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 […]