ISKCON Temple’s free food initiative that has been feeding people on alternate weeks in Auckland CBD in the last few years has now expanded to schools providing hundreds of children with free lunch once a month.
This initiative ‘Food for Life- No One Should Go Hungry’ in Schools started last year as a part of reaching out to the broader community, and ISKCON contacted four schools so far in different parts of Auckland providing them with free food.
The free food drive of Hare Krishna Temple has been taking place for years, every fortnight on a street corner of Auckland CBD accompanied by chanting and live devotional music, monthly community dinner in Massey and on temple site every Sunday called ‘Sunday Love Feast’ that serves to more than a hundred visitors every week.
The history of ISKCON’s free food project dates back to 1974 by founder Acharya A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada when he witnessed children fighting for a scrap of food, he told his disciples to make sure ‘no one, within ten miles of a temple should go hungry’.
Following Swami Prabhupada’s guidance, ISKCON’s NZ President Kalasamvara Das suggested that besides service the public in CBD, a humble attempt should be made for the wider community and school was the first place to start it.
“The food we cook is karma free and made with love and care.
“It is said that whatever we eat does have an impact on our consciousness, and having eaten food which is karma free and made with love and care will help one to develop these qualities which are important elements in our society,” a spokesperson from ISKCON Auckland, Krishnacandra Das told The Indian Weekender.
The food for the school is prepared within the temple premises in Kumeu, West Auckland, which is then transported to schools by volunteers of ISKCON.
Currently, ISKCON is doing free food initiative at Ferguson Intermediate School in Otara with 420 students, Mt Richmond Special School in Otahuhu with 150 students, East Tamaki Primary School with 240 students, and Waitakere College in Henderson with 400 students. The food drive at Waitakere College was started earlier this year.
“So far, we have been serving free food at four schools in Auckland, and we are in conversation in a few more to be joined soon. The schools have been kind enough to let us serve the community and reach out to young students with this important message of service to humanity,” Mr Das added.
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