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, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, shocked and saddened upon seeing a group of village children in Mayapur (near Kolkata) fighting with street dogs over scraps of food, told his disciples: “No one within ten miles of a temple should go hungry . . . I want you to immediately begin serving food.” Hearkening to the Prabhupada plea, ISKCON devotees around the world were inspired to expand that original effort into a global network of free food kitchens, cafes, vans, and mobile services, establishing daily delivery routes in many large cities around the world.
In 1966, Srila Prabhupada began the famous “Sunday Feasts” at ISKCON’s fledgling Second Avenue storefront in New York. He personally helped cook and serve the feasts. Word of this delicious, free 10-course meal spread quickly and soon was attended by 300-400 people each week.
ISKCON expanded and the Sunday Feast became a weekly event in major cities worldwide. Wherever an ISKCON temple was built, prasad feasts would also take place. Srila Prabhupada often referred to the Hare Krishna movement as the “kitchen religion.” These Sunday Feasts formed the basis for the current Food for Life program.
In the 1970’s, ISKCON expanded its vision of prasad 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 and over 100 other cities worldwide.