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Melbourne, like the rest of Australia, has been impacted by the significant rise in the cost of living in the past couple of years. There are many reasons for this, many of them related to the pandemic, but the simple truth is, Melbourne has become more expensive to live in impacting the daily lives of millions. 

As followers of the Hare Krishna faith, we believe it is our mission to provide food and support for the people of Melbourne at all times. For decades, our Food For Life Melbourne program has been fulfilling this mission – providing free or low-cost meals to anyone in need.  

The Rising Cost of Living in Melbourne 

Following the global lift in restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cost of living has risen dramatically. The Australian Bureau of Statistics uses a metric called the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which aggregates common cost of living expenses such as rent, mortgage, groceries, transport, health, amenities, and more. 

According to their latest CPI data, Melbourne saw its overall cost of living increase by 6.9% between 2022 and 2023. This is noticeably higher than 4.0% in 2021-22 and only 1.4% from 2020-21. 

Living in Melbourne (and indeed anywhere) has become a lot more expensive over the last 12 months, and this financial pressure is being felt by many. The Melbourne Hare Krishna temple wants to do whatever possible to ease some of this pressure. For years, our Food For Life program has helped provide free and low-cost meals to the people of Melbourne, and it continues to offer support to this city during this cost of living crisis. 

Hare Krishna Melbourne’s Response 

When Hare Krishna’s founder Srila Prabhupada visited Melbourne in the early 1970s, he proclaimed: “Let every hungry man in Melbourne come and eat”. Since then, our Food For Life Melbourne program was created to fulfil those words and provide affordable and/or free meals to the people of this city. 

Cost Of Living Help Melbourne

Food For Life Melbourne 

Food For Life Melbourne distributes free and low-cost meals throughout Melbourne. We were there during the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, we stood up during the peak of the pandemic lockdown years, and we are here now to help Melbourne residents from all backgrounds navigate these cost-of-living challenges. 

Our Food For Life Kitchen distributes free meals at our Temple in Albert Park – three times a day, seven days a week. No matter who you are, we welcome you to our Temple for a free breakfast, lunch, or dinner whenever you need it. 

We also distribute free meals every Sunday at the South Melbourne Market, thanks to the kind support of the City of Port Phillip. You can find these meals after 5 pm, at the corner of Cecil and Coventry streets. 

Please note: all of our Food For Life meals are vegetarian, but may contain dairy, nuts and/or gluten. If you have any specific dietary requirements, please ask our cooks to find which of our items is suitable for you. 

Crossways Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant 

Many of our Food For Life meals are cooked at Crossways Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD. For the past forty years, they have been providing low-cost, all-you-can-eat vegetarian and vegan meals for anyone who walks through their doors. 

Crossways is open from Monday to Saturday from 11:30 am-8 pm. If you are ever in need of some delicious affordable vegan and vegetarian food while you are in the centre of Melbourne, then we highly recommend you pay us a visit. 

Donate to Food For Life Melbourne 

Hare Krishna Melbourne is here to help anyone who is struggling with the current cost of living challenges in Melbourne. Food For Life Melbourne is a volunteer-run program, meaning we rely on the generous donations of others to continue our mission of feeding the hungry in this city. As such, we would greatly appreciate any support you are able to provide. 

Please feel free to donate to Food For Life Melbourne, and if you are ever in need of a free or affordable meal, then please seek out our support. 

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