Food plays a vital role in Hare Krishna, a religious movement founded in the United States by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1966.
“All the food that is prepared is going to be offered to the deity Krishna,” Leese says. “Just as you would cook very special food for a loved one, this food is prepared with love and devotion. That’s what’s behind the whole philosophy of why we do food distribution: by eating this food, unknowingly their heart changes.”
Hare Krishnas never taste food before it’s offered to Krishna, he says. He will literally make up a plate of food and set it out for the deity before he carts the feast down to Walker Avenue.
“It’s not like we’re trying to convert people to be Hare Krishnas,” Leese adds. “We would like people to become more spiritually minded. Becoming a vegetarian would be a good first step.”