By Madhava Smullen

ISKCON Cardiff temple president and Food For Life Wales Director Tarakanatha Das has received a Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister’s office, and has accepted it on behalf of the prasadam distribution organization.

The Points of Light award is presented to outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community. On Friday July 3rd, Food For Life Wales was recognized for its relief work during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the team of Cardiff devotees, along with 200 volunteers of other faiths and professions, have distributed over 40,000 prasadam meals during the crisis.

The award came with a personal letter from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said: “I wanted to write personally to thank you for your extraordinary efforts at ‘Food For Life Wales’ feeding tens of thousands of vulnerable people and our wonderful NHS workers.

“Your uplifting mission has brought nourishment and care to so many people and I am lost in admiration for the dedication of your army of volunteers who work tirelessly in the service of others.”

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart also sent a personal letter, writing, “Tarakanatha and his team of volunteers have provided an inspiring service to ensure thousands of people across south Wales receive the meals they need during this crisis.

“I am humbled by Tarakanatha’s story and the volunteers’ achievements, and am extremely grateful for the hours of service they have contributed to benefit communities ranging from Barry to Pontypridd and Swansea.”

Commenting on the award, Tarakanatha Das said, “I am very pleased, humbled and honoured to receive this Points of Light award. I accept this on behalf of our dedicated team of volunteers, that includes the cooks, veg choppers, delivery drivers, route organisers, packing team and all of those who helped organise this fantastic effort. This just goes to show, what we can achieve when we all pull together, together we are stronger. As the old adage says “the more you give, the more you grow.”

Food For Life Wales originally started in the mid 1990s, running alongside restaurants like Govinda’s café in Swansea. More recently, it has been based at ISKCON Wales’ headquarters in the capital city of Cardiff, alongside the Atma café, with devotees distributing three to four hundred plates of prasadam a week to refugees and homeless people.

After March 23rd, when the UK went into a strict lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the resident devotees of ISKCON Cardiff found their main sources of income and service – book distribution and the Atma café – put to a complete stop.

Looking for a way to continue connecting with people, they decided that prasadam was the answer. With full COVID-19 precautionary apparel and social distancing, they went door to door, dropping flyers through letterboxes of people’s homes in the immediate vicinity of the temple. Straight away, they began to receive phone calls from isolated people.

Read more:,7428/

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT to add comments!

Join ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT