In the News:
Krishna Temple Raising Money for Relief Efforts
Posted September 12, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - 12:00 AM
Whenever the building is open, the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple on the southern edge of Spanish Fork has a buffet available for anyone who needs a meal.
"That's basically our policy worldwide, that no one within 10 miles of our temple should go hungry," said temple vice president Caru Das.
That policy is the reason the Hare Krishna Food for Life program distributes meals to people who need it. While the organization brings meals to people every day of the year, the number of Hurricane Katrina victims needing food has caused an surge in the services. Das said the temple in Spanish Fork is raising money to send to the national organization and will match every dollar it receives until the Festival of India Sept. 17.
"What inspires us to do what we do is not only feelings of humanitarianism, but the food that we give to people is consecrated in our temple," he said, adding Krishnas believe that by doing this, they are nourishing the soul as well as the body.
About $500 have been raised since Monday, when the program was started. Das hopes to raise several thousand dollars, which is about what they raised for the tsunami in Southeast Asia last year and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City.
Paul Turner, director of Food for Life, said volunteers were in affected areas a few hours after the hurricane hit, distributing hot, freshly cooked vegetarian meals to anyone who needed them.
"This is normal for us," he said. "We immediately went into action as soon as possible."
The vegetarian meals are part of the Hare Krishna's belief system, but there are more practical reasons as well -- the meatless dishes are healthier and less expensive, so more people can eat for less.
About 40 volunteers are along the Gulf Coast cooking, cutting wood for the wood-burning stoves and going door to door in search of people who need food, Turner said. They are serving about 1,000 people daily, but hope to get that number to 5,000 to 10,000 soon.
"The philosophy of Food for Life is that everybody is spiritually equal," he said. "We want to feed everybody."
Das said he hopes both the hurricane and the relief efforts will help people become more tolerant toward each other.
"It is very humbling," he said. "Our philosophy is that God is great and we're small. You say that day after day and give lectures about it, but every once in a while you get a real good demonstration."
To donate to the Krishna temple:
PayPal credit to email@example.com
Checks to: Krishna Temple, 8628 S. State Road, Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Call (801) 787-1510
Receipts for every tax-deductible donation
For more information on Food for Life or to donate, go to www.ffl.org/.
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A1.
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