$500,000 Government Grant Awarded to ISKCON Melbourne for Temple Kitchen Refurbishment
By: Bhakti Devi Dasi ISKCON News on Nov. 6, 2014
Left to Right: Devamrta Swami, Aniruddha dasa, Bhakta dasa, Shannon Eeles, Vasan Srinivasan, the honourable Matthew Guy and Georgie Crozier MLC
On 22nd Oct 2014, a beautifully warm spring day, the Victorian Government awarded a $500,000 grant to ISKCON Melbourne (Australia) for the Temple kitchen’s upgrade. The Temple kitchen has been distributing sanctified food to the poor and needy of Melbourne through the Temple and various other outlets such as Crossways Hare Krishna Food for Life, for over thirty years.
The cheque was presented to temple president Aniruddha dasa by Victorian Government Minister for Planning and Multicultural Affairs the Honourable Matthew Guy, in the temple room before the deities of Sri Sri Radha Ballabha, Gaura Nitai and Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra Mayi and in the auspicious presence of Devamrta Swami.
Also present were Georgie Crozier MLC (Member for Southern Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council and Parliamentary Secretary for Health), Shannon Eeles (the new Liberal candidate for Albert Park) and Vasan Srinivasan (president of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria – FIAV).
The minister stated that the government appreciates Melbourne Temple’s long-standing efforts in aiding the Melbourne community and is looking forward to seeing Food For Life expand its operations to benefit those members of the public as are in need of its services.
After the official presentation, the guests of honour were taken to the newly renovated dining room and treated to a sumptuous sanctified vegetarian meal, which they thoroughly enjoyed.
The Honourable Matthew Guy thoroughly enjoying his meal and the company
This grant is the first large government grant given to ISKCON here in Australia and we believe it sets a precedent for more to come.
Now the challenge of raising the balance of the required funds for renovating the kitchen starts in earnest by calling on sponsorship from our dedicated ISKCON Melbourne devotees, life-members and supporters, as well as anyone who may have benefited from Melbourne’s Food For Life services in the past.
ISKCON Australia’s Communication Director Bhakta dasa genuinely believes that this grant would not have been possible without the devotees’ diligent involvement with local community, interfaith functions, chaplaincy, the wider Hindu Community, and especially building bi-partisan, friendly and personal relationships with government leaders of both political parties.
Bhakta dasa states that this proves the necessity to work with the broader community for the future growth of ISKCON.