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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Food for life

Reading Time: 3 minutesISKCON Temple in Melbourne celebrates the construction of its new kitchen
Hindus have always believed in the principle of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam”, meaning the whole world is a huge family and the way to express our love is through sharing the meals we prepare.
Founded in New York by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1966, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has always been a centre for spiritual growth, promoting the philosophy that anyone who comes to the temple should not go empty handed or hungry.
ISKCON Melbourne.Indian Link
The ISKCON Temple in Melbourne is continuing with this tradition through its Food for Life program, providing nutritious food to those in need.
Food for Life is the largest food relief agency in the world, serving 1.2 million free meals in India alone. It is a global network across 60 countries, and consists of huge kitchens, vans, cafes and mobile services providing free ‘prasadam’ to the homeless or those less fortunate. The organisation is also involved in rehabilitation projects during natural disasters.
Currently, the ISKCON Melbourne kitchen has a distribution of 5500 meals per week, run from facilities in outdated condition and at maximum capacity.
ISKCON Melbourne.Indian Link
After receiving a grant of $500,000 from the Victorian government, and planning permissions from the local council, the ISKCON Melbourne Temple recently held a ‘Ground breaking Ceremony’ and has begun construction of new kitchen facilities along with a redevelopment of the dining area.
In order to support the growing needs of the community, the new kitchen will output at least 25,000 meals per week, which equates to 1.3 million meals yearly, in Melbourne alone!
On the occasion, Temple President Aniruddha Das spoke about the importance of the program for the social fabric of the society.

ISKCON Melbourne.Indian Link
Aniruddha Das

“Over the next five years we hope to expand our free food relief programs and further develop our collaborative outlets in Melbourne’s outlying suburbs to help even more people in the community.” This will include opening a range of Crossways Restaurants and Gopal’s style outlets.
The ground breaking ceremony was attended by the likes of Martin Foley MP, Margaret Fitzherbert MLC and other eminent supporters. All speakers congratulated ISKCON Melbourne and pledged their support for this noble cause.
Ted Baillieu, former Premier of Victoria, who has been actively involved with this initiative, paid tribute to the great service provided by Food for Life Melbourne as embodying a timeless message of peace and harmony. “This project will provide a boost to a service which has contributed so much to the multicultural heart of the most livable city of the world,” he said.
ISKCON Melbourne.Indian Link
Martin Foley MP

Father Bob Maguire said he considers the kitchen “a boon to many poor single parents, students and those who work on low incomes”.
The ISKCON Food for Life kitchen initiative is one of the best examples of how communities can help those less fortunate to survive and perhaps get back on their feet.
The ISKCON Melbourne Temple has outlined that their strategy for the funds also includes integrating the existing rural programs with the broader community and expanding their educational facilities and programs.
ISKCON Melbourne.Indian Link
It is said, when we give away the excess, be it time, money or help, it returns to us, multifold in blessings. This community kitchen is a collective effort to give a better life to fellow Australians who are living below the poverty line.
The distribution of these sanctified vegetarian meals served with love will help many. As Aniruddha Das said, “Chant Hare Rama Hare Krishna, eat Prasadam and be happy!”

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Gaurav Masand
IT professional by mind, photographer by heart. Loves travel and food photography. Blogs at secondrecipe.com

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