POTOMAC, MD USA — Food for Life Global, the headquarters for Food for Life projects around the world has a clear policy of NOT approving of any street solicitations for donations in the name of Food for Life. “Food for Life Global does not receive any funds through street solicitations,” says Global director, Paul Turner. “We abhor all street solicitations, for the simple reason that it is impossible to monitor and therefore presents an opportunity for exploitation by unscrupulous people.”
Food for Life Global is a registered non-profit in the state of Maryland and receives support from the public through online donations at FFL.ORG, as well as through corporate donations and the help of supporters who raise funds through bake sales, etc.
“It has come to our knowledge that there are people collecting donations on the street in the name of Food for Life, and that sometimes these people direct the public to the Food for Life Global web site as a way to prove their authenticity. I want to make it clear to the public, Food for Life Global does not receive any money from these street collections. Whenever I get a call from the public or an email asking about the authenticity of a particular person soliciting donations on behalf of Food for Life, I immediately tell them to report the person to the police if they are using the name Food for Life Global or Hare Krishna Food for Life, because such collectors are not authorised by Food for Life Global, and more than likely are not authorised by their own charity.”
“It is a sad state of affairs when individuals try to take advantage of the good will of unsuspecting people. However, it happens in many parts of the world and is not exclusive to Food for Life Global. Many major charities have similar challenges.”
“We trust that these isolated incidents will not tarnish the good name of Food for Life Global and other incredible Food for Life projects that serve over 1.5 million meals daily to needy children,” he said.
- Aggressive French Quarter solicitors may not deliver in donation promises (August 11, 2011)
- Local Hare Krishna group will reconsider its aggressive Party Patrol tactics (August 17, 2011)
- French Quarter charity solicitations drive merchants to press for restrictions (August 18, 2011)
RESPONSE TO August 18 ARTICLE
Dear Ms. Miet,
I read with interest your report on the activities of Food for Life New Orleans and am very happy that the unscrupulous actions of their street collectors are being called into question. Not only does Food for Life Global not approve of any street collections, I would like you to note that Food for Life New Orleans is NOT affiliated with Food for Life Global at all. They are completely independent of our organization. It is wrong therefore to state that Food for Life Global is the parent organization of Food for Life New Orleans. The only thing we have in common is the name Food for Life.
Food for Life Global has strict standards for what organizations we recognize as part of our international network. Food for Life New Orleans has refused to desist from unmonitored street collections and therefore for a very long time has not been recognized by Food for Life Global as a bonafide affiliate.
Food for Life Global (FFLG) is the support and coordinating office for projects around the world, that may or may not be run by Hare Krishna devotees. Food for Life Global is a secular organization, and many of our Food for Life affiliates are independently registered from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Furthermore, every Food for Life project affiliated with Food for Life Global is independently registered and financially autonomous.
Food for Life volunteers come from all walks of life and are not exclusively members of Krishna Temple. The original Food for Life project was founded in India in 1974 by Krishna monks providing hot vegetarian stew to needy children. However, since that time, the charity has spread to more than 50 countries and now offers a diverse set of services including free schools for the poor, medical care, nutritious lunches for school children, and sustainable projects. Most of the larger Food for Life projects are being run by temples of the Internaitonal Society for Krishna Consciousness or members of Krishna Temple who have founded secular foundations, as in the case of the Krishna Food Relief Foundation in India that is the government’s biggest partner in the national mid day meal initiative.
In all cases, the purpose of the relief work is to provide a genuine service to the community without any hidden agendas. As a result, Food for Life projects around the world have served over one billion meals since 1974. In fact, Food for Life Global affiliates now serve over 1.5 million meals daily, which is more than the World Food Programme does!
We are very sad to see projects like Food for Life New Orleans being exploited by a few immoral people looking to make a quick buck on the back of the charity’s work. There is no doubt that Food for Life New Orleans has been serving food to the needy and I can assure you that they were also involved in the Huricane Katrina relief effort. Howerver, as you have have alluded to, there is probably a big disparity between the amount of meals they serve and the amount of the money they collect on the street. Let’s hope that this attention will clean things up for good.
I appreciate your efforts.
Paul R. Turner
Food for Life
FOOD FOR LIFE GLOBAL
PO BOX 59037
Potomac, MD 20859
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