Uni Glos Research : Sacred Food for All
3rd March 2022
As an active researcher in the field of contemporary religion as well as lecturer in Hinduism at the University of Gloucestershire I have been privileged to work with a number of contemporary Hindu traditions in The U.K. New Zealand and India. My latest research looks at the role of sanctified food or Prasadam in relation to religious experience and the distribution of this sacred food during Covid lockdown. Most of my research has been with temple communities such as International Society of Krishna Consciousness In Cardiff and at Bhakivedanta Manor, with Members of the Jalaram Bapa community in North West London and with the Swaminarayan Tradition in London. Last week, however, my research began to look at Prasadam distribution in a more nuanced way. I was really lucky to meet up with Para, a Krishna Consciousness monk, no longer affiliated with Bhaktivedanta, but now running an independent operation called ‘Food For All’ that distributes free sanctified food directly to those need across London. Operating from Krishna’s Castle, an underground parking space in the heart of the financial district Para coordinates a wide network of volunteers and donors (from a range of backgrounds from famous musicians and celebrities to merchant bankers) promoting an ethos of DYI social activism that essentially works on the basis that if people are hungry then we should feed them…now! I hope to spend more time with Para and those who work for and benefit from the Food For All project and the work that they did across London during the lockdown periods (and continue to do)…have a look at the video here: FOOD FOR ALL: Cop 26 Converting Commitments to Action – YouTube
Furthermore, Para is taking his operation out to help in the alleviation of the conditions being suffered by those displaced by the Russia Ukraine conflict and plans to travel on Sunday 6th March.