Why Children Need a Wholesome Meal

What makes the world’s largest NGO-run mid-day meal programme significant? It’s because it feeds the children with wholesome meal. This kind of meal aids in growth of their body and mind. During their childhood, children are more prone to develop at least one of the micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamin A, iodine, iron, zinc or folate. They must be given a wholesome meal in sufficient quantity to ensure their body develops with their age.

Food for children

The mid-day meal programme run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO that has kitchens across India. One of them is in Surat. From their state-of-the-art kitchen in Surat, the meal is supplied to various schools in and around Surat.

The NGO is feeding the children in Surat as part of its nation-wide programme that’s run in collaboration with the Government. This programme lays emphasis on the wholesomeness of the meals because these meals directly impact children’s growth. The NGO, that began operations in the year 2000, works in active collaboration with the government and government-run schools in order to feed the children.

In Surat, the school children are especially excited as they are getting their favourite meals every day served by the NGO’s volunteers. As part of the Hunger Action Month, the NGO is trying to take mid-day meals to more schools in Surat and other parts of Gujarat.

The contributors or donors to the NGO get the benefit of 80G deduction in income tax. That way more donors are encouraged to contribute and help in feeding the children. However, it’s not just the 80G deduction that encourages people. Many people in the city take out time to volunteer in the kitchen. They help the staff in cooking the meals and serving it to the children.

The kitchen of this NGO in Surat especially uses pulses such as Toor dal, fortified soy dal, green gram whole, Urad dal, peas, Moong dal, cow pea, green gram sprouts, soy products like- chunks, flakes, Gram dal, Bengal gram whole, channa dal etc. while preparing the meals. Since the menu is already in place, the meals are always healthy and wholesome and benefit the children.

Feeding the children with wholesome meals is significant today if we want our children to experience a healthy growth. You can join us this month as we observe Hunger Action Month and attempt to eliminate hunger among children in India.

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Do Donations Make an Impact for Our 1.6 Million Children?

When reaching out to 1.6 million children, every donation and contribution is crucial – for the organisation to function sustainably and for children to benefit from Food for Education initiative. Know why your donation matters.

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Post-Independence era made us debate issues that were burdening the country at every level. Among several issues that cripple the growth a nation, one of them continues to be illiteracy and lack of food security. To tackle these issues, the Government of India proposed free education in government schools and ration for BPL families. One of the key solutions is Mid-Day Meal Scheme for school children to end classroom hunger and encourage education.

Mid-Day Meal Programme by Akshaya Patra is run with support from fundraisers, Central Government and State Governments. This programme which currently reaches out to over 1.6 million children across 11 states benefits the nation by:

Improving the nutritional status of children in class I-V in Government, Local Body and Government aided schools, and EGS and AIE centers.

Encouraging children, belonging to disadvantaged sections, to attend school more regularly and help them concentrate on classroom activities.

Providing nutritional support to children of primary stage in drought affected areas during summer vacation.

And most importantly, this initiative aims to transform children’s lives.

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To operate the programme on every school day, every contribution becomes a key component. For example, Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Andhra Pradesh and Telangala reach out to more than 1 lakh children; with four centralised kitchens in total, the programme is able to make a great difference in the lives of young ones. And in places where setting up a centralised kitchen is not feasible, Akshaya Patra has made created a network of decentralised kitchens; Mid-Day Meal Programme in Nayagarh, Odisha is run with the help of decentralised kitchens and over 300 schools are benefitted by the programme.

Your decision to sponsor a child’s meals for a year will have an incredible and a long-term impact on the child’s life. Make an impact today. To know our children’s stories, you can visit our website.

10 Healthy Eating Habits for Children by Akshaya Patra

National Nutrition Week has ended on the 2nd week of September. Before we can wrap up our series on Nutrition, we would like to talk about ten healthy eating habits that must be inculcated among children.

Dictionaries define nutrition as “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.” Unfortunately obtaining food for health and nutrition worldwide has proved to be tougher challenge than it was perceived. Providing healthy food for children is a concern that transcends geographical boundaries. Fresh and healthy food is a basic right of every child, and there is a need to make sure that they get it every day.

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  1. Balanced diet

Children need to be taught early that nothing is tastier than a complete nutritious meal. One of the objectives of mid-day meal at Akshaya Patra is to provide a balanced diet to the children as a healthy eating habit.

  1. Praying before eating

We count it as a healthy eating habit. Akshaya Patra wishes to educate children apart from feeding them. One of our practices is to ensure that the children say their prayers before starting to eat food. This helps them realise the value of food and that they should be thankful to the Almighty for providing them with food.

  1. Eating together

Families must eat together at home and friends must have lunch together at school. There’s nothing more joyous than enjoying a great meal together, discussing about taste and favourite foods. At Akshaya Patra, eating together fulfills our objective of supplying mid-day meal in a healthy environment.

  1. Eating slowly

It’s vital to have the habit of eating slowly as it helps in controlling weight. This ensures that they chew their food properly leading to better digestion. Eating fast causes obesity. Studies have shown that nearly 60 percent of overweight children aged 5 to 17 had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease and 25 percent had two or more. Also, obese kids have an 80 percent chance of staying obese their entire lives.

