The Beginning days
Unfortunately, it was the same for the local street dogs and they wanted those remnants. The children waved sticks and screamed while the dogs sneered with the hair on their backs fully raised. It was war and from the swami’s view point and no one was a winner. He stood there in silence and cried. “How can this be?” he wondered. Feeling guilty that he had just finished his lunch, he called his students to come and see what was happening. “Do you see how hungry those children are?” he told them. “This is a temple of God and where there is God the father there should be no hungry children…No one within a ten mile radius of our temples should go hungry! Begin feeding these children immediately!”
Although the swami never officially founded ISKCON Food Relief, the precursor to Food for Life, he was indeed the inspiration behind it with these words and many other instructions he gave to his students.
A new branding
7 minute new clip on Food for Life in Sydney
The new program with some basic guidelines in place soon spread throughout the USA and Western Europe. By the time I started volunteering in 1984 the project was pretty well established in most developed countries, however, by the late 80s many of these programs had faded, either due to a lack of funding, professional management or abuse by some unscrupulous fundraisers, causing some programs, like the one in New York to close down completely.
Food for Life Newsletter
The serving of the 2 millionth meal by Food for Life Sydney (1991)
Food for Life in Russia (1993)
Speaking at the opening of a new Food for Life centre in Russia (1993)
Teach a man how to fish
Paul Turner serving children after the 2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka
Midday Meal Program
Kitchens from both foundations have won numerous awards for hygiene and efficiency.
The Great Tsunami of 2004
The traveling monk, Indradyumna Swami and Paul handing out hot packaged meals in Sri Lanka.
Over the next four months, more than 60 volunteers from around the world worked with Food for Life Global cooking vegan meals on firewood and distributing them to villagers all across the island. The Sri Lankan military and Red Cross also collaborated with FFLG. Over the next 8 years, Food for Life Global responded to many other natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami that hit Japan and the earthquake in Haiti.
FOOD YOGA – Food for Life 2.0
However, I also saw food yoga as the natural evolution of Food for Life, “the upgrade,” if you will, and how it was important that I be honest and share my experience as a monk and volunteer of the organisation — because in a sense my life was all about food yoga. In the end, my principle desire was to fulfil the ideal of Srila Prabhupada and thus help to expand Food for Life far beyond the limitations of any one religious organisation to that of a social revolution for unity, peace and prosperity with food as the preferred “weapon” of choice!
Food Yoga Tour and the message of Unity
Speaking to a group of bankers in Hong Kong at a Volunteer Appreciation dinner (2013)
Food for Life Global
Food Yoga web site