Just about everyone loves prasadam, don’t you think? ISKCON is world-famous for prasadam distribution. Up until the COVID-19 State of Emergency, Melbourne Temple’s Food For Life was distributing 5-6,000 plates of free prasadam every week. Our Temple also served prasadam through Crossways and Gopal’s in Melbourne’s CBD and Radhey’s Chai Bar in Fitzroy.
I’ve been serving as Hare Krishna Melbourne’s Catering Manager for the past few years. The catering service distributes Krishna prasadam at music festivals, through corporate catering, and catering for birthdays and marriages. We’ve been very active in this service, so much so that now prasadam is loved and appreciated by Victorians from all walks of life.
We can see that devotees have distributed prasadam across the whole length and breadth of Australia. Srila Prabhupada always encouraged prasadam distribution for the mass of people. His desire was that no one should go hungry within a ten-kilometre radius of a Temple. He always inspired us to help people to revive their Krishna consciousness by freely distributing Krishna prasadam on a large scale.
With the onset of this COVID-19 crisis, all our operations were put on pause. When the Temple was closed, people were unable to visit to receive Food For Life meals. We were even forced to stop takeaways from our restaurants because people weren’t coming into the city. Soon all of our prasadam distribution came to a halt.
You’ll have experienced yourself how this crisis has affected community wellbeing on many levels: financial, emotional and spiritual. Local community groups, colleges, universities – and our restaurant patrons – began to ask us, ‘Is there any possibility for us to receive prasadam?’ You know, prasadam is spiritually addictive. Anyone can appreciate Krishna prasadam. It’s the way we can relish sanctified, wholesome and fresh vegetarian food.
The Temple’s paid prasadam pickup project was inspired by Keshava Dasa and his team at Hare Krishna Valley. Seeing the success of their pickup service in the Surf Coast Shire, we wanted to roll out our own version here in Melbourne. This is the first time we’ve delivered prasadam to our community in this way. Having a registered commercial kitchen with state-of-the-art equipment, we can produce many varieties of delicious prasadam. So when we received permission from the City of Port Phillip Council, we began experimenting with ways to deliver contactless prasadam pickups to one and all.
Prasadam distribution is very dear to me, and of course, it is very dear to all devotees. Because prasadam distribution is one of the main strengths of ISKCON Melbourne, we wanted to continue that legacy, and we racked our brains how to popularise prasadam pickups.
So far, thanks to your support, we’ve been successful. As I write this report, we’ve been running for two weeks and going strong. We’ve received tremendous encouragement and reciprocation from our congregation and from the Port Phillip community. People are amazed by the quality, quantity and delicious taste of Krishna’s prasadam. With His blessings, prasadam distribution is always successful.
I’m glad to be involved, and am trying to serve to the best of my ability. There is a great team of volunteers working behind me, helping to distribute prasadam. We have buyers, cooks, flow managers and devotees taking care of pickups and customer relations. Without them, this service is not possible.
We want to expand our service and introduce new projects, so that we can please Srila Prabhupada and his Melbourne devotees. So if you want prasadam – anytime, anywhere – and you want to give people an opportunity to taste Krishna prasadam, then you know where to come. It’s simple, just contact me or email [email protected].