Prasad Homeless Project
Prasad Project Objectives
- Multi-Faith Co-hesion all over the Uk
- Feed the Homeless and Poor in the north west
- Free Vegan meals to the public at events etc
- Hold Vegan Tasters sessions and workshops all over the Uk
- Provide Vegan Cooking classes to schools in Lancashire
The Prasad Project was created by our Satguru Sri Ramana Devi.Sri Ramana teaches oneness ,that every path to God is equal,and should be respected .Our Prasad Project is an opportunity for all faiths to come together in support of our common goal,to love and serve our community,our society,and the world as a whole.The basis of all Religions is love ,the basis of all religions is love ,the basis of our Prasad Project is love
Shiva Trust (Registered Charity No. 1144843) supports Sri Ramana’s premise that we are all one - 'What I do to another I do to myself' and the belief that we are all on a journey to our highest self regardless of our religious, spiritual or secular traditions. To see Sri Ramana in action is a joy, and to us she is a living Saint. We aspire to emulate all of Ramana’s positive qualities that are so easily expressed by her. Without Ramana’s guidance we would be able to do what we do ,but not to the heart felt depths we do today. It's like saying what would Apple have been without Steve Jobs. Sri Ramana is our creative, spiritual, loving director and Ramana inspires all our projects so much.
Above is a picture of a sleep out we had in Manchester .We had befriended Andy,Tilly and Shaun while serving food over several weeks and Sri Ramana asked them to chaperone four Shiva Trust volunteers on a inner city sleep out .It was a great experience for everyone involved ,a lot was learned. Can you tell who is who ?
Our Prasad Project……….. Sri Ramana ,and her family have been feeding the homeless on and off for several years now. They started back in 2007 making sandwiches and filling a bag with a drink, crisps, biscuits etc and handing them out in Manchester. Today Shiva Trust provide people with the chance to experience a good wholesome hot vegan meal. We also provide much needed cloths, toiletries, sleeping bags etc. We engage the whole of Manchester with our project; from pub landlords collecting much needed funds, restaurants donating ready made meals, to little old ladies willing to knit a scarf or two. At the moment we cook the food at our Ashram farm base in Water, Lancashire about 5 miles from Burnley. We cook the food and put it in individual containers and have hot boxes to keep the food warm and give it out of the back of our trusty Landrover Defender who is green in colour and is called Grace .We serve our food between 5pm -7pm every Monday night on Lena Street, Manchester City Centre. We have it all down to a refined loving art.
This year we have been approached by two other charities - one Christian and one Muslim - asking for guidance in working with the homeless in our unique way. What is unique about it? We live life serving others. We earn enough money to manage in our own lives and devote all our time in service to our charity, community, humanity and the animal kingdom.
We wish to do more, expand and add another Prasad Project meal service at night in Burnley, Lancashire. The plan is to purchase an all singing, all dancing vegan catering van, providing hot meals two nights a week for the homeless in Manchester and Burnley. We also want to provide much needed support and sign posting to other organisations that can help in other practical ways and eventually expand on this in other areas in the North West. We would be open to loaning the Prasad catering van out with a supervised driver to any charity or community group wanting to do a vegan/healthy lifestyle event or even a further soup kitchen in another area.
Apart from the homeless project this year we have held two Prasad Cafes. These have been free community meals for all members of the community in Burnley, held at the Chai community centre in the highly multicultural area of Stoneyholme. We provide two starters, two main courses, and two deserts, all vegan, with 70 or so people attending each cafe. We have our third and final cafe on the 5th of October. The Anglican Church's Near Neighbours scheme has funded this initiative. It has been a great opportunity for us to share about vegan food and allow people to experience a cruelty free meal and also to spend some time in a nice relaxed atmosphere. We have encouraged musicians to come along and entertain our guests and it really has brought people together. We have had authentic South Indian food - a byproduct of our work in India where we have been building compost toilets in Andhra Pradesh and supporting the much needed service of Arunachala Animal Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. Other food we have served includes sausage casserole, jelly, chick pea curry, ice cream, lentil soup, and vegan cakes.
We have really gone to town and had lots of help - all these closet vegans have just come out of the woodwork and volunteered. When the café is all over they will merge back into the haze of our carnivorous society. We want to give our comrades a vehicle to express their love for animals, our planet and share our self-respect for our life choices. The café isn’t unique - there are lots of them popping up around the country and it is just a step, but in the right direction. People are clambering for a sense of community and maybe you think we have high expectations, but as long as we love what we do and who we do it with everything will be alright. And we do have some help. Our spiritual loving guide Satguru Sri Ramana is charismatic, loving, has a high level of empathy and is brimming with compassion and understanding. Without Sri Ramana's guidance we would not be able to do what we do the way that we do it. Sri Ramana’s loving presence keeps us in check.Sri Ramana is all about Oneness - we are all one, and what we do to others we do to ourselves. By helping others we are actually helping ourselves. We intend to take our Prasad Café on a road trip in 2014 and do a little tour.
We have a really good wholesale food contact who provides us with short life vegan burgers, sausages, snitzels etc. This year we gave away 5000 vegan food items to homeless projects, food banks, community groups and visitors to a vegetarian Cash and Carry in Manchester. We are not great advocates of frozen food but for many it is the norm and it is what you expect from a catering van. The norm for us will be a pure vegan menu and lots of world food. People do expect burgers from catering vans so they will be included.
We also plan to attend events and give away free vegan meals to the public, hold taster sessions and workshops. We will be able to provide cooking classes to schools, community groups etc. We have 12 dedicated volunteers who will really work this project. We have a farm with 30 acres and with 50 or so rescued farm and domestic animals. It feels like our duty to care for theses animals, the homeless and to support anyone who crosses our path in need of help and we try our best to do that. We have many visitors to the farm and there is lots of opportunity for people to help out with the care of the animals. Our animals are great teachers! We have 11 dogs and several cats too as well as many farm animals.
The cost of the van is around £22,000 including tax. This is for a second hand Luton van that we would convert in Blackburn at Wilkinson’s Mobile Catering Systems. Once they have the van they will get to work at converting it to meet our specifications which will take 6/8 weeks. It will be fitted with Bain marie, 4 hob burner counters, fridge, freezer, pizza and baked potatoe ovens, gas works ,electrics, generator store and more. Once we have the van we will get straight to work in Manchester and Burnley and aim to deliver a minimum of 10,000 meals in 3 years. We will cover the cost of all food, insurance, tax, safety checks, and all other food related paperwork that is needed. After three years we will evaluate the project and probably move to a shop and create a vegan café as a base for our outreach work.
We will provide annual reports to all our sponsors and share some stories with them about our progress. We will have a list of events that we will be attending, like Glastonbury, and Vegfest - Europe's biggest vegan event, held in Brighton ,London and Bristol. So at some point we are bound to be near you and you will be able to see where your pledge money has gone.
It is our Dharma or duty to help other less fortunate than ourselves.
We feel the need to expand our work and are in need of supporters. We are looking for like minded people and businesses who would like to support our work. Each time you sit down for your dinner you will be able to acknowledge your pledge to our project and know that someone you have never met before will also eating a nice hot cooked meal regardless of their age, sex and culture. Whether the people who come to us are homeless, or whether they have just got that big bill that has tipped them over the edge, or whether it's someone who is lonely and just wants a bit of company; everyone is welcome to Prasad Project.
And the best bit of all is that it’s a free service for everyone.