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Melbourne Food Relief

Hare Krishna Food for Life feeds the needy and homeless in our community.

During one of his visits to Melbourne in the early 1970s, our Founder Srila Prabhupada famously said: “Let every hungry man in Melbourne come and eat.” Since that time, Hare Krishna Food for Life Melbourne volunteers have expanded on his mission by uninterruptedly distributing vegan and vegetarian meals to the people of greater Melbourne.

Since the 1970s, Hare Krishna Food For Life has developed a hard-earned reputation for distributing free and low-cost meals whenever and wherever the need arises, including the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 and the COVID-19 emergency of 2020-21. Over the decades, our distribution locations have changed, but our goal has remained the same: to offer care and to relieve suffering.

Every Donation Helps
Hare Krishna Food For Life

3750

Albert Park Temple

Serving free breakfast, lunch, and dinner, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the Melbourne Temple welcomes anyone and everyone who needs a meal.

2800

Crossways CBD Restaurant

First opened in 1983, located on Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD, Crossways serves low cost meals Monday-Sunday, 11:30am-8pm and is a central location for Food For Life services. 

359

Wyndham Temple

Wyndham Hare Krishna work with Melbourne Temple to offer a range of devotional programs in the Western suburbs including the weekly Sunday Feast Program starting at 5:30pm. 

100

South Melbourne Market

An iconic Melbourne location, come grab your free meal from 5pm each Sunday afternoon. Corner of Cecil and Coventry streets, South Melbourne. 

Our Mission

The fundamental purpose of Food For Life is to foster peace and prosperity throughout the world.

We do this by distributing sanctified vegetarian meals prepared with love and devotion. In pursuit of this objective, Food For Life Melbourne actively seeks collaborations with organisations that share these core principles. Additionally, Food For Life acknowledges the sacredness of the Earth’s resources and the understanding that they are not ours to exploit or selfishly claim.

Instead, we embrace the role of humble stewards and servants, recognising our dependence on and gratitude towards the ultimate source of all. The meals provided by Food For Life are imbued with this divine grace and are revered as Prasadam, blessed food that carries a deeper spiritual significance.

Every Donation Helps
Food For Life Program
Food For Life Impact

...I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it.

Steve Jobs

Where You Can Find Us

Hare Krishna Temple Albert Park

197 Danks St, Albert Park VIC 3206

Breakfast – 9am
Lunch – 1pm
Dinner – 5:30pm

Please note: all our meals may contain dairy, nuts and gluten. If you have any allergies or specific requirements, please check with our cooks regarding which items are suitable for you.

Crossways Restaurant, Melbourne CBD

147 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Easily accessed by foot or tram, Crossways is open Monday-Saturday from 11:30am-8pm and is a central location for our Food For Life services.

Please note: all our meals may contain dairy, nuts and gluten. If you have any allergies or specific requirements, please check with our cooks regarding which items are suitable for you.

South Melbourne Market

Corner of Cecil and Coventry streets, South Melbourne

Come grab your free meal from 5pm each Sunday afternoon.

Please note: all our meals may contain dairy, nuts and gluten. If you have any allergies or specific requirements, please check with our cooks regarding which items are suitable for you.

Wyndham Hare Krishna

Unit 11/22-30 Wallace Ave Point Cook VIC 3030

Join us for weekly Saturday morning programs which include Japa meditation, Guru-puja, Srimad-Bhagavatam class and breakfast Prasadam, starting at 7.30am.

Please note: all our meals may contain dairy, nuts and gluten. If you have any allergies or specific requirements, please check with our cooks regarding which items are suitable for you.

Food For Life Impact

I love working with Hare Krishna Food For Life. It is really tough for Melbourne's working poor, single parents, students and many others who live on low incomes to eat regular, nutritious meals.
Thank God for the Hare Krishna Food For Life community who provide thousands of delicious, sustainable, healthy, and freshly tooked, sanctified meals every day. Please support them so they can expand their wonderful work.

Father Bob Maguire

Food For Life, Food For Everyone

In 1974, a significant event deeply impacted the Hare Krishna founder, Srila Prabhupada.

While observing a distressing scene where village children were competing with dogs for food scraps, Prabhupada was moved to take action. He turned to his students and passionately declared, “No one within ten miles of a Temple should endure hunger… I implore you to begin serving food immediately.”

