your own ffl project
Our Director’s book
If you want to get your feet wet first, a new book by Paul Turner, the director of Food for Life will get you on the right track.
How to Build a Great Food Relief Project is more than a quick reference guide for the budding humanitarian. The 10 ingredients of success contained within the pages of this book will change the way you view food from that of a bodily requirement to a powerful medium for transformation. Like the companion, FOOD YOGA, this book is a non-sectarian, all-inclusive, step-by-step plan for uniting your entire community. Apply the lessons systematically and your success is assured.
Since the early years of my career with Food for Life, it has been my passion to share the joy of hospitality as taught to me by my peers and within the teachings of the Vedas.
One of the key teachings of the Vedas is that all sentient beings are essentially equal in spiritual quality and thus intimately connected through a beautiful symbiotic web of service. Essentially, we are all one big family, seemingly separated by race, gender and species, but in reality, inseparable and interdependent.
With this understanding, I felt the need to expand the scope of the Food for Life charity, from an outreach program of ISKCON members to a social change movement that anyone could embrace and participate in.
What you have here is a condensed instructional booklet that can serve to empower you and your friends, church, or community group to start your very own feeding program based on the same principles that govern every Food for Life program. It is my hope that your project will become an affiliate of the founding charity.
Swami Prabhupada, the founder of Food for Life, passed away in 1977, but the instructions he left to all Food for Life volunteers were crystal clear: “Everyone should get a chance to take prasadam (sanctified food that has been offered to God).” He also stated: “(T)his activity should be expanded universally to stop sinful eating habits as well as other behavior befitting only demons.” He obviously knew the power of transformation that prasadam could have on society, and thus, right from the very beginning of his work in the United States, he encouraged the preparation and distribution of sanctified food to the public.
As I meditated on these mandates, it became more and more obvious to me that fulfilling them was far beyond the capacity of one charitable organization, but in truth required a more expansive and dynamic approach—an approach that would demand openness, love, and faith.
I realized that at the heart of these instructions was the need for people to understand the concept of “pure” food and its capacity to elevate consciousness. “We simply have to share this knowledge and let go,” I thought. This belief led me to write a book, FOOD YOGA to teach people how to make food an essential part of their daily spiritual ritual, and then to write this companion booklet, which focuses more on the practical execution of pure food distribution to the public for those outside the Krishna tradition.
In truth, however, this booklet is an updated and modified version of the one I wrote for our volunteers in 1996. The subject matter has been expanded, but the essential message remains the same, and the ingredients I share as my formula for success are as they were back then with only minor modifications.
Finally, I feel the need to stress the absolute necessity that any project wishing to affiliate with Food for Life Global must serve only plant-based foods. The reasons for this mandate are many, foremost of which is that there is no justification for taking the life of an innocent animal for food. Such cruelty flies in the face of the Food for Life philosophy—that all living beings are created equal and should be respected as such. I have shared some additional reasons in a later chapter.
Moreover, no new project will be recognized as an affiliate of Food for Life Global unless it complies with an ahimsa policy in relation to food production, selection, preparation, and serving.
On behalf of Food for Life volunteers around the world, I thank you for your sincere desire to make a positive difference in the world.
– Paul Rodney Turner (Priyavrata das)
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Food for Life Global is a 100% voluntarily funded organization. For every $1 you give, 70 cents goes directly to programs supporting food relief. Of the remaining funds, 10 cents helps run Food for Life Global, including advocacy, training, education, and 20 cents goes towards raising the next $1 to help us continue our important work.
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