The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in India implementing the mid-day meal programme across the country. The Foundation began its service way back in 2000. Since then there has been no looking back. Beginning with feeding 1,500 children in five Government schools of Bangalore city of Karnataka state, the Foundation has strategically increased is beneficiary base while also expanding to different locations. From having kitchen at just one location, Akshaya Patra gradually moved on to having kitchens at 23 more locations. Today Akshaya Patra is operational in 24 locations across 10 states.
Initially Akshaya Patra had only Centralised Kitchen units but gradually the need was felt to feed in the remote areas too. This made way to the adoption of Decentralised Kitchen format. As the name suggests, The Centralised Kitchen format of Akshaya Patra is a mechanised unit that can cook up to one lakh meals per day. Centralised kitchen units are meant to for large scale feeding and thus serve as node kitchen for a group of Government schools in and around the kitchen location. The centralised format of Akshaya Patra kitchen is mostly followed in urban and semi-urban locations. The terrain, accessibility and construction challenges that prevail in remote locations make the decentralised format suitable for such areas. The decentralised kitchens are run by Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under the guidance and supervision of Akshaya Patra’s kitchen process and operations module.
The similarity that runs through each kitchen while preparing meal for millions of children each is the strict and mandatory process of maintaining hygiene, cleanliness and nutrition. How the Akshaya Patra kitchens achieve this day in and day out? The answer is – compulsory adherence to Food Safety Management System in handling, preparing and delivering food to prevent food borne illness. At present 10 of the total kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 Certified and the remaining are on the quest towards achieving the same.
The state-of-the-art kitchen of Akshaya Patra has received prime time slot broadcast – ‘Shiksha Ka Mahabhog’ in the popular series Mega Kitchen of National Geographic Channel. A click at Akshaya Patra Kitchens will provide you a detailed draft about the functioning of the kitchens in feeding over 1.4 million children across India.
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The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India works to eliminate classroom hunger through its mid-day meal programme Akshaya Patra reaches out to over 1.4 million children a day.