How Akshaya Patra started feeding children in India

“We don’t want to stop. We want to feed as many children as possible.”

Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation

 In a population of 1.38 billion people, 39% of the total population comprises of children below the age of 18 years; this means there are around 472 million children in India.

Out of every 100 children, only around 32 children complete their school education (District Information System for Education),

out of which,

19.8 million children below the age of 6, do not get the required nutrition (ICDS 2015).

Due to multiple challenges that come from being a child belonging to lower-income sections of the society, children are either sent off to seek work during school hours or would be forced to work with parents to fend for their families. Amongst a few handful of children who were sent to school, they performed poorly in schools due to a short attention span or would immediately drop out in the lure of earning money.

Akshaya patra feeding programme

To change this scenario, the Central Government of India started the Mid-Day Meal Scheme to address the issue of hunger and education. Yet, 50% of India’s children remained undernourished. In the year 2001, mid-day meals were mandated in all Government and Government-aided schools of all the states. With the help of non-profit organisations in India, many children were fed meals in schools. By the end of 2004, 50 million children received school lunches, either provided by the Government or NGO’s working in partnership with the Government. One such NGO in India is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. 

What is the story of Akshaya Patra?

To address the dual challenges of education and hunger in India, The Akshaya Patra Foundation was started in the year 2000 with a vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ It began by serving hot and nutritious school meals to 1,500 children studying in five different schools of Bengaluru, Karnataka. By March 2007, the Foundation was serving wholesome meals in 2,000 schools. As of today, mid-day meals are served to 18,00,907 children studying in 19,039 schools of India. It prepares and serves school meals from centralised kitchens situated in 50 locations and decentralised kitchens situated in two locations, spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

Impact of mid-day meals on children

Many studies conducted around the impact of mid-day meals have shown an:

  • Increase in school enrolment rate, both for boys and girls
  • Increase in the attendance rates
  • Decrease in school drop-out rates
  • Improvement in classroom performance
  • Improvement in attention span
  • Improvement in nutritional value & energy

What the students have to say:

Akshaya Patra children

 To read more such stories of beneficiaries of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, click here.

Bring about healthy changes in the lives of children with your donation. When you support Akshaya Patra to provide unlimited food for education to children belonging to challenging backgrounds, you are giving back to society to bring about the above-mentioned changes.

If you have any such stories of children whose lives have changed with mid-day meals, do let us know in the comments section below.

Serve mid-day meals to children with Akshaya Patra

What did you have for lunch?

Such a simple question, yet, a powerful one. It is very normal to hear answers like idli, puri, sambar rice, dosa, etc. But what would your reaction be when you hear nothing but silence in response? Hundreds of second line of questions are bound to arise in your mind – why the silence, why aren’t you responding, didn’t you eat anything, etc. Such is the plight of millions of children in India.

To change this hunger scenario, children have to be fed.

But how?

The Mid-Day Meal Programme was started in India to feed millions and millions of hungry school-going children who hail from challenging backgrounds. One such organisation that supported Government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme is The Akshaya Patra Foundation that provides school lunch to children on a daily basis.

What is the history of Akshaya Patra?

It all started with a vision that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger. In the year 2000, school meals were served to 1,500 children studying in five Government schools in Karnataka’s capital, Bengaluru. By providing wholesome meals, Akshaya Patra gives them the required nourishment and motivation to help them pursue their education for a better future. With support from the Government and donors alike, it feeds 1.8 million children on a daily basis. By working on a Public-Private Partnership model, it aims to feed 5 million children by 2025.

feed school meals to children

What does a school meal contain?

School meals served by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, caters to nutritional requirements of children. A variety of nutritious, locally palatable items are included in the menu to make sure that children enjoy their meals.  This means that children in Karnataka are served Bisi Bele Bath or Sambar and Rice while children in Rajasthan are served with Dal and Poha.

How does Akshaya Patra implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme?

To ensure maximum children benefit with mid-day meals, Akshaya Patra operates two types of kitchens:

  • Centralised Kitchens

These kitchens are located in urban and semi-urban areas that have a capacity to cook 50,000 to 1,50,000 meals every day. These large cooking facilities use automated machines to meet the operational requirement.

  • Decentralised Kitchens

These kitchens are located in areas which have difficult terrains and improper road connectivity. Here, women self-help groups (SHG) take up the cooking process. They are trained and are cook under constant vigilance of Akshaya Patra’s Process and Quality Officers.