  1. Attractive foods

Another healthy eating habit is to include colourful foods, vegetables and fruits in children’s meals. This encourages children to enjoy food and look forward to meals.  At Akshaya Patra, we prepare a variety of food for children to ensure that they really enjoy the experience of having mid-day meal at school.

  1. Water instead of concentrated drinks

In modern day meals, we have got into the habit of consuming concentrated juices or cold drinks or soda instead of water. While fresh juices do have some merit, most preserved juices have more calories than we know.  But water should be the choice during meals for children since it boosts immune system and digestion.

  1. Learning when to stop

Another healthy food habit is knowing when your stomach is full. Toddlers and younger kids find it hard to understand the signals that their stomach sends to their brain. Children should be taught signs of fullness clearly from the time they learn to eat their own food.

  1. Healthier snacks

Today, there are several varieties of snacks available for children, many of which are not healthy. Snacks such as fried foods, packaged foods, noodles, potato chips etc are readily available but are far from healthy. As a healthy eating habit, children must be taught to consume fruits, juices, nuts etc. as alternative snacks.

  1. Less sugar and salt

At Akshaya Patra, the amount of sugar and sweets is an important parameter of a nutritious diet. While we always send extra salts with our transport vans, we teach the children to avoid using too much salt and sugar in their meals. Salt and sugar are the leading causes of heart-related diseases as adults and must be cut down right from the childhood.

  1. Discouraging eating meals before TV

Eating dinner or lunch before television is a common practice among modern families. However, this kills the joy of eating and distracts children from truly savouring their meals. Children often complain of hunger afterwards if they have consumed their meals while watching TV.

There are millions of children still who don’t get healthy food. They need to be reached and fed. We encourage you to donate to NGO towards unlimited food for education so that we are able to take our mid-day meals to more and more children.

Akshaya Patra Serving Health and Well-Being in Schools

The major drawback in India is that children from low-income families are not entitled to proper education for lack of food. The children tend to remain hungry as their parents cannot afford them a meal. For them, a square meal is more important than acquiring education. So they accompany parents to work places. As a result, attendance has dropped down and drop-outs have increased.  It is estimated that more than 50% of Indian children drop out of the schools at primary level.  Unfortunately, India shares 34% percent of the world’s illiterate population.

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Without education a child can never progress. Understanding the link between education and nutrition, Akshaya Patra serves unlimited food for education keeping their growth requirements in mind. The meals are delivered with proper nutrition; quality, prescribed calories and safety. Adequate supply of micro nutrients as iron, folic acid, zinc, fibre, essential fatty acids, calcium, carbohydrates, protein vitamin A are supplemented through the mid-day meals. During lunch servings; roti, rice, rice khichadi, curd rice, vegetable pulao, mixed vegetable curry, sambar, dhal, rasam etc. are served. The sambar and curries contain lots of vegetables which have essential nutrients that are required for the adequate growth of children. The rice and wheat served meets adequate standards as prescribed by The Government of India.  Every meal served is warm, fresh, nutritious and ready to eat. So hunger, which is an obstacle to children’s health, education and survival are tackled by the nutritious mid-day meals.

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The mid-day meal solves two of the critical United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The first is to End Poverty and Hunger and second is to achieve Universal Education. Food for education solves the obstacle of hunger that is a hindrance for education and health.

Hunger hinders a child’s learning process. Let no child miss the opportunity to attend school for the lack of food.  Let us donate for the NGO so that it can reach out to more children.  Let us work together to serve children and end class room hunger. It takes just Rs. 750 to feed a child for a year! Every donation of Rs. 500 or above made to Akshaya Patra is eligible for 100% tax exemption under section 35 AC or 50% tax exemption under Section 80 G of the Indian Income Tax.

Feed the Children to Promote Healthy Living

Think of healthy food

Have you ever considered why children should eat healthy food? The answer is simple: childhood is one of the most important stages in life and following a proper, nutritious diet is crucial for remaining healthy later in life.

A healthy diet, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is one which is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains like unprocessed wheat, rice. The experts also recommend eating at least 400 grams or 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day.  A healthy diet can help improve cognitive development in children and can also protect them against malnutrition, obesity, diabetes, stroke, cancer and heart disease.

In India, millions of children lack access to a single healthy meal a day. There are NGOs all over the country that works tirelessly to combat this. One of them is The Akshaya Patra Foundation, children NGO that has been providing unlimited food for school children in India since 2000.

Gujarat Children NGO

The NGO for Children has brought rays of hope to over a million underserved youngsters in India.  Starting the journey by feeding 1,500 children in Bengaluru, Akshaya Patra at present delivers nutritious and tasty meals to over 1.4 million children from 10,845 schools in 24 locations across 10 states in India. The meals prepared by the foundation contain the vital nutrients required for growth.

To feed the children, the organisation depends on support from the Government of India, corporates and donors.  People from across the world come forward to feed the children. The organisation accepts donation both in the form of money and kind. An interesting fact about Akshaya Patra is that it takes just ₹750 to sponsor a child for a whole year.  An additional incentive to sponsor a child is the opportunity to save on tax. Well-wishers who contribute ₹500 or above are eligible for 100%tax exemption under section 35 AC!