Deeply inspired by Prabhupada’s heartfelt plea, Hare Krishna  members and a dedicated network of volunteers embarked on a mission to fulfil his vision. This endeavour gave rise to a dynamic and expansive global network of kitchens, cafes, vans, and mobile services, all united in the noble cause of providing free sanctified vegetarian food. Over time, this initiative has grown into the largest vegan/vegetarian food relief program worldwide, known as Food For Life.

Every Donation Helps
Melbourne Food Distribution NFP
Food For Life Impact

FOOD FOR LIFE is the real Reconstruction and Development Programme. The understanding that if I have a plate of food, let me share it with my neighbour... let those who are feeling sad come together with us, and together we can share this burden. This understanding should be taken from FOOD FOR LIFE and transmitted to the entire country.

Thabo Mbeki Deputy President of South Africa

Food Assistance in Port Phillip

Pre-Covid, we distributed around 5,500 free and low-cost meals per week from our Temple, in Port Melbourne, and Melbourne’s city centre.

Our Food For Life Kitchen serves free food for the community three times a day, seven days a week at our Temple in Albert Park. Our free community breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are open to all-comers. In the city Crossways Restaurant also offers low-cost, all-you-can-eat meals to the needy in Melbourne’s CBD.

With the support of the City of Port Phillip and South Melbourne Market we provide free meals on Sundays at South Melbourne Market. Pick up your meal from 5 pm at the corner of Cecil and Coventry.

How and where we deliver our services

Hare Krishna Melbourne delivers our Food For Life services through the Hare Krishna Temple in Albert Park, and Crossways Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant in the Melbourne CBD. This restaurant was first opened in 1983 and has spent the past four decades serving nutritious and delicious meals to the homeless and vulnerable in Melbourne.

All of our Food For Life meals are prepared in Crossway’s kitchen, before being distributed by our wonderful team of volunteers. Every volunteer who lends their support to Food For Life Melbourne is a dedicated member of the Hare Krishna Community who is passionate about feeding the hungry and vulnerable in this city. Due to their efforts, as well as the hard work of the cooks and other kitchen staff, Food For Life is able to continue its mission and have a real impact on the larger Melbourne community.

Melbourne Food Relief

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the community benefits of Food for Life?

Hare Krishna Melbourne’s Food For Life kitchen provides a non-threatening, non-institutional, support network for homeless, vulnerable, and other displaced individuals in need. The Food For Life kitchen helps broaden the social horizons of people who might otherwise have little exposure to Indian culture.

As a grass-roots volunteer service provider, our kitchen helps build community resilience by creating positive relationships between a broad spectrum of community members.

What are the social benefits of Food For Life?

Food For Life provides meals for people experiencing financial difficulties in a dignified way that crosses cultural and economic divides.

What are the ethical and environmental impacts of Food For Life?

Food For Life produces sustainable and eco-friendly vegan and vegetarian meals. The food is cooked fresh daily using predominantly locally grown, seasonal vegetables. This results in low “food miles” meals that reduce the need for refrigeration and help to sustain local food security. The factory farming of livestock is cruel and exploitative towards animals and produces high levels of pollution. Vegan and vegetarian food is a kinder option and is a more efficient use of land and water resources.

Food For Life is a wonderful cause, it ticks a variety of boxes for a variety of people. It is a socially responsible approach to fighting poverty, a local way of building cultural bridges and community resilience. It is based on an ethic of compassion towards animals, and sustainability in terms of the environment.

How can I get free food in Melbourne?

The Hare Krishna temple in Albert Park serves delicious vegetarian meals – for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, completely free. Thanks to the generous donations of our community, we’re able to provide these meals to anyone who needs them. See above for location information.

Hare Krishna also distributes free food from the South Melbourne market (Corner of Cecil and Coventry streets) each Sunday afternoon at 5pm – come along and enjoy a free meal!

How can I donate to the Food For Life program?

While we cannot accept food donations, we rely on the generous donations from the local community. Your support helps us keep those Melbournians who might be doing it tough, every single day. Please click the link below and thank you so much for your generosity. And while you’re at it, come along and enjoy a nutritious meal yourself.

Donate to Food for Life
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