Food for All Team Enters the belly of Beast in Calais


On October 21, FFL Global affiliate, Food for All (FFA) set off from ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta Manor in England with two vehicles loaded with food supplies and provisions such as sleeping bags, tents, and clothes, etc. to a place called “the jungle,” just outside of Calais in France, where some 6,000 refugees were struggling to survive in the worst conditions imagable. After a short ferry crossing, the volunteers arrived at the refugee camp only to find mud everywhere, heavy rain and people wandering around aimlessly, desperation painted on their faces. “Within seconds of arriving, we realised the situation was much worse than we expected,” explained director of FFA, Peter O’Grady (Parasuram das). “Many people had been living at the camp for 3 months or more. There were about a dozen portable toilets, but no showers, communal buildings, or kitchens for people to prepare meals. We saw someone trying to cook some porridge on an open fire,” said O’Grady. “One would expect at a refugee camp as large as this, that someone would be in charge, or for there to be at least some kind of order, but no, not here in “the jungle.” It was basically chaos from wall to wall. So we just drove straight down through the water and mud into the belly of the beast and took immediate action. “It was a little scary to be honest. There were hundreds of desperate people surrounded our van. The first task was to get people […]

Student Entrepreneur Giving Back to the Community


The Motivate and Inspire Educational Academy opened couple month ago in Forsyth County has already helped students attain their academic goals. It is quickly becoming a tremendous success because middle-school students relate well to their high school instructors. Perhaps the most fascinating and impressive concept about the academy is its owner and founder, Anirudh Bikmal, who is only a high school junior. An exemplary role model for his peers, Mr. Bikmal is an insightful visionary and entrepreneur who has proactively turned his dreams into a reality. Anirudh has always felt his greatest reward comes from knowing he has given back to others and believes in building a karma-free society. When asked what propelled him to start a tutoring academy at such a young age, he explained, “Throughout my sophomore and junior year I realized the number of students excelling in Georgia was exceedingly low. Bringing together friends and fellow students who are accomplished in multiple activities, I created the Motivate & Inspire Educational Academy (MIEdu Academy). The academy is founded on the principle that collective experience of successful high students in key areas will empower students with the drive to succeed. We are committed to offering a standard of excellence and I was determined to make this academy ‘happen’ – despite any challenges we had to face. Since my staff is comprised of overachievers, it is a priority that my instructors manage their time wisely to avoid compromising their own […]

FFL Annamrita’s food dispatch process is something to admire


Everyday, 258 cooks prepare wholesome meals in 20 Annamrita kitchens and 301 vehicles carry hope and promise to over a million children in 6288 schools across India. After the raw materials have been procured, the rice cleaned and the cooking completed, the next challenge is the dispatch process. How to get so many meals out to the children as fast and efficiently as we can? The day before, all the containers have been air dried after washing and then sanitized; this ensures that they are 100% clean when filled with highly nutritious hot food. Once the food is ready, it is tasted and observations for temperature, colour, appearance, flavour, consistency and taste are documented. After the documented parameters are found to be acceptable, the containers are passed on the conveyor below the cauldrons. The outlet valve at the bottom of the cauldron is opened and the container is filled with the food. Once filled up to the pre-measured level, the containers are pushed on the conveyor and the next container is filled. In this entire process, food is untouched by hand. This ensures maintenance of high standards of hygiene and sanitation. Next, the filled containers are sealed with security seals to avoid tampering. The security seal is of paramount importance and the schools have been instructed to not accept the containers if the seal is broken. Each container has a specific colour coded security seal (which indicates the variety and quantity of food) to help […]

Food for Life revived in Serbia with the flood disaster


In the early days of my service to Food for Life, I got to travel through the former soviet union, eastern Europe and the Balkans. I ventured into war zones in Chechnya, Georgia and Sarajevo. But one thing surprised me more than anything else: I found the people in these parts of the world to be the most enthusiastic to start a Food for Life project and the scope seemed unlimited. Many young men and women asked me what to do and how they could model the success of what we had done in Australia. One of those young enthusiasts was Krishna devotee, Srinivas das, who took on the task of developing Food for Life in Belgrade, Serbia.  He very methodically built a program from the ground up and followed all the good practices of others before him in Western Countries. Srinivas was able to get the support of the UNHCR and the Red Cross and position his Food for Life project as an essential partner in improving the social injustices that were present in Belgrade at the time. His project was a model of success for other projects in Eastern Europe and I encouraged other projects to follow suit and work for ways to cooperate with the more established NGOs in the area. “It was the most effective way to build credibility,” I told FFL volunteers, and in fact, partnering as such became an important ingredient in a book I would […]

Food for Life in New Zealand brings unity to the community


May 24 – Whangerei, New Zealand FFL Director, Paul Rodney Turner, was the special guest at the Manaia primary school in Whangarei, New Zealand, which is one the schools selected by FFL Northern Island to receive a free lunch. One day a week the children are fed a sumptuious vegetarian feast by Hare Krishna Food for Life Northern Islands, run by Buddhimanta Khan Das and his staff of volunteers. Before the event, Paul gave a small talk on the power of food to unite and it became very obvious once the serving began just how powerful this message was. “There is a real sense of unity here,” explained one of the teachers, as the older students went about serving lunch to the younger students. “Even  the parents get involved with cleaning, and all us teachers also sit down to eat with the kids.” Todays meal was a sweet and sour vegetable stew, rice and a vanilla semolina pudding (halava). The students relished the lunch and then grooved to some dance music as they cleaned the entire hall. Feeding children at Manaia school in New Zealand (28 photos on FACEBOOK) To learn more about Food for Life Global visit www.ffl.org or if you are in New Zealand, please get involved in this absolutely wonderful project, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hare-Krishna-Food-For-Life-Northland/124023621049817