emergency relief

FFL Mexico responds immediately to massive earthquake

Oaxaca, MEXICO: Food for Life Mexico was a first responder to magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rocked Mexico on September 19, the second to strike Mexico in as many weeks, killing at least 230 people in the capital and across five states. Officials said the toll was likely to rise. Food for Life Mexico, operated by ISKCON Mexico began serving hot vegan meals to people in Ixtaltepec, Tehuantepec, and Juchitan the next day. However, these areas now are very dangerous because of widespread looting and panic. Around 500 meals are served twice a day to local people who are now living in makeshift tents in front of their destroyed homes. More than 80 percent of the houses are destroyed. For breakfast, they are serving porridge with raisins and fruits and fresh bread, and in the evening a full meal of rice, vegetables, and dhal. “Things are absolutely chaotic here,” explained one of the volunteers. We are hardly sleeping. We are so busy now trying to feed people and that begins with trying to find food to make the meals. Everything is destroyed here!” Apparently, government officials have fear to enter the area because the thieves have been stealing phones and equipment at gunpoint. FFLG South American Coordinator, Juliana Castaneda Turner reported that the relief teams need better equipment, including larger pots, cooking spoons, refrigerator, and plates. “They are doing the best they can with what they have,” she explained. Currently, Food for Life Mexico is the only relief organization helping people with food. Local Krishna monks are also singing to the survivors as they take their meals to raise their spirit. UPDATE October 14, 2017 Meals continue to go out. Food for Life Global recently contributed $4200 from donations to help continue the work and purchase new equipment, including a new refrigerator and pots. To […]

Calling all Volunteers and FFL Teams

Natural disasters are a time for all of us to step and do what we can to help our fellow citizens. Food for Life Global has been a first-responder to some of the greatest natural disasters over the last 30 years. If you would like to help us to respond to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Jose, please fill in this form.

Food for Life Chennai serving 10,000 meals daily to survivors

Rains come and floods happen, but the 300% rainfall that fell in Chennai has devastated the lives of the people in Chennai. While the poor people in slums lost saw their huts and their meager possessions washed away, people in towering apartments were stranded and without food for three to five days. Imagine the scene, as heavy rains fill up lakes, the overflowing water bursts through their boundaries. Even as you see water overflowing into the streets and your home, sometimes breaking down walls, you are already knee deep in water. Poor laborers, engineers, and affluent actors had to rush somewhere to safety. Many were rescued – but many are still being rescued by boats and helicopters. ISKCON Chennai’s Food for Life program which was able to cook and serve meals on the very day that the great Asian tsunami struck in 2004, was this time, neck deep in water. Devotees in the temple were brought to dry land using boats and watched helplessly as the flood waters completely filled the basement of the temple from floor to roof. Vehicles were suddenly bobbing in the water. The iron water tank took a swim over the compound wall. Like the rest of the city, ISKCON Chennai is awakening from the shock and now reaching out to the public with hot meals, medical aid and personal needs. Currently, Food for Life Chennai is serving 10,000 hot meals daily. Besides distributing in public shelters, the volunteers are moving into streets still knee deep in water and giving meals door to door. They aim to expand to more areas in Chennai, adding items like water, bed sheets, mosquito repellents, new clothes, toothpaste, brush etc. DONATE VIA Food for Life Global To Wire Funds from Overseas A FCRA account of ISKCON Mumbai is available to […]

Thousands of Refugees Fed Free Vegan Meals

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September 4, Ljubljana, Slovenia — In light of the refugee influx in Europe, many organizations are coming together to actively support migrants to help their survival and transition.  In the last month, Food for Life Global (FFLG) and its European affiliates have distributed over 10,000 meals to refugee families throughout several countries.  Since August 29th, Food for Life Budapest has been supplying hot meals at 6 o’clock in the morning.  “We are distributing 300 hot meals every morning including fruits, tea, water, chocolates for children and clothing.  They like our Hungarian cuisine and relish whatever we cook for them,” said Gandharvika Prema, Communications Officer, FFL Budapest.  On September 2nd, there was a large wave of families at the Budapest Nyugati Railway Terminal queuing for the tasty meals being served by FFL Budapest. Another Food for Life volunteer stated, “We have heard some heartbreaking stories.  Tired refugees have been camping nearby the railway station in large numbers.  They have been on the road for months now and the nights are becoming increasingly cold, but they are ready to continue their journey if brings them to a better life.” Food for Life emergency food relief programs have been introduced in Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.  People are gratefully accepting the hot vegan meals and new initiatives are being initiated in Germany, Sweden and Netherlands.  With roots dating back to 1974 in India, Food for Life Global is currently based in Ljubljana, Slovenia but was originally founded in 1995, with coordinating offices worldwide.  The mission of the organization is to distribute meals to disadvantaged, malnourished people and victims of disaster.  Volunteers serve up to 2,000,000 free plant-based meals on a daily basis.  People can help as a volunteer or donate for free meal distribution through their website, www.ffl.org. For further information, please […]

