We are fortunate to have more than enough food to meet the needs of our pilgrims here in Skanda Vale. So for the last ten years we have been working with other charities to redistribute food to those in need, both internationally and closer to home. We work alongside other charities to donate an average of 80 tonnes of dried pulses, rice and flour every year to people in Sri Lanka, Liberia, Somaliland, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, or anywhere struck by famine and disaster.
Where the food aid comes from…
Traditionally, pilgrims visiting a temple will often bring food or other items as an offering to the Divine. These anonymous, voluntary donations are what sustain our community, and make it possible for us to cater for all our pilgrims. The offerings are brought into the temple and blessed; they take on the heightened vibration of temple devotion and become ‘prasadam’.
All food, pujas and accommodation are offered to our pilgrims for free, and we never ask for anything from anyone. There is no expectation for devotees to make offerings, and we won’t make suggestions, recommendations or even infer the need of any item. To do so would break our vow of poverty and spoil the sweetness of your offering. We feel that temple offerings should be expressions of love – a free and joyful act of worship, not done because you feel pressure, guilt or duty.
Food banks in the UK
Hunger is not just a problem in the developing world. Figures show that approximately 13 million people in the UK are living below the poverty line; many now struggle to feed themselves and their families. Redundancy, illness, benefit delay, domestic violence, debt, family breakdown and winter heating bills are just some of the reasons why people go hungry.
Every year we supply over 20 tonnes of prasadam to local and national food banks and social help centres. In 2012 we built a new warehouse, so that, in addition to our own supplies, we can also store surplus supermarket food for re-distribution to a wide range of UK charities. Below is our current list of food aid partners:
- Fare Share – Cymru
- Fare Share – Bristol
- Food Bank – Cardiff
- Food Bank – Black Country
- Kings Church – Newport
- MIND – Carmarthen and Llanelli
- Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Services
- Mohanji ACT Foundation
- Refugee Community Kitchen
- International Aid Trust
If you’d like to work alongside us please get in touch.
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