For the members of Food for Life, Feed the World Week (FWW) is also a tribute to the founder (Swami Prabhupada), as much as it is an open community event for raising awareness of the world hunger problem. We aim to do this through the following four objectives:
- Exposing meat consumption as a major cause of world hunger.
- Promote that the internal cause of hunger is spiritual ignorance.
- Promote "karma-free" vegetarianism/veganism as a positive solution to the world hunger crisis.
- Unite the world through food.
Many people will prefer to offer their assistance to the local Food for Life center or Hare Krishna Temple. Every Hare Krishna temple, restaurant and all Food for Life programs have already established or are in the process of devising strategies for observing Feed the World Week. We therefore encourage all interested people to either:
- Donate funds, food, or equipment to Feed the World activities.
- Contact your local temple or restaurant for volunteer opportunities.
You may prefer to do your own thing; using your own creative potential and facilities. This is fine, so long as the following guidelines are observed:
- All food must be pure vegetarian (without the use of onions or garlic.)
- All food must be first sanctified to remove all karma .
- All signs and advertisements should read: "Feed the World Week."
Ways to Participate:
The most effective Feed the World Week events are those that reach large numbers of people, either in person or through media coverage. The size, location, and novelty of your event all contribute to its impact.
Consult with your local council to find out the requirements for staging a huge free feast in a prominent city park or hall. Explain to the council the significance and global scope of the event and invite the mayor to officially serve the first meal of the day. If not the mayor, a well-known celebrity will do.
Contact some popular bands and propose a "benefit concert" for Food for Life. Arrange that 50% of the proceeds will go to Food for Life Global, and that you'll serve a free feast to the audience! In your advertisements make sure you mention in bold letters that there will a free feast! Who could refuse to come?
WORKING WITH A LOCAL CHARITY
There are many charitable organizations that would be happy to cooperate with you in celebrating FWW. By targetting identified needy groups you will get plenty of attention.
Presently there are nearly 100 Hare Krishna restaurants around the world, all serving vegetarian and vegan meals. During Feed the World Week, many of them will be opening their doors to the public and offering all visitors as much as they can eat for free or a nominal price! Naturally, they'll need help. Contact your local temple or ISKCON restaurant (Usually called: Govinda's or Gopal's) for details. Now, for those who own their own restaurants, you may also consider offering free meals during Feed the World Week. The essential point to remember, however, is that all Feed the World Week meals must be first sanctified.
BUT I'll LOSE TOO MUCH MONEY!
On the contrary, the amount of publicity and goodwill you will gain by opening your restaurant doors and offering free meals during October 15-21 is well worth the expense and will probably be far less than your yearly advertising budget. Of course, you may be able to get sponsors too. In any case, your restaurant will become famous. Alternatively, you may host a free FWW feast elsewhere in town and promote your restaurant as the sponsor. The least you can do is to advertise the event in the restaurant by having FWW brochures (Contact: Food for Life Global) on the tables and signs on the notice board.
Many people will not be able to participate in the free feast programs arranged by the local Hare Krishna temple or restaurant, because of work restrictions, family responsibilities or other obstacles. You may not be able to give out full meals during Feed the World Week, but you can certainly contribute in a small way, and in doing so, promote FWW. In order to facilitate as many people as possible getting a taste for karma-free vegetarian meals on FWW, it is a good idea to produce some type of snack preparation that can be distributed in the hundreds of thousands, everywhere and anywhere. For example, in 1996 Food for Life volunteers in Germany gave away 100,000 of their famous "energy balls,” (mixed fruit, nut and honey). Such snacks can be given out by anyone. Everyone should be allowed to take part in this wonderful [FWW] festival! And everyone should be given a chance to taste karma-free vegetarian food! The essential point is that the all the food should be nicely packaged and your distributors should be well dressed, polite, and have a clear understanding of the purpose of the activity. The following snack program is ideal for such people, as it allows for flexibility, individuality and innovation. There are two ways to develop this program:
- Make your own prasadam (karma-free) sweets, package them in attractive bags with a FWW tag or sticker, and distribute them as they like! Watch how many new friends you make!
