Food for Life (FFL) is food relief program with a difference – The food is sanctified food prasadam, offered first to Lord Krishna, thus providing invaluable spiritual benefit while satisfying the pangs of hunger.
In 1974 when watching a group of village children fighting with dogs over scraps of food, the Swami became upset and told his students, “No one within ten miles of a temple should go hungry… I want you to immediately begin serving food.” In response to his plea, members of ISKCON and volunteers around the world were inspired to expand that original effort into a global network of kitchens, cafes, vans, and mobile services, all providing free food, and establishing daily delivery routes in many large cities around the world. Since that day, Food for Life has grown into the world’s largest vegan/vegetarian food relief program.
Hare Krishna Food for Life is the world’s largest vegan and vegetarian non-profit food relief organization with projects in over 60 countries. Volunteers serve more than 1,500,000 free meals daily in a variety of ways, including: food vans serving to the homeless within major cities around the world; lunch time meals for poor school children throughout India; and also in response to large natural disasters, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
With roots in India, the Food for Life project is a modern day revival of the ancient Vedic culture of hospitality with its belief in the equality of all beings. It was conceived of and began by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in 1974 and is thus commonly known as ISKCON Food For Life or Hare Krishna Food For Life. It has been lauded by the New York Times and the International Rescue Committee (among others) for its relief efforts worldwide.
In the 1970’s, ISKCON expanded its vision of prasadam distribution and developed the Food for Life program to target food distribution to the less fortunate. In many cities special food distribution vehicles were purchased and daily delivery routes to low-income areas began. Today, the program distributes tens of thousands of free meals everyday to needy people of St. Petersburg, Durban, Bangalore, London, Mumbai, Ahmedabadand over 100 other cities worldwide.