Hare Krishna

A summary of my journey with FFLG

Paul Turner managing the serving of the 2 millionth meal in Sydney

Today, I want to share a summary of my journey with Food for Life Global. I started my career with Food for Life as a young monk in Sydney. I was 20 years-old when I got started and was one of the early pioneers of the project in the 80s in Australia. My big contribution back then was to demonstrate how effectively FFL was as a communications tool to inspire all kinds of people to participate in this service and assimilate its message of equality. I took a lead role in developing Food for Life in Australia and in 1991, I managed the celebration of the serving of the 2-millionth free meal in Sydney, where Clover Moore cut the cake. I launched the Food for Life International newsletter, writing it on my Mac+ computer, cutting and pasting photos, reproducing it on a copy machine, stapling pages together and then sending the newsletter out to ISKCON temples all around the world with my own money. In 1993, I left Australia as a monk and started lecturing and training others to start their own FFL project in Eastern Europe and Asia. During one travel stint I visited 44 cities in Eastern Europe in 2 months, lecturing morning and evening. in 1994, I settled in the US to establish the first-ever headquarters for what was then a grassroots operations in about 10 countries. Food for Life Global was originally founded by myself and my mentor, Mukunda Goswami in 1994 and registered as a 501c3 in 1995 in Potomac, MD. One of the first things I did was build a website in 1995, way before most larger companies had a presence on the web. Sadly, there are no records of that very early website but there are from as early as 1998 on the […]

We are approaching 4 Billion Meals Served

Since starting as a grassroots project in India in 1974, Food for Life Global has expanded to now include 210 projects in 60 countries serving up to 2 million meals daily. And on December 30th we will hit the 4 Billion Meal mark! “This is truly astonishing,” says Paul Rodney Turner, the director and co-founder of Food for Life Global. “And to think that it is highly probable that FFLG network of affiliates has served even more meals than this is mind boggling.” Yes, the numbers we are using to calculate the current distribution rate and volume over the last 42 years are based on conservative estimates and do not include all projects over history, simply because many projects closed down, many did not maintain accurate logs of meals distributed, and many do not report numbers at all. Since the inspirational “founding” of Hare Krishna Food for Life when the founder/acharya of ISKCON, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada told his students, “No one should go hungry within 10 miles of our temple,” volunteers have set up projects in more than 60 countries. For the first 19 years of Food for Life’s history, it remained a grassroots operation, with no formal headquarters, training materials, or guidelines. Then in 1993, Turner released the first official Food for Life Training manual that covered all aspects of how to set up, manage, promote, and support a Food for Life project. That same year he left his native country of Australia and began helping volunteers around the world start their own project. Then in 1995, Food for Life Global was officially established in Potomac, MD, USA to serve as the headquarters and training and support office for all Hare Krishna Food for Life projects around the world. Around 2005, Turner released a new book called, […]

Food for Life in New Zealand making positive changes in the community

HodgonPIC

Food for Life in the Northern Island of New Zealand received two glowing articles in the Whangarei Leader. One article featured volunteer Vanessa Hodgon who has served at the FFL kitchen for the last 18 months, while the other reported on the Corrections’ Vegetable Garden that supplies the FFL kitchen and the Salvation Army food bank Reporter Penelope McConnell wrote: “Last Tuesday they were lined up at the door,” said Vanessa. “On a rainy, cold day people like to come in for a hot meal. We definitely have our regulars.” When Hodgon moved to Whangarei she found she needed things to do and a way to get out of the house and meet new people. She looks forward to volunteering every Wednesday and often turns up early to ensure everything is clean and ready to go.  “This area at the front is my domain,” she says. “Everyone gets to know each other, there is no stress and we have a nice meal together.”  The other article reported on Food for Life’s innovative program for engaging prisoners in the charity’s good work. The article was titled: OFFENDERS TURN HAND TO HELP. Reporter, Alexandra Newlove said: More than 400 offenders are quietly righting their wrongs in the Whangarei community. We hardly hear of them, but the thousands of men and women sentenced to community work each year help maintain our schools, parks, marae, churches and cemeteries.  Community service manager Jay Wain in the Corrections’ Vegetable Garden that is maintained by offenders, said: “We are very proud of this garden, seedlings are supplied by Mitre 10 and Bunnings and the food grown here is donated to Food for Life and the Salvation Army.” To learn more about Food for Life in New Zealand and how you can get involved or support the project visit: http://www.foodforlifenorthland.org.nz Email:  info@foodforlifenorthland.org.nzPhone: 022 1218908 Visit:  26 Water […]

New Kitchen Religion Cookbook series launched

The Hare Krishna movement is famous all over the world for the delicious meals they serve at large festivals. It is truly astonishing how the cooks are able to make so much food taste so good. As a result, the spiritual organizaton is often referred to as the “kitchen religion.”  “I made this movement successful simply by love feast*,” explained the founder, Srila Prabhupada during a room conversation at the end of his life. *Love feast: Another name for the Hare Krishna free vegetarian feast served on Sundays at ISKCON temples around the world.  “They did not come to hear Hare Krishna. They came for love feast. From very beginning, when I was in 26 2nd Avenue, every Sunday I was giving nice foodstuffs, at least 200 men….I was cooking myself. That is the beginning of our movement.” Srila Prabhupada is the inspiration behind the Food for Life project and was himself an expert at cooking delicious meals for large gatherings — and this is an important difference between Srila Prabhupada and other leaders of spiritual organizations. Srila Prabhupada always considered himself a servant of God and demonstrated his humility when establishing his new spiritual organization (ISKCON) by cooking for his students himself and then cleaning up after them!  In fact, Srila Prabhupada made it abundantly clear that eating pure food (prasadam) was an essential activity of his new movement.  “Our Hare Krsna movement is standing on three principle things: chanting, dancing, and eating prasadam. It is not very difficult. It is very enjoyable to chant, dance, and take prasadam. And if you like, you can hear a little philosophy of this movement. Or even if you do not understand the philosophy, even you do not read the books, simply if you take part in these three things, chanting, dancing, and taking […]