No matter which type of kitchen serves school meals to children, hygiene and cleanliness is a top priority. You can donate to children’s school meals and help them achieve their dreams of pursuing their career to become highly responsible citizens of India.

Your donations are a source of food for children for one whole year. They do not have to think of where their next meal will come from.

Be liberal to uphold dreams of little children.

Donate towards their daily school meals.

Make Tax Deductible Donations to Charity

Upholding the quality of your generous self, you may look for opportunities to give back to the society. One of the major reasons which urges people to make donations, is ‘the feel-good factor.’ Additionally, contributing to NGOs can also make you eligible for receiving tax exemptions. However, there a few things you need to ensure before making any contribution:

– Is the NGO registered?

– Is it a trustworthy organisation?

– Is your money being utilised diligently?

– What are the transparency policies of the organisation?

– Whether the organisation is eligible to give tax exemptions to its donors?

Donate for children and save tax

In order to encourage more people to engage in charitable acts, The Government of India has made provisions to help tax-payable citizens save tax on every charitable donation, under section 80G of Income-tax Act, 1961. When you donate to charity, you can claim IT exemption of 100% or 50% of the donation amount. This depends upon the criteria set by the Income Tax Act. Common examples of organisations you can make tax exemption donation towards are: public charitable trusts, non-governmental organisations, relief funds and the like.

What are the limitations under section 80G?

Once you make a donation to support NGOs with a cheque, draft or cash, you are eligible to claim deductions u/s 80G. However, donation made in kind like groceries, vegetables, clothes, medicines, etc., cannot be claimed as tax deductible donation under section 80G. Also, 2018 onwards, donations made in cash, more than ₹2000, are not allowed as deductions.

Donate towards The Akshaya Patra Foundation & save tax

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is registered as a non-profit organisation and is recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme. The Foundation feeds 1.8 million children in 52 locations spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India. Akshaya Patra serves locally palatable meals in 19,039 schools. For example, Sambar and Rice is served in Karnataka, Pappu and Rice is served in Andhra Pradesh, Boondhi Kadhi is served in Chhattisgarh and Dal Dhokali is served in Gujarat.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation feeds 18,00,907 children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools in India. It aims to feed 5 million children by 2025 with the vision, ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ For the last 20 years it has been feeding wholesome meals to children belonging to challenging socio-economic backgrounds. These meals are a great intervention into bringing children back to school every day. These school meals help in holistic development of children. Usage of nutritious vegetables and pulses help children in their physical development and also in focussing better during their school hours.

You can donate towards providing unlimited food for education to children by donating ₹1100 towards The Akshaya Patra Foundation to feed 1 child with a year full of healthy and nutritious meals on every school day.

Donate towards making tomorrow, healthy future for children.

Healthy children make a healthy nation!

Show your support to the future of the Nation!

Akshaya Patra Reaches the 3 Crore Mark in COVID-19 Relief Services

Akshaya Patra has served and distributed a total of 3 crore meals that include distribution of dry grocery kits as well. The relief services that began in the month of March has reached 3 crores to feed needy people belonging to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Assam, National Capital Regions and Uttar Pradesh. Donate Now

#Covid19ReliefWorks #AkshyaPatraCares #3CroreMealsServed

How Akshaya Patra implements the Mid-Day Meal Programme

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that works on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. It is an implementing partner of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme with steadfast support from The Government of India, the State Governments and philanthropic corporate and individual donors. Under this programme, it provides unlimited food for education to children in Government schools and Government-aided schools. This scheme is a remarkable intervention to bring children back to school every day.

help children with mdm scheme

What started off as a vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’ has grown tremendously to be recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme; from feeding 1,500 children to feeding 18,00,907 children every day.

Since its inception, Akshaya Patra has steadily and sustainably expanded in different locations across India. Here is a glimpse of its reach across the nation today.

akshaya patra mdm programme

Today, it operates from 52 kitchens, out of which 50 kitchens are centralised and 2 are decentralised. Both types of kitchens give utmost importance to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Of the total kitchens, 20 kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified and the remaining are in the process of certification.

Know the locations of Akshaya Patra’s State-wise kitchens here.

akshaya patra reach 2020


How the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is implemented by Akshaya Patra

To ensure maximum children are benefitted from the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Akshaya Patra operates two types of kitchens:

Centralised Kitchens

These kitchens are mainly located in urban and semi-urban areas and act as a node to many schools surrounding it. These are large cooking facilities having the capacity to cook 50,000 to 1,50,000 meals daily with the use of automated machines which also ensure less manual intervention to maintain hygiene.