- Alternatively, ask the local Krishna temple if they have snacks for distribution. You may like to help package them as well, but try to make a commitment to distribute at least 1000 packets. Before you begin, however, you should ask for your official FWW T-shirt and badge. Begin with your their friends and family first and then try the shops and offices. Optionally you can also hand out the " Prabhupada " and "FWW" brochures with each snack pack. The essential point is that the prasadam should be nicely packaged [See:Packaging ] and each distributors should be well dressed, polite, and have a clear understanding of the purpose of the activity . It is so much fun to give out free food! And the fact that you are telling so many people about FWW, is significant and will go along way towards building the momentum for this international event.
This is an ideal program for those who live far away from the city and the main FWW programs. Why not cook up a feast for the neighbors!? Pass out invitations a few weeks before and erect a large sign out front: "All welcome for a karma-free feast!” during the week of October 15-21. Make it a lunchtime feast and talk about the benefits of a karma-free diet. If you feel so inclined, tell them about Food for Life, the world's largest vegetarian/vegan food relief.
SPONSORSHIPEvery big festival requires money. If you or someone you know is interested in FWW, but cannot get involved with distributing, cooking, transporting or serving at the main feast programs, then why not ask them to sponsor those that can? The local FWW representatives will have a sponsorship pledge form that you can pick up. For every person who donates $100 or more will automatically receive a free FWW T-shirt.
You can add impact to your event with:
- Videos, slides, or photographs - Available from Food for Life Global . Pictures are an effective way of educating people about the animal cruelty inherent in meat consumption, and they add credibility to your presentation.
- Entertainers - Musicians and other entertainers are often willing to perform gratis at charity events, just to get the exposure
- Street theatre - Clowns always draw a crowd, whether they are acting out slaughterhouse scenes, or simply handing out leaflets.
- Downtown plazas or other heavily trafficked areas
- Public parks have plenty of room for add-ons like speakers and music. Turn it into a festival!
- University vegetarian clubs or societies may provide you with plenty of people-power, ideas and facilities.
- Schools and work places - The cafeteria may honor the event with a special free snack for the children.
- Shopping centers or malls
Health food stores are a great place to promote healthy eating habits.
- Speakers - Arrange a special lecture on some aspect of meatless eating. Contact your local ISKCON chapter for available speakers. Also try for officials of public health organizations, and college professors.
- Cooking demonstration - Sautee or steam your way into the hearts of your community by showing how to prepare some of your favorite dishes. Ask a church or community center if you can use their kitchen.
- Meatless meal for the homeless - Contact your local shelter and offer to cook and serve a karma-free vegetarian meal during Feed the World Week.
Reception for public officials - You may have difficulty convincing town hall to go vegetarian, but you can feed them!
- Delivery of karma-free vegetarian meals to local celebrities - Radio DJ's or TV newscasters, for example.
- Proclamations - Ask your mayor or governor to proclaim November 23 as "Feed the World Week." Contact Food for Life Global for a sample proclamation and request letter.
- Letters to the editor - Call for samples.
Let us know what you are planning for Feed the World Week. Knowing your plans allows us to inform the media and helps us promote Feed the World Week internationally.
As a Registered FWW Coordinator, you'll receive special mailings designed to help increase the impact of your event.
- Free Feed the World Week poster
- Feed the World Week flyer & fact sheet stickers & badge.
- Now: Notify FOOD FOR LIFE Global of your intent to participate. Registered Coordinators will receive free action materials, including posters, handout masters, and samples of brochures, proclamation requests, and news releases.
- Recruit help, if needed. Call FOOD FOR LIFE Global for names, contact local vegetarian, animal & environmental groups, and post notices.
Finalize your plans. Get permission or permits*.
- Launch a promotion of your event, including news releases, calendar notices, ads, letters to editors, flyers and posters.
- Notify FOOD FOR LIFE Global of your final plans.
- Approach local food suppliers, shopping centers, health food stores, catering companies, etc., for equipment and supplies.
- Conduct the events through October 15 - 21
- Send a report of your activities to Food for Life Global, including photographs and originals of any news clippings. Congratulations!* Permits from local authorities are usually required for events that may interfere with the use of public land by others. Notifying the police of your plans is always a good idea.