Feeding initiatives implemented by Akshaya Patra in India

Food first, everything else comes later! We all will agree to this.

THE AKSHAYA PATRA FOUNDATION Spreading hope through food!

Food is the basic necessity of any living thing, and so is true for humans too! We all have experienced hunger at some point or the other. We have also experienced the repercussions of staying hungry – low energy, tiredness, inability to concentrate or focus, unproductive, and health issues such as headache, gastric, acidity and so on. And these are the conditions we may undergo for missing out may be a meal or two. Then, imagine those who go hungry every single day! Yes, hunger is a much bigger problem than we can comprehend.

Hunger facts from around the world

The cause of hunger varies ranging from socio-economic backgrounds to natural or man-made disasters. To tackle this situation, world organisations, governments of countries, and non-governmental organisations have intervened at various levels. Yet, hunger remains a persistent problem. Amidst all the strides made around the world, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in India is also making efforts to combat hunger among children and disaster-hit survivors.

Akshaya Patra implements the Mid-Day Meal Programme in partnership with the Government of India. Established in 2000, it is one of the oldest mid-day meal NGOs in the country. Through this programme, Akshaya Patra provides free school lunch to children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools. Presently, the NGO feeds 1,765,436 children in 16,785 schools situated in 49 locations of 12 States and 1 Union Territory namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Silvassa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

Aside from the Mid-Day Meal Programme, this charitable trust in India also provides nutritious food in Anganwadi centres and has been a part of several disaster relief operations within and beyond the Indian boundaries.

akshaya patra feeding programme

 

Together, we can battle the hunger crisis and defeat it too. Support non-governmental organisations in India like Akshaya Patra because these organisations not only fill hungry stomachs but also nurture children right from the beginning. They also extend a helping hand to disaster-affected people during the hour of crisis. When you support to feed the children or contribute towards disaster relief feeding, you truly uphold the spirit of humanity.

Everyone has equal right to food.

So, take a step to support those who lack the means to access it.

 

Akshaya Patra’s work in Assam and Andhra Pradesh

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation in India has been supporting education by providing nutritious and tasty school lunch to children of Government schools and Government-aided schools since its establishment in 2000.

 

table1- pan india reach

 

  • Akshaya Patra is one of the oldest implementors of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
  • Initially, it provided food to children of just five schools in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • Today, it is operational across India.
  • Akshaya Patra has received ICAI Gold Shield Award for excellence in financial reporting for consecutively seven years and has been inducted to ICAI’s Hall of Fame. It is the only NGO in the 70 years history of ICAI to have won this distinction.

 

Akshaya Patra operates centralised kitchens in 43 locations and decentralised kitchens in two locations. It has a well-managed logistics with dedicated fleet of customised meal delivery vehicles for each location. In order to ensure children consume their meals readily and happily, this non-profit organisation has designed location-specific menus by keeping intact the recommended nutritional levels. The menu is also cyclical in nature so that each day children receive different items as part of their school meal.

Below is a quick overview of Akshaya Patra’s service in Assam and Andhra Pradesh.

tapf kitchens assam and andhara pradesh

What do beneficiaries say?

The mid-day meals act as an incentive for parents to send their children to school and it adds hope in lakhs of children that their ambitions and dreams are achievable. As an NGO in Assam, this is how Akshaya Patra upkeeps the right to nutrition and education:

  • “Mid-day meals are very important. The mid-day meal served in the school is a relief for the family. At home, it’s mostly rice, dalor pitha (a type of local bread made of rice flour). Vegetables or lentils are not on the family’s menu every day. I enjoy my school lunch especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays when we get kheer, khichdi, and vegetable pulao – a delicacy which is rarely cooked at home.” Mrinmay Malakar.
  • Parvati hails from a challenging background and has the complete support of her mother with regards to her education. She aspires to be a Police Officer. Parvati’s mother opines that education will help her daughter succeed in life and also aid in leading a better life than the current one. The fact that Parvati gets mid-day meal at school comes by as a great relief for the mother.

As an NGO in Andhra Pradesh, this is how Akshaya Patra nurtures dreams:

  • Narsimha Raju says, “If I concentrate on one particular sport, I will excel in that sport only. But, if I concentrate on different sports and education, it will help me become a teacher and produce good sportsmen for our school and the country.”
  • Lalita says, “Due to corruption, people who are in need of the several government schemes are not able to avail the benefits. I want to become a District Collector and make my state corruption-free and ensure that people get the benefits of various schemes.”

Akshaya Patra kitchen in Assam and Andhra Pradesh

You can do wonders with just Rs. 1,100!

Yes, with just Rs. 1,100, you can transform the lives of lakhs of children across India. Your generous contribution to Akshaya Patra, one of the pioneer mid-day meal non-profit organisation in India will nourish, nurture and empower children into resourceful and responsible citizens. Support Akshaya Patra. Support Indian children.

Why children are hungry?

The concept of happiness changes with each person. For a young child, happiness is the time he or she gets to play, learn and enjoy with friends. However, today, millions of children across the world miss out the opportunity to happiness. How children enjoy childhood when issues like hunger, poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition follow them since birth?

malnutrition-new

Of course, we do have enough food to feed the entire world.  But still 795 million people (one in nine people) in the world are hungry and nearly 400 million children live in extreme poverty. But have you ever tried to find out the reasons behind this occurrence? Here are some reasons as pointed out by the World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian agency in the world fighting hunger.

Once fallen into the trap of poverty, according to the agency, it is tough to come out of it. The aftereffect is that people become weak and less capable of earning enough income to support their family.

Think how worse the situation will be when it is added with an unstable market. The fluctuating prices and high costs of food items, no doubt, can make lives of poor miserable and force them to either sacrifice food or to get satisfied with a cheaper and less-nutritious option, which is the start of malnutrition.

Like the unstable market, natural calamities also play a huge role in hunger. Floods, storms and drought can cause crop failures, losses of livestock and massive destruction of crops. Climate change and deforestation also pose threat to farmlands. Apart from these natural reasons, hunger and malnutrition can be sometimes a man-made phenomenon like war and riots.

Similarly, lack of important agricultural infrastructure, has an indirect connection with hunger and poverty. Lack of proper roads can increase the transportation cost, absence of enough warehouses can make it difficult to store the food and lack of proper irrigation facilities can lead to shortage in water supplies.  All these together, can affect distribution and cost of food items.

Though these issues can be solved, it is a shame to reveal that we waste about one third of 1.3 billion tons of food produced in the world.

The most concerning part comes when hunger strikes children. Childhood is one of the most important stages of growth in life and ousting hunger at this period is very crucial for remaining healthy later in life.

The good news is that there is a chance for hope. The World Food Programme (WFP) and millions of other non-profit organisations across the world have already started their fight against hunger. Interestingly, the World Food Programme has already provided food security to 80 million people in 75 countries and the day when we free the 400 million children from hunger and say proudly that ‘child hunger ends here’ is not far from reality.


 

Akshaya Patra is not-for-profit organization working for the development of underprivileged children to eliminate hunger and illiteracy. The NGO in India is serving mid-day meal to 1.4 million children across 10 states of India.