Decentralised Kitchens

These kitchens are located in remote areas where there is less connectivity. The difficult terrains of such locations hinder setting up of a large kitchen facility. In such areas, women Self-Help Groups (SHG) take up the cooking process. They are trained and are under constant vigilance of Akshaya Patra’s Process and Quality Officers to ensure adherence to hygiene and cleanliness while preparing the meals.


Samples of raw materials like rice grains, pulses, spices, vegetables are assessed for quality based on standard food safety and quality guidelines by Quality Managers in Akshaya Patra and are purchased in bulk for preparation of meals.

Fresh vegetables are bought on a daily basis. These are sorted based on best quality which are then washed and sanitised. All the kitchens follow the FIFO (First In First Out) and FEFO (First Expiry First Out) method in order to ensure fresh vegetables and raw materials are used for cooking. This method helps in proper identification, storage and retrieval of raw materials.



The process of cooking begins early in the morning. Vegetables are chopped by the Vegetable cutting machine, root vegetables are peeled using the potato peeler machine, pastes of coconuts and batters for dosa, idly are made using a wet grinder.

If you want to sponsor equipment used at Akshaya Patra’s kitchens, click here.

Cauldrons, steamers, rice chutes, trolleys, knives, cutting boards etc., are all sterilised and cleaned to begin the process of cooking. All the vessels utilised in the kitchen are made up stainless steel of 304 grade. Each rice cauldron has a capacity of cooking 500 litres, each dal cauldron has a capacity of cooking 1,200 to 3,000 litres of dal or sambar. For the roti and puri making process, the dough kneader and roti-making machine helps to maintain consistency and hygiene without any manual intervention.

To ensure uniformity of taste, pre-determined measurements for each recipe are used. A supervisor constantly keeps an eye throughout the process to make sure that health and hygiene are constantly kept on mind.

There are a few checkpoints that are followed in the kitchen:

  • All the staffs are trained on personal hygiene and food safety.
  • Food is cooked only in stainless steel of grade 304.
  • Critical cooking points and temperatures are monitored closely.

The cooked items are then transferred into insulated containers through rice and sambar chutes which are then lined up on conveyor belts to be transported.



Packing & Transportation

The cooked food is then transferred to steam sterilised vessels which are made up of stainless steel 304 grade. The vehicles in which these food containers are loaded into, are sterilised before the loading process. These vehicles have a puffed up body which helps in reduction of loss of temperature. The delivery vans are made up of a honeycomb structure that can hold all the vessels and utensils in place without any spillage till it reaches the children.


Delivery and post delivery process

Many methods like Logistic charting for route optimisation and GPRS tracking are adopted to ensure on-time delivery of mid-day meals.

Feedbacks are taken from all the schools on a daily basis while delivering the meals. The Quality Officers review these feedbacks and work on corrective measures to improve the quality and delivery of food.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is on a constant endeavour to improve its operations and quality of service towards children’s mid-day meal service. Healthy meals give children hope; hope that their dreams can be achieved.

Every child has a right to nutritious food and good education. Donate online and enable them to succeed in their life.


Please check our Recent Blog – Support Akshaya Patra’s COVID-19 Relief Service

Impact of Mid-Day Meal Programme on education

When you were a child, all you wanted to do was eat and play. These activities require a lot of energy. And the main source of energy is food. Not just to eat and play, you need food even to build in energy to read and study as well.

Most of us are very fortunate to be able to eat three square meals a day and even snack in between. However, there are many children who hail from challenging socio-economic backgrounds and are less fortunate. In order to identify and reach out to such children and support their education, the Mid-Day Meal Programme was started in India.

Be a part of akshaya patra

Under Mid-Day Meal Scheme, children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools are provided with school lunches on an everyday basis. There are many organisations that implement this programme; one such organisation is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It is recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme.

What does Akshaya Patra do?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that provides school lunch to children who come from economically unstable backgrounds. It provides wholesome food that caters to both, the local palate and nutritional requirements of school children aged between 6-13 years.

As on today, it feeds 1,800,907 children on a daily basis who study in 19,039 Government schools spread across 52 locations in 12 States and 2 Union Territories.

Apart from implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme, it also runs initiatives like:

  • ‘Anganwadi Feeding Programme’ which serves pregnant women, lactating mothers and children between 3 to 6 years old.
  • ‘Meal plate distribution programme’ is an initiative where stainless steel plates are provided to children.


These initiatives help doubling the vision of Akshaya Patra ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ The NGO aims at feeing 5 million children in India by 2025.

