The impact of mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India. And, it is reported that over the next 10 years, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will together account for 31% of youngest Indian population between five and 14 years. This indicates that education and health will play deciding factors for them to turn into assets for the country. As per the Census 2011, the literacy rate of Uttar Pradesh is just 67.7%. Among the many factors that affect school enrolment and literacy rate is the provision of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The Supreme Court mandated Mid-Day Meal Scheme was introduced in the state in September 2004. And, currently this scheme covers over 123.57-lakh students in 1,14,125 primary schools and 54.94-lakh students in 54,394 upper primary schools in the state. Over the years, the state has observed tangible impact of the scheme in school enrolment, attendance, and health of the students. And, this impact was furthered by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, and NGO in Lucknow.

mid-day meal

In Uttar Pradesh, Akshaya Patra provides mid-day meal in two locations – Vrindavan and Lucknow. The NGO began its journey of providing mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh by establishing the Vrindavan kitchen in August 2004. Currently, 1,20,262 children in 2,010 schools get benefitted from this kitchen. The kitchen at Lucknow was established in March 2015 and presently provides mid-day meal to 91,418 children in 1,011 schools. Keeping hygiene and cleanliness as our topmost priorities while preparing mid-day meals for children, both the kitchens in Uttar Pradesh are ISO 22000:2005 certified. The mid-day meals served in Uttar Pradesh follow a local palate inclusive of roti with subzi, so that maximum children readily and joyfully eat their school lunch