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I went to the Bhaktivedanta Manor this afternoon. It was a hot summer’s day for England, but a team of dedicated volunteers were underneath a marquee surrounded by chopping tables and hot gas stoves, preparing food for the 30,000 pilgrims that will be arriving on Thursday for Lord Krishna’s birthday. Just last month our teams prepared hot meals for 17,000 in Trafalgar Square. In Glastonbury the Hare Krishna tent fed 15,000 hungry mouths over the festival, and the same team prepare 900 meals daily for the homeless and hungry students.

Besides singing and dancing in public places, or distributing books, giving out blessed food or prasadam is the activity for which ISKCON is known. Today, 50 years after it started, that essential activity of cooking in large quantities has been raised to a fine art. It takes some feat of organisation to prepare food for thousands of people but it seems to be one thing that ISKCON does well.

Here’s how the National Geographic Channel picked up on one such ‘mega-kitchen’ this week: