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Food Distribution


Krishnamrita

 

 

Prasadam Distribution

yat karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva mad-arpanam

“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform—do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me, ” explains Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.

Eating food is a basic necessity of Life, perhaps one of the most basic of all. Even modern science attests to the fact that we are affected physically, emotionally, and mentally by the food we eat. Yet there is one more realm to food, beyond this basic understanding, that the world seems to have forgotten: its transcendental Nature.

The Vedas give us a name for this highest perfection of food: prasadam or the mercy of God. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu tells us of prasadam, “Everyone has tasted these material substances before, but now these same ingredients have taken on extraordinary flavors and uncommon fragrances.”

Related Link: AkshayaPatra

This unique taste and flavor of prasadam lies in its very definition. Prasadam is food that is offered to the Supreme Personality, Lord Krishna, who, in His mercy, accepts our offering and, by doing so, purifies the food. Prasadam is no different from Krishna Himself, and simply by eating it, we can know Krishna. Considered the perfection of vegetarianism, eating prasadam leads one to the highest state of spiritual realization.

Prasadam distribution, therefore, is one of the most essential activities, and this fact echoes through every one of the many prasadam stalls within the temple. A large team of cooks is involved in the cooking, which is supported by another group that exclusively takes care of maintaining the cleanliness of the kitchen premises. The items so cooked in these well-maintained kitchens are offered to the Lord and then made available to the thousands of daily visitors to the temple as prasadam. A food laboratory experiments with new recipes every day, adapting the world’s many cuisines to the temple’s strictly Vaishnava style of cooking. With nearly 1200 well-researched recipes used to prepare the food, the temple cuisine is unique, bringing in an eclectic mix of tastes and flavors to its many signature dishes. Quality and hygiene are also of utmost importance to the highly dedicated team. Regular as well as random quality checks ensure that the best quality food is offered to the Lord.

By showcasing its sattvic culinary skills for people through its many prasadam stalls, the temple aims to demonstrate that anything in the vegetarian kingdom can be cooked and distributed as prasadam, including sweets, juices, and cakes of a wide variety. From the most traditional food to its more modern dishes, prasadam for various tastes and preferences are available for the visitor.

The ultimate aim is to make people eat Krishna prasadam, which nourishes spiritual intelligence. We give a variety of dishes so that people may be attracted to the food of their liking. The Higher Taste restaurant provides a fine dining experience, reviving many of ancient India’s cooking techniques for the modern palate, taking one through a journey of antiquity and spirituality, all in the comfort of its elegant décor.

 

Akshaya Patra 

Akshaya Patra is an initiative of ISKCON Bangalore to provide mid-day meals in the rural schools for underprivileged children and thus support their education. The vision statement of Akshaya Patra states: No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.

In June 2000, the Akshaya Patra Foundation started feeding 1500 children in Bangalore, and today it is reaching out to more than 1.76 million children every day. Akshaya Patra is currently operating in 42 locations across 12 states of India and is conferred as the World’s Largest NGO-run Mid-Day Meal Program. The mission is to reach 5 million children by 2020.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation collaborates with the Central and various State Governments of India to provide mid-day meals to children studying in Government and Government-aided schools. The Foundation runs its operations through two kitchen models: Centralized Kitchens, which are suitable for urban and semi-urban locations, are mostly mechanized and employ innovative technology to cook meals for thousands of children within a few hours. Decentralized Kitchens are set up in areas that are not easily accessible and employ women of that particular area for the cooking process.

 

Click here for the list of all centralized kitchens.

 

The mid-day meal program has seen a positive impact across India. In 2006, A C Nielsen (Mumbai) did a study to measure the effect of this mid-day meal program and observed that this program improved the nutritional status of the children and has resulted in increased enrolment and attendance in the schools. The rate of drop-outs considerably reduced. It also enhanced the students’ performance in the class; their attention span has improved, showing exemplary academic progress. In the year 2007, Harvard Business School conducted a study on the operations of Akshaya Patra. It included it in their MBA curriculum as a case study on precision and time management. Download the Harvard Business School Case Study on Akshaya Patra Operations. ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) has honored Akshaya Patra with the gold shield award for excellence in financial reporting.