Typhoon Haiyan Vegan Food Relief – Update


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


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 […]

ISKCON Food Relief Foundation Feeds Nearly 30,000 Victims of Cyclone Phailin

By: Madhava Smullen ISKCON News on Nov. 1, 2013 (SOURCE: ISKCON NEWS) More than half of Odisha’s 42 million population have been affected by Cyclone Phailin and resulting floods Two weeks after Cyclone Phailin struck Odisha (formerly Orissa) and Andhra Pradesh at 140 mph, the Eastern Indian states are still reeling. According to, just forty-five people have been reported dead in Odisha, but more than half of the state’s population of 42 million has been affected by the cyclone and resulting floods. 800,000 houses and over 860,000 hectares of farmland have been damaged, while 210,000 electrical poles and over two and a half million trees have been uprooted. Villagers sheltering on the roof of their flooded home Doing its part to help, ISKCON Food Relief Foundation (an affiliate of Food for Life Global)– which delivers healthy vegetarian meals to 1.2 million underprivileged school children around India every day — flew members into Odisha on October 15th. A volunteer crew of fifty devotees has been cooking kichari at the small ISKCON center in Remuna for the past two weeks, and delivering it along with drinking water to affected villages in Odisha’s Balasore District. Balasore District villagers forced to live on the streets after their homes were destroyed by the cyclone During their first round of relief work, from October 15th to 21st, devotees have fed 27,500 people in thirty villages. Many of these villages had been completely flooded by the Suvarna Rekha river for three days straight, leaving residents unable to get food for their survival. Villagers, forced to take shelter on the roofs of their inundated homes, were starving. Some had not eaten any food at all for two days. Others were left huddling in the streets, as their homes had been completely destroyed. “It was a most painful […]

Free lunch for 7000 proposed


Mike Dinsdale 24th Jun 2013 12:00 PM A Northland religious group wants to give free lunches to the region’s 7000-plus students at low-decile schools and is about to go to the Government with a proposal for the scheme. The Hare Krishna community runs the Food For Life Centre in Whangarei that provides koha meals to the public and gives a free hot lunch to 350 students at Whangarei’s Manaia View and Otangarei Schools once a week. Whangarei Food For Life Centre co-ordinator Buddhi Wilcox said the centre was working on a proposal to put to the Government to extend its food-in-schools programme to provide free hot lunches to the 7000-plus students at low-decile primary schools in Northland. Mr Wilcox said Manaia View and Otangarei Schools were noticing the benefits of a free lunch for its students and Food For Life wanted to extend the programme to run along similar lines to Food For Life programmes overseas. In India one Food For Life Centre provides 100,000 free school meals every day, the centre providing half the money and the Indian Government the rest, and Mr Wilcox said providing a healthy, hot lunch to roughly 7000 students at low-decile Northland would cost about $2 for each meal. “We’d hope the Government could pay $1 of that and we would fundraise to pay the other $1. It’s not expensive, but it gives the students who need it most a hot, healthy meal,” he said. Mr Wilcox will ask Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira to take the centre’s proposal to the Government. Mr Harawira has his own Feed the Kids Bill before Parliament that focuses on ensuring every child at every decile-one to two school gets a decent breakfast and lunch. Manaia View School principal Leanne Otene said earlier that research showed a healthy […]

Food for Life Hong Kong


A relatively new affiliate of Food for Life Global is the Food for Life Hong Kong (FFLHK) project operating out of the ISKCON Bhakti Yoga Centre in Tsim Tsa Tsui. The volunteers have been serving meals to underprivileged children and elders in the city a few times a month, however, now with the support of local bankers, they plan to expand the service. The typically serve Chinese-style vegan meals, like vegetables and noodes, spring rolls, rice and puddings. On June 4, FFLHK public relations coordinator, Prashant Joshi organized a volunteer appreciation dinner at the Ernst & Young offices in downtown Hong Kong. Supporters included staff from Deutsche Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Ernst & Young. Mr. Dixit Joshi and Sukrit Khatri, Deutsche Bank also awarded FFLHK the House of Lords Award – service for humanity and the SEWA Pioneering Award. Director of Food for Life Global, Paul Rodney Turner was the guest speaker on the night and he gave an overview of the NGO’s international scope of work, as well as praise the tremendous efforts of all the local volunteers, that included children of the financial supporters. The children were asked to share their experiences and when asked by Paul, “Who would like to start their own Food for Life project,” every one of them raised their hands in excitement. The evening was capped off with a lovely dinner prepared by the FFLHK team headed by Siromani Dasi. To learn more about Food for Life Hong Kong, visit: PHOTO ALBUM  

Food for Life in Japan – Week 5

  Sunday, 15th May 2011 (Wataricho, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan) — Last Sunday was one of biggest Food For Life relief efforts since the Tohoku Mega-Disaster in Japan. A sumptuous prasadam dinner was served to 980 people at three relief-camps. In addition, over 1000 kilograms of fruits and vegetables were provided for breakfast meals for 1,375 people over next three days. FFL Global Director, Shrikant Shah said, “These results were possible through tireless efforts of 41 volunteers from Food for Life, Agrawal Association Japan, Hindi Sabha, and the Tokyo Maheshwari Group who worked throughout the day and drove over 800 kms in a convoy of 8 cars and one truck!”   Shah, also explained that the planning and co-ordination of these services has itself been enormous. “We start planning on the following Monday for the next Sunday effort. It requires a whole week of careful coordination and planning. We are especially thankful for Akhilesh Ji for his help in this regard.” A told of six food stalls were setup at the three shelters. The dinner consisted of two hot vegetarian curries (Chickpea masala curry and Paneer masala curry), fresh salad, home-made Thepla (Masala-flatbreads) and a wholemeal cookie. To the delight of all, a special sachet of Organic Tulsi Ginger tea (Caffeine FREE) was served.   “The dinner was relished by everyone and many requested for “O-kawari” (second helpings) of the curries,” explained volunteer coordinator, Madhu Mangal. In serving these delicious meals, Food for Life volunteers try to be as sensitive to the feelings of the Japanese people, many of whom are still in a state of shock and depression. “We do our best to engage in positive conversations with them and also try to play with the children to uplift their spirits,” explained volunteer, Tapasvini Dasi. Other volunteers included residents from […]

SKBP starts relief services

September 26 – Food for Life affiliate SKBP sent a team to Thatta and Makli to provide meals to flood survivors. The team noticed that the areas around Thatta and Makli already contained many Relief Camps where Flood victims were receiving food, cloths and water from numerous NGOs. After further investigation, however, the FFL teams were able to identify areas where relief services were not reaching survivors and so they focused their attention on these underserved places. Hot potato biryani is currently being served to at least 150 families, many of whom came from Sajawal. Relief spokesperson, Vanamali das, commented: “The next morning the SKBP team went to another area of Makl. The land had dried and so the villagers immediately came to us when they saw our relief team.” The FFL cooks began preparing the meals while many of the local Makli people assisted. Because gas is not available the meals had to cooked in the open air on fire wood. “The meals were very well received as the villages smiled and praised the cooks and called out to their friends to join,” explained Das. After providing meals in Thatta and Makli the SKBP team returned to Karachi to make plans to visit Hyderabad where there was an overwhelming number of refugees now living in relief camps. Photos of relief in Makli and Thata DONATE NOW