A year after opening Café Atma continues to aid the local community, but this time with its Food for Life Wales initiative. Situated on Church street, this independent establishment has become a place to eat for Cardiff’s high street shoppers.
This time they have a simple, but powerful purpose: to feed the people of Cardiff. In order to do this, every Monday and Wednesday Cafe Atma’s small team, armed with a few volunteers, set up shop in Queen Street. The striking white gazebo dishes out just over 100 plates of hot food at every session.
There is no requirement for a free meal; Café Atma are happy to feed everyone. This includes the homeless, students and anyone in need of a wholesome meal. The scheme is largely self-funded but is also reliant on donations from members of the public so that they can continue their good natured line of work.
The Hare Krishna Monks who own Café Atma believe in blessing and spiritualising the food that they prepare in order to create a more ethereal taste.
Radhikesa Dasa, 35, is the chef behind the hearty food. He stated that, “Hare Krishna adopts the mantra ‘you are what you eat’, but on a deeper level of consciousness.” He stressed the importance of a positive meditative state when cooking, so that the meal is nutritious at every level.
The vegetarian dishes which are served at the stall are freshly prepared in Atma’s kitchens. The food is batch cooked and kept warm at the market stall. Food donations of fresh vegetables are also welcomed by the team with the exception of garlic and onions (as these flavours agitate the mind). Tom Vine, a 22-year-old volunteer said that, “we’ve only been doing it for a few months but we’ve had a great response so far.”