In our country, 3,000 of our fellow citizens rely on the work of Krishna food distributors every day, who will distribute around 6,000 portions of hot lunches, cooking ingredients and festive goodies to those in need during the Advent season. Not only in the capital, but also in the countryside. This will be the 35th Christmas charity Love Feast.
Why do the Hare Krishnas distribute half a million bowls of food every year?
It is the job of religions to direct the souls towards God. However, Krishna believers also place great emphasis on charitable work alongside their religious work, as it is harder to engage in lofty spiritual reflection when there is no food for the day. Every year, half a million hot meals are distributed in our country through the Food for Life programme. Charitable work also enriches the lives of believers, as spiritual knowledge is put into practice through selfless devotion to people and service to the world.
How did it all begin? It is 1974. The founding teacher of the international movement of Krishna devotees, Srila Prabhupada, saw from a temple window in Mayapur children on the streets fighting vicious dogs for food. The sight brought tears to his eyes and he pleaded with his disciples that this should not happen again: at least within 10 kilometres of Krishna temples, there should be no hunger. Then he also understood that “with a hungry stomach it is difficult to think of God”, i.e. to rise to morally superior heights, and he urged that every major temple centre should have a charity kitchen.
Deprivation causes stress and mental overload for families
A society’s development and peace depends on how safe its people feel. When people have basic livelihood problems, be it food shortages or serious illness, and are unable to think about self-fulfilment, survival mode kicks in. A person under prolonged stress loses focus on themselves, losing sense of the future, planning for tomorrow, building social relationships or the moral issues of the world. Thus, a person in severe deprivation or persistent vulnerability may react more selfishly and harshly to problems, yet he or she is the one who needs support and genuine concern the most.
In recent decades, our world has experienced a series of crises. Economic crisis, a pandemic, and for almost 2 years now a war in our immediate neighbourhood. But all these are only external circumstances in which individual battles cannot be ignored. Unemployment, long-term illness, children going to school, decreasing purchasing power of pensions, medical expenses, spiralling debts, mortgages, divorce, and for some people, the cost of buying winter heating is a burden and an expense that plunges the family into a serious crisis every year. And until you find a solution to your individual problems, you will not have the capacity to work for the well-being of your wider community.
In our country, 3,000 of our fellow citizens rely on the work of Krishna food distributors every day, and your donation can help ensure that even richer food parcels await those who come to the festive food distribution.
The Food for Life Programme was launched immeditely after the first Krishna devotees appeared in our country, making this year the 35th Christmas Food For Life Distribution. Since its inception, the mission has distributed more than 8 billion 660,000 hot meals to people in need worldwide, with Hungary adding over half a million to the total every year.
The Advent food distribution campaign will culminate again this year in Népliget on Christmas Day, but from St. Catherine’s Day to January, throughout the Advent period and the New Year, the programme’s staff will also be helping in a number of rural locations.
To ensure that the parcels include a wide variety of healthy food despite the increased food prices, donors are asked for their help!
For HUF 5,000 we can support a family of 4 for a festive lunch, and for HUF 8,000 we can support their rich food parcel. But donations are not the only thing we can do for Christmas. Those who help from the heart, volunteering on the spot for years and bringing hope to the lives of families and pensioners, receive a lot: the joy of caring.