Food for Life Nepal reaching remote villages in need

Since no other relief agencies are reaching these areas, the people are highly appreciative of our efforts May 10, 2015, Kathmandu — Food for Life Global affiliate, Food for Life Nepal has been non-stop in the kitchen and on the streets of Kathmandu, Bhaktipur and many remote villages affected by the massive earthquake that struck on April 25. “Today we went to Dulal Village (20km away from our kitchen) to distribute food and relief materials received from Sahid Bhagavat Singh Comrade organization. The bad weather, prevented us visiting other places today,” explained Visvajit Vrajesa Das, director of the program. Volunteers provided 100 blankets to the residents of Dulal village at 3 different spots, along with 250 kgs of rice, 50 large bags of flour, and 300 packets of biscuits to the village children. Remote areas being served, where no other NGOs go To date, more than 90,000 people have been provided hot meals by Food for Life Nepal, while 400 families also received relief supplies. FFL Volunteers packed 2400 kgs of rice, dhal, blankets and clothing in flatbed trucks and drove to remote villages over damaged roads.  “Many of the families were in critical condition. Most of the houses were destroyed and people were starving,” reported Das. “We gave them blankets and then cooked them a delicious dinner on the spot. Volunteers are visiting remote villages like Majuwa, Ramkot, Tudikhel and Salyantar where often the roads are not paved and survivors are looking for grains in the rubble of the quake.  FFL Nepal is serving hot meals to the affected victims, especially to the children. They also sent a ton of food grains to the Dhading area and two tons of food grains to Gorkha. Food For Life Nepal also served hot meals to earthquake victims at the Thapapati VDC hospital wards, #1 and […]

Feeding the survivors of Nepal – people and animals

Bhaktipur, Nepal — ISKCON FOOD FOR LIFE Nepal distributed over 2,500 hot kichadi (bean, rice, vegetable stew) to children and adult survivors of the massive earthquake that hit the area on April 25th.  The places included Bolachenn, Golmadhi, Bhimsensthan, Saraswati School, Kamal Vinayak, Byasi, Jhaukhel and Bhaktapur Bus Park. Food for Life Global has also donated to Animal Nepal and Tree of Compassion to help them continue their work of rescuing and feeding animals.  The Krishna monks also organized a condolence program at Bhaktapur Durbar Square in the evening for the people who lost their life in Bhaktapur. About 30 members of ISKCON lit candles and sang kirtan for the departed souls. See entire photo album Thank you to everyone praying and supporting this effort with donations.

Typhoon Haiyan Vegan Food Relief – Update

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November 20-30 — About 8,200 hot vegan meals were served in Tacloban from November 15 to November 20 by the Sankirtan FFL team headed by Balarama Dasa. Simultaneously, another 2,730 vegan meals were served in Manila by the Food for Life team headed by Makanlal Dasa &  head chef Gokula Chandra Dasa. In Cebu, 4,200 hot vegan meals were served from November 23-30 in some places in Northern Cebu with the help of Gopal Krishna Dasa, Jayasri Devi Dasi and her family who owns the Monterey School where the FFL team set up the kitchen. Hot meals were served while some local monks entertained the locals with kirtan. A total of 15,130 meals have been served over the past 13 days. Local Officials Fully Supporting FFL On November 30th, the Food for Life emergency relief team reached Bantayan Island, which took 5 hours by road and a 1 hour barge. The local municipal officials were very supportive of the Hare Krishna Food for life volunteers and enthusiastically provided everything the team needed. They were particularly pleases to learn that they would be serving hot meals. On Sunday December 1st, the team began serving two hot meals daily. “The response was overwhelming,” said Baladeva Dasa. “So many people were starving and rushing to grab the food.” Head chef, Rajendra Dasa and his assistants worked tirelessly day and night to prepare the meals and distribute them to the refugees. Sometimes the volunteers are exhausted and have feelings of stopping for some time, but then when they see the enthusiasm and appreciation in the eyes of the people, they feel totally enlivened again. “I felt so much relief in my heart seeing their bright smiles,” one volunteer explained. “I see that our meals give them a spark of hope and that makes us ready to […]

Report from the front line — helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan

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November 11 – Our FFL team started out for Leyte in the morning. We left our base camp at around 8am to travel some 1500 km Abuyog, Leyte. We drove to Legazpi city in the Albay province. November 12 – We continued driving, carrying rice, dahl and vegetables, diesel and fresh water in preparation of the challenging situation ahead of us. We then reached the port in Matnog, Sorsogon at around 11:00 pm only to be greeted by a huge line of motorists and passengers all waiting to catch the boat. All of them had been stranded for days because of the typhoon. Luckily, we managed to get into the priority lists to board the boat. November 13 – At 1:00am we finally boarded the ship. We continued our journey until we reached Catbalogan city in Samar, about 100km away from Tacloban — ground zero for emergency relief. Some of us slept inside the vehicle while others pitched tents on the sidewalk. The following day we continued to Leyte province, reaching the San Juanico bridge that connects the Samar and Leyte island at around 11:30am. As we got closer, we all watched with mouths agape at the devastation of the typhoon — there were scattered debris everywhere, destroyed houses blocking the road and dead bodies still lying on the sidewalks. A pungent smell of death and sadness dominated the air. The faces of agony greeted us in the streets as people wandered around here and there still in a state of total shock. Many were holding placards and shouting “We need food, we need water, we need help“. We proceeded further until we reached the town of Abuyog around lunchtime. November 14 – we started the distribution of prasadam (sanctified vegan meals) at the Brgy.Sto Nino Evacuation Centre serving more […]