Although Akshaya Patra has made great progress in the past 15 years, the Foundation’s mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020. So Sponsor a child and enjoy the joy of giving!

The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s 15 years of service

15 anniversary

With the vision ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’, The Akshaya Patra Foundation set forth its journey in June 2000. It began implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme by feeding just 1,500 children in five government schools of Bengaluru city. Over the service of 15 years the beneficiary of the NGO has increased to nearly 15 lakhs and it is operational in 24 locations across 10 states of India. As The Akshaya Patra Foundation gets ready for celebrating 15 years of service towards children, it acknowledges the support and aid it has received from generous and sympathetic supporters like you.  It also acknowledges that without the philanthropic support that the Foundation has received over the years such a leap in beneficiary base and operational expansion would not have been possible. We express our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for having journeyed with us for over a decade.

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In order to further the potential and reach of the Mid-Day Meal Programme, Akshaya Patra brings together dedication, technological innovation, standard operational processes and good governance into practice. The amalgamation of all these elements allows the Foundation to serve clean, hygienic, freshly cooked nutritious meal to lakhs of children every day across all locations. To get a quick review of the past 15 years and the distance we have covered in reaching our mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020, join us in celebrating 15 years of service through which lakhs of underserved children received the goodness of food and much needed education.

Akshaya Patra Feeds to End Child Hunger

The Akshaya Patra Foundation which was established in the year 2000 has had an amazing, enriching journey over the past 15 years. Started with just feeding 1,500 children across 5 schools in Bengaluru, Akshaya Patra today feeds over 1.4 million children across 24 locations and 10 states of India. The organisation was conceptualized with the idea that children should not have to choose between education and nutrition. The Foundation’s vision is that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’ and the mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020. Through its Mid-Day Meal Programme, the organisation works to end classroom hunger in India, and feed and educate underserved children.

Feed the hungry children

In many cases, children do not have the opportunity to attend school since they are forced to help their parents earn enough money for a single meal every day. With the mid-day meals provided by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, children have an incentive to attend school and get educated at the same time. Parents too are more eager to allow their children to attend school as Akshaya Patra assures their child with a daily, nutritious meal and eases the burden on parents to provide for their young ones.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation with the support of all its well-wishers aims to eliminate classroom hunger in India, and give children the opportunity to achieve their goals. For any organization, people support is important. To support this Foundation, make an online donation and help us to feed more children.

What drives people to connect and contribute to a NGO?

What is the NGO all about? What does it do? Is it making a difference? How is it using funds in what it does? Why is it doing, what it does? Can it be trusted? These are a few of the palpable questions in one’s mind before making decision to act upon supporting a NGO.

Food for Education

As Akshaya Patra, as a world renowned NGO, what is the impact we are generating to make people act and help it make a change? What is our identity? It says we run the world largest NGO-run mid-day meal programme. The answer itself gives birth to many more questions which need to be answered. Are we building a personal connect with the people? When we say we are feeding millions of children in an effort to eliminate classroom hunger. When we say we nourish minds and nurture dreams. When we say we provide unlimited food for education. Are those enough to paint a real picture?

Questions need to be answered at the right time with the right information so the organisation stands out amongst other. Many people support because they connect with the work Akshaya Patra does. Helping children every day with nutritious food, yes! It builds that connection with many people. But there are others who look in for more before they decide to lend a hand. Some try to find out what’s in for them. One may say,

Yes! I am making a difference in children’s lives for the better is good enough for me.”

Or the fact that one get 100% tax exemption when one makes a donation above rs.500 make a positive impact to react. Or issues The Akshaya Patra Foundation is constantly trying to mitigate make one extend a helping hand. Some people asked about how the funds are spent, and Akshaya Patra has proper and unadulterated answers which make people get a clear picture. That does make a good impression. Akshaya Patra is the only NGO to be inducted in the ICAI Hall of Fame for winning the Gold Shield Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting five years in a row. That shows the commitment the organisation has on being transparent.

Donate for Charity

Akshaya Patra as an NGO in India needs to answer any and every questions related to its work and cause because that is what will drive people to connect and contribute to the organisation.


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Schools are going to reopen – Support Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra: Unlimited food for children education. Rs 675 donation can feed a child for an entire year! 

Your Rs 675 donation will have impact on children’s lives:

1) Concentration on education

2) Participation in competitions

3) Not affected by diseases… (Cause: Providing Nutritional meal)

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N- Number of beneficiaries from one of the largest NGO in India The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

Mid Day Meal

Mid Day Meal

Read more…

Schools are going to reopen – Support Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra: Unlimited food for children education. Rs 675 donation can feed a child for an entire year! 

Your Rs 675 donation will have impact on children’s lives:

1) Concentration on education

2) Participation in competitions

3) Not affected by diseases… (Cause: Providing Nutritional meal)

4

.

.

.

N- Number of beneficiaries from one of the largest NGO in India The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

Mid Day Meal

Mid Day Meal

Read more…