Impact of the Mid-Day Meal Programme

The reason why The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been relentlessly working towards serving unlimited food for education of children is because of the impact and change it has brought about among children.

  • It helps in eliminating classroom hunger. Locally palatable meals served by the Foundation help children enjoy their meals and helps them in keeping a full stomach.
  • A full stomach means no diversion for food. They will be able to concentrate better in their classes.
  • When there is improved attention in school, their grades will improve automatically and it helps in motivating them to chase their dreams.
  • It has helped in decreasing the school drop-out rate. Mid-day meals are a potential intervention to help children come back to school every single day.
  • Due to schools serving free mid-day meals to children, there has been a significant increase in the school enrolment rates.

Many lives have changed with every meal served on a daily basis. You too can change lives and give wings to children’s dreams with your online donation. Come and be a part of The Akshaya Patra Foundation where you give every child a chance to fulfil dreams.


Akshaya Patra supports the needy with COVID-19 relief services

It is lockdown time in India!

How long has it been since you stepped out of your house? There are brighter aspects related to this 21-day lockdown. You are firstly helping the Nation by staying at home in order to contain the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. Secondly, look at how much time you have at hand! Did you know that you could be productive and spend time with your family simultaneously? You are still able to eat, sleep, be safe and spend quality time for yourself and family in one single day.


There are people outside your house who need support in the form of meals.

SEO-Blog-1Covid19 service programme

Who will help the needy people?

This is when The Akshaya Patra Foundation stepped in to help people in need during the Corona crisis. The NGO started its relief work on 25th March 2020 and has served 7,95,614 healthy meals and 5,104 kits of dry ration that includes oil, pulses, rice, spices, etc. that will suffice for 2 meals of a person for a period of 21 days. The Corona relief works are active in the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

The Foundation is working in close association with the State Governments & District Administration, to serve the needy public like old age homes and night shelters, daily wage labourers, migrant labourers, field workers, quarantined people and the poor marginalized population belonging to weaker sections of the society.

Akshaya Patra’s relief activity graph:

Meals served akshaya patra covid19Dry Grocery kits by Akshaya Patra covid19

There are many people who have come out to tackle the Coronavirus crisis. As a responsible citizen of the Nation, you too can extend a helping hand by donating meals and dry grocery kits to the people hailing from challenging socio-economic backgrounds. Every bit of your donation towards Akshaya Patra’s COVID-19 Relief Service will be utilized by the Foundation to serve healthy meals to the people in need during this critical situation.

Currently, The Akshaya Patra Foundation is serving in the following locations:

  • Jaipur
  • Ajmer
  • Bhilwara
  • Bengaluru
  • Ahmedabad
  • Bhavnagar
  • Silvassa
  • Surat
  • Pune
  • Gurugram
  • Noida
  • Delhi
  • Mathura
  • Lucknow
  • Bhilai
  • Puri


You can support your fellow citizens overcome the situation caused by the Corona pandemic. The average cost of a cooked meal is just ₹20 and the cost of a grocery kit that can feed 42 meals to 2 persons for 21 days is ₹750. You can support people in dire need with your minimal contribution. We urge you to come forward and do your bit!

Share this blog with your friends and family, let us all get together and help our Nation out of this epidemic. Every single donation is a meal for the beneficiary.

Coming together in this hour…

Will help tackle the situation successfully!

How Akshaya Patra Foundation Feeds Over 1.8 Million Children Every Day?

1.8 million+ children!

Is it really possible to feed so many children in 1 single day?

Indeed, it is a humongous task but if the entire community works in unison with a children charity or an NGO, it is achievable.

One such NGO is The Akshaya Patra Foundation which is registered as a not-for-profit organisation under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. It implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

Feed 1.8 million children

Akshaya Patra was started in the year 2000 by feeding 1,500 children in Bengaluru, Karnataka. As of today, it feeds 18,02,517 children studying in 16,856 Government and Government-aided schools located in 51 locations across India. It works with a vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ The Foundation aims to feed 5 million children by 2025.

But how does Akshaya Patra aim to accomplish those numbers?

Akshaya Patra provides freshly cooked, nutritious mid-day meals to children in order to help them in their overall development. The Foundation operates from 52 kitchens out of which, 50 kitchens are Centralized kitchens and 2 are Decentralized kitchens.

Centralized kitchen

Centralized kitchens are present in 50 locations of India and have a capacity to feed 25,000 to 1,00,000 meals a day. These kitchens are located in urban and semi-urban areas.

