Tsunami

10 years later — FFLG’s Most Memorable Relief Effort

I remember the call I got from Indradyumna Swami in Sri Lanka. I was sitting in my office at the World Bank. I had just started a new job and was comfortable and peaceful. “Paul you have to come here. It is really bad. We need to respond to this. It is the biggest natural disaster in modern history.”  I had seen the news, but like most I had not allowed the magnitude of the disaster to really sink in. Television has that affect in that it allows us to watch calamity unfold without being too emotionally involved. I cared for the people, but was not sure how our organization could respond effectively. There was nothing from the past to measure this by. This disaster was unprecedented  in every way. The devastation was spread over thousands of miles! I mean, where do we begin?  The swami was insistent. “We have to do something.” I agreed and wondered what I could do. After all I, was a volunteer for Food for Life too, and I had just started a new job that paid well and I was now supporting my new family. Then other calls started coming in. “Paul, what is Food for Life Global doing for the Tsunami survivors?” “How can we help?” There was no turning back now. I had to do something and it had to be fast. I closed the door on my office and turned it into FFL emergency relief central. I set up a donation page and posted a report that FFLG was planning a response. I appealed for volunteers. I had set the ball in motion. Where it would lead I had no idea. But we were in. I was in. We were going to help. Over the next week, literally tens of thousands of dollars began […]

Food for Life in Japan – Week 7 & 8

May 29, Miyagi, Japan — Food for Life Japan continued to provide sumptuous vegetarian meals to survivors of Japan’s worst natural disaster. Despite the heavy rains, 34 volunteers travelled the arduous distance to the shelters to serve sandwiches, soups, pasta, cakes, chips, cookies, and orange juice, along with 1,200kg of fresh fruits and vegetables. The latest efforts were jointly sponsored by the Indian Jewelry and Diamond association, Jatin Patel, Samir Bodhe, Jishad Abubacker, Nalnish Agarwa and Aravind Mohonaram. The Hare Krishna Govinda’s restaurant team have been providing the hot vegetarian meals for all seven weeks. Photos: http://tinyurl.com/ffl29may June 5th, Miyagi, Japan — One of the most hectic weeks for Food for Life Japan, but more than 800 people received a delicious lunch, consisting of two vegetable curries, roti, salad, juices and snacks, along with another truckload of fresh fruits and vegetables. To date, more than 5400 people have been served a hot dinner and over 24,000 people have been served with breakfast and lunch via Food for Life Japan’s donation of fruits and vegetables. The meals were sponsored by Navin Sonak of the Sekaiboeki company and Mr. Jaju Ji of Recon Gems. Once again, ISKCON’s Govinda’s restaurant provided the hot meals. HOW YOU CAN HELP An enormous effort is required throughout the whole cycle from preparation to distribution. Food for Life Japan is seeking help for driving, transportation, shopping, cutting vegetables, cooking, packing, distribution, cleaning, and donations in-kind and/or cash. If you know of someone who can help, please alert them to the opportunities available. Finally, please pray for the affected. Sincere prayers are mighty then Tsunami and will always help. We welcome your suggestions or comments to further assist in this important service. ONLINE DONATIONS Donate directly to Food for Life Japan Donate through Food for Life Global – Emergency Fund (tax deductible […]

Food for Life in Japan – Week 4

May 8th, Sunday (Miyagi, Japan) — FFL Global in Japan once again served two delicious vegetarian curries, paratha (flatbread), salad, cakes, and hot rice to more than 550 Japanese survivors in Miyagi. The program was sponsored by IJAJ (Indian Jewelry Association of Japan). “Our plan is to continue this effort unabated,” said FFL Director for Japan, Shrikant Shah. “Next week we plan to deliver hot meals for 700 people, along with 1,500 kgs of fresh fruits and vegetables, including Oranges (600 pieces), Apple (600 pieces), Grapefruits (600 pieces), Bananas (1,000 pieces), Mikan (600 pieces), Kiwi (300 pieces), Lettuce (100 pieces), Cucumber (30 kg), Spinach (100 packs), Cabbage (100 pieces), Tomatoes (720 pieces), and Cauliflower (100 pieces).” “The Agarwal Group and Hindi Sabha Group have already pledged to support this large task next week,” said Shah. “However, in order to keep this momentum, we are appealing for more people to come forward and sponsor Food for Life’s work.” Once again, Hari-san and Manoj-san from Govinda’s restaurant in Tokyo were key players in last Sundays effort, providing the curries and rice. “The curries were so tasty, that people kept coming for second helpings,” explained Shah. The hundreds of masala paratha (flatbreads) were meticulously prepared by volunteers from the Okachimachi community. The delicious desserts and salad were prepared by FFL volunteer, Yamuna Dasi and others. Kaori-san and Ishigaki-san once more conducted Karada yoga to help the Japanese survivors deal with stress. Suresh, Purnima, Jatin, Mitesh, and Sachin Kalse provided vehicles for the more than 25 volunteers. The local radio station (FM RADIO 92.5) attended the feeding and interviewed the organisers. Other volunteers included: Sanjivji Gupta, Rashmiji, Suresh, Kaori-san, Ishigaki-san, Sachin-san, Ram-san, Reddy-san, Jatin, Manoj-san, Navneet-san, Mitesh, Brijesh, Purnima, Nilaji, Manoj-san, Julie, Joseph, Rakesh and Hetal. HOW CAN YOU HELP? An enormous effort is involved in procuring, preparing, and distributing the food. Food for Life Japan […]

Food for Life in Japan – Week 2

April 24, 2011, Miyagi, Japan — Food for Life Global affiliate FFL Japan provided over 1000 kgs of fresh fruits and vegetables on Sunday to shelters in Wataricho Shiyakysho in the Miyagi-ken district. To make the food a special offering to the people of Miyagi, on Saturday, the volunteers first unloaded the produce in front of the ISKCON Cultural Centre altar and offered prayers so that the food would be blessed and purified. “We call this high energy food,” said temple president, Naganatana Das. “By doing this the food becomes nourishing for body, mind and soul, he explained.” The 1000 kgs of produce was then loaded back onto the truck in preparation for the long 5 hour drive the following morning. Mr. Fujita-san and Mr. Murata-San arose early in the morning to drive the produce to the shelters passing by the edge of the radiation zone along the way. FFL Director for Japan, Shrikant Shah, talks about the food distribution. FFL Global YOUTUBE CHANNEL Week 3 Plans “We plan to provide cooked meals for 726 people at two of the shelters when we go next Sunday,” said FFL Global director for Japan, Shrikant Shah. “Our aim is to continue this effort for the next 6 weeks and hopefully beyond,” he explained. The task of acquiring so much produce, purifying it and then making the long treck to Miyagi every Sunday is a huge task for this small group of volunteers. Food for Life Japan is a very small NGO with only a handfull of fulltime volunteers. “Most of the help is coming from members of the Indian business community who are donating money and their valuable time to keep the effort going,” said Volunteer coordinator Madhu Mangala Das. “Even their children are getting involved.” Last Sundays efforts were supported by donations from Food […]