Feeding children with nutritious mid-day meals in Uttar Pradesh

Jacques Diouf once said – hunger is not an issue of charity, it is an issue of justice.

Feeding the hungry, therefore, cannot be a one-time job or a temporary charity. It needs to be a mission of a lifetime till this social evil is completely erased. Akshaya Patra is an NGO that’s currently serving mid-day meals alongside the government in various schools around the country as an attempt to feed the hungry.

Nutritious meals

Apart from other parts of India, the NGO is serving mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh in two cities – Lucknow and Vrindavan. The NGO has ISO-certified centralised kitchens in Lucknow and Vrindavan that are able to serve a total of 2,11,680 children.

Due to these mid-day meals, the NGO is not only able to feed the hungry in Uttar Pradesh but also bring school children back to studies. The NGO’s mid-day meal menu has been modified as per the local palate of Lucknow and Vrindavan. Akshaya Patra serves roti with locally cooked vegetables in Uttar Pradesh as against its South Indian palate. The centralised kitchens that are serving these meals take utmost care in parameters such as nutrition, hygiene, quantity of food etc. This ensures that the children don’t just get a meal but are able to truly enjoy a healthy diet every school day.

The government schools that are benefitted by the NGO in Uttar Pradesh have testified a rise in school attendance due to the serving of mid-day meals. Akshaya Patra has made it its mission to feed the hungry and bring children back to school by combining the two causes intelligently.

The NGO needs more contributors in order to expand its reach in more cities in Uttar Pradesh. You can sponsor a child today.

Akshaya Patra Kitchen Story

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.

Mid day Meal

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.

Akshaya Patra Kitchen

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.

Akshaya Patra Centralized Kitchen in Hubli for Mid Day Meal Program

A centralized model is one where all the cooking activities of a particular location are concentrated within one large kitchen.

Each centralized kitchen has the capacity to cook between 50 000 to 150 000 meals daily thus achieving economies of scale. Cooking takes place in mechanized, steam heated cauldrons custom built to reduce the cook to consume time.

Mechanization has also helped us meet the highest standards of hygiene by minimizing human handling of food. Freshly cooked food is packed in stainless steel containers and transported to various schools in custom built vehicles (about 10 to 15 schools per vehicle). Security personnel escort each vehicle to ensure safe delivery of meals. There are two types of menus prepared throughout the country: North Indian and South Indian. The North Indian menu consists of three items: roti, sabji and rice  while the South Indian menu also consists of  rice, sambar and curd.

For more information visit: http://www.akshayapatra.org/centralized-kitchens

Akshaya Patra Centralized Kitchen for School Meal Program

A centralized model is one where all the cooking activities of a particular location are concentrated within one large kitchen.

Each centralized kitchen has the capacity to cook between 50 000 to 150 000 meals daily thus achieving economies of scale. Cooking takes place in mechanized, steam heated cauldrons custom built to reduce the cook to consume time.

Mechanization has also helped us meet the highest standards of hygiene by minimizing human handling of food. Freshly cooked food is packed in stainless steel containers and transported to various schools in custom built vehicles (about 10 to 15 schools per vehicle). Security personnel escort each vehicle to ensure safe delivery of meals. There are two types of menus prepared throughout the country: North Indian and South Indian. The North Indian menu consists of three items: roti, sabji and rice  while the South Indian menu also consists of  rice, sambar and curd.

For more information visit: https://www.akshayapatra.org/centralized-kitchens