Decentralized Kitchen

A decentralized kitchen is set up in locations that are remote and not easily accessible. Such kitchens do not have a great connectivity which makes it difficult to set up a large infrastructure. It is operated by women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and monitored by Akshaya Patra supervisors.


Mid-day meals have several benefits

It might sound like a small school lunch for many of us, but it makes a huge difference in the lives of children who come from challenging backgrounds where having a square meal once a day is an achievement. This is why parents of such children rely on school mid-day meals. Mid-day meals benefit children in different ways:

Put the below points in smart art form.

  • It improves nutritional levels in children who consume mid-day meals. Mid-day meals are packed with nutritional content.
  • It increases the rate of school enrolment since a school lunch can act as a catalyst in bringing back children to school every day
  • It increases their attention span and helps them focus better in their classrooms
  • It ensures proper cognitive and physical development of children studying in schools
  • It helps in reducing the school drop-out rates

You can help children by sponsoring their school lunches at ₹1100 and help them enjoy locally palatable meals for an entire academic year. You can contribute directly to help school children or by taking part in various volunteering opportunities available with Akshaya Patra.

Show your support to feed 1.8 million children!

Sponsor their meals & save tax too!

How Does Akshaya Patra Work in Uttar Pradesh?

There are many NGOs in India that work for various causes like education of children, healthcare for children and elderly, old age homes, child rights, women empowerment, wildlife conservation, mid-day meals of children and many more. Every state, every region and every town or city has numerous NGOs that work towards various causes.

food for education save tax

One such NGO is The Akshaya Patra Foundation that works towards the cause of ‘Food for Education’ of children. It was started in the year 2000 and fed mid-day meals to 1,500 children. As of today, it feeds 18,02,517 children studying in 16,856 Government and Government-aided schools. It is spread across 51 locations in 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India, namely – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Daman & DNH, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.

As an NGO in Uttar Pradesh, Akshaya Patra feeds a total of 2,24,288 children in 3,341 schools. Meals are prepared fresh in the 4 Centralised kitchens located in Math, Vrindavan, Lucknow and Gorakhpur. Locally palatable meals are served to children in a cyclical order so that there is a variation in the variety of food. No matter what the menu of the month is, it is packed with nutrition and energy.

reach-map latest

The menu items served as part of mid-day meals in Uttar Pradesh are Tahari, Jeera rice, Kheer, Matar soy paneer sabji, Aloo Rajma, Vegetable Pulao and many more. All the ingredients used in the school meals help children focus better in the class and increase their attention span.

Help more children with your donation

Your support is required at every stage to achieve various milestones. Starting from taking care of their health, laying down their career and helping them achieve their goals in life; it all depends upon your donation. The NGO works with various partners, donors and volunteers to expand its reach. Your generosity can change their lives for the better. You can do your bit by:


Your generosity is much appreciated.

Your donations for school meals empowers aspirations!

Donate To Help School Children in India

Education is every child’s right. However, exercising their right to education is dependent on their parents’ financial condition. Some of us are fortunate that we belong to a family who has given us everything that we have desired for as a child and probably till date even. However, there are children whose parents come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds where even feeding the families with one proper square meal becomes a burdensome task. Such people rely on a children charity in India that works for various causes of children – health, education, food, medical care, etc.

blog1 - food for education

One such Non-profit organization that works for the cause of ‘Food for education’ of school children is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It was started in 2000 with the vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ It started off by feeding 1,500 children and feeds 18,02,517 children on a daily basis, as of today.

More about Akshaya Patra…

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the largest implementer of the MDM Programme in India. This means that it feeds 1.8 million children with mid-day meals that are served in 16,856 schools. The meals are prepared in hygienic environments of state-of-the-art kitchens present in 51 locations across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

akshaya patra location in map

Remember the festive season when there are large quantities of food that have to be prepared for the guests to relish? This is the everyday festivity feeling that lingers in the NGOs kitchens. There is a long list of items that have to be prepared on a daily basis. The menu varies from kitchen to kitchen to keep a check on the locally palatable meals that are enjoyed by children. The food that is prepared in Gujarat is different from the food prepared in Telangana. This ensures that the food is tasty, nutritious and enhances cognitive and physical development of school-going children.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is registered as a not-for-profit organisation under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. Which means that when you decide to donate for children’s school meals, along with the satisfactory feeling that you have brought in change to a child’s life, you also are eligible to save for yourself. How? When you sponsor a child’s meal, you are will receive a donor certificate and you gain tax benefits. On every donation you can claim tax deduction under section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

Donate towards Akshaya Patra

Feed the hope of feeding more children every day!