an efficient and effective response to all future natural disasters in Russia. The vans have passed all stages of certification and are ready for action. When the vans are not used for emergencies they will be used for catering to help raise funds for local Food for Life projects and emergency relief efforts. The FFL team will also cater at cultural and sports events to give the general public a taste of the food they serve during emergencies and promote a healthy lifestyle. FFL “Auto-Kitchen” Specifications Cooking capacity: 5000 people a day Time to prepare each meal: 8-10 seconds “Auto-kitchen” is always is “combat-ready” Stock capacity: Can hold enough water, gas and electricity for three days to provide hot meals to 13,000 people. Emergency relief team of 17 volunteers are on call to arrive at disaster zone to use the “auto-kitchen.” Team: 3 chefs, 2 food distributors, 4 drivers, 8 general volunteers. Technical Specifications Engine is based on the car Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 315 6 port gas stove at 24 kW (Italy) Baking oven Refrigerator 240 Lgas (Sweden) Stainless steel sink Stainless steel tables (3 pieces ) Vegetable cutter and donut machine Water tanks and sanitation for 100 liters 5 kW generator (Japan ) Ventilation and air purification system Sofa seating  for 5 man crew After testing and careful analysis the team plans to create a full-fledged emergency relief project across Russia to deliver hot […]

FFL Welcomes Creative Director of Vegan Education

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Food for Global welcomes a new member to our volunteer team, 3D animator and vegan activists, Juan Faundez. Juan recently created the 3D version of Food for Life Global’s Prasadam Das and future plans are to bring Prasadam das to life with his own animation series. Juan Faundez Among his most important works for TV was art direction for “REVOLVER” (TVN) , “MALDITO AMOR” (Chilevisión), as well as FX and animation for the mystery series “MUNDOS PARALELOS” that were entered into the animation festival Viña in 2007 and 2008 . Juan directed music videos for the  groups VENUS, LA POZZE LATINA and ALACRANIA, as well as create animations for the music video “CHANCHO EN PIEDRA” and “MONIK”, PRODIGY  and EU LIBRE. He did FX and 3D digital animation for the films “EL NOMINADO” and “CALEUCHE, El llamado del mar” and has worked for Paula Productions, Trimedia, Mambopost and Cinecolor (Chilefilms). He is currently working on a personal 3D movie project “QUILTRO DEL FUTURO”. To learn more about Juan’s fabulous services, visit http://www.jfaundez.cl OR email: contacto@jfaundez.cl [youtube]http://youtu.be/iEnsUiUX8mc[/youtube] [youtube]http://youtu.be/IAJijBhHmb8[/youtube]

New Food for Life School proposed for Govardhan

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Govardhan Hill is one of the most sacred sites in India. It is the place where Lord Krishna performed many of his childhood pastimes with the cows — clearly establishing the importance of cows and bulls in a healthy and sustainable society. Govardhana is visited by millions of tourist every year and yet it is one of the poorest places in the world. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWud8ASRMnQ&feature=share&list=UUqTX6w8InLI3eSwzIetKbSQ[/youtube] Food for Life Vrindavan (FFLV) has taken on the task of serving this spiritual community by building a new school in Govardhan to educate hundreds of slum kids who live in poverty and run around begging. FFLV director, Rupa Raghunatha das (right) believes: “Proper education and meeting the basic needs of these children would break the poverty cycle and enable them to stand on their own feet and progress in the world. This new school will save many who would otherwise die due to disease and poverty or for having a female body.” On October 22nd, 2010, FFLV inaugurated the third Sandipani Muni School. On that same day, they had the ground-breaking ceremony for their fourth school at Govardhan. India has the larger number of poor children in Asia with 80% of its 400 million children severely deprived. In fact, 60% of India’s children are considered absolutely poor. Food for Life Vrindavan has served the needs of the poorest villages in the Vrindavan area (120 Km south of New Delhi) since 1990 and has become one of leading non-profits in all of India. FFLV Services include: The Sandipani Muni Schools provides education for 1500 needy children from kindergarten to the end of high school. Our school children are girls only, with boys allowed in kindergarten only.  We have made this decision to focus on girls because the local culture favours boys over girls, and so girls get less food; less medical care; less education and less opportunities in general. Skills training […]

Food for Life European Association opens offices

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A new FFLG global partner, the Food for Life European Association (FFLEA) was officially founded today in Belgium. The new organisation will help Food for Life projects across Europe share good practices, improve communications and build the capacity of each individual member organisation for improved prasadam* distribution across Europe. FFLEA will also assist in fundraising and represent affiliate organisations in Europe to the media and the European Union. Matej Poljansek (Mukunda das), FFLG regional representative for Europe said, “Our goal is for all residents of Europe to regularly receive and relish prasadam. The new offices will be located at: Food for Life Global Regional Office for Europe Oudergemselaan 197 Etterbeek 1040 Brussels Belgium, International director of Food for Life, Paul Rodney Turner (Priyavrata das) welcomed the new initiative: It is time to firmly establish FFL for what it truly represents – a service to provide free prasadam to all people, at all times and everywhere possible! That is what Food for Life is all about. We don’t discriminate. We want everyone to experience prasdam because we believe that sharing food is the most universally welcomed act of kindness there is, and when you share pure food, like prasadam, with love, you are essentially communicating through your actions: “I love you. We are family.” And wherever there is this sense of unity and brotherhood there is no question of hunger, poverty, or racism. Everyone begins to care for each other. That is what Food for Life is all about. Even the late Nelson Mandela noted this unique quality of Food for Life during a speech he gave at a Food for Life picnic for 40,000 school children in Durban: Another important building block for new democracy is the love and goodwill we show to each other. That is the spirit of Masakhane, of bringing one another together. It is also the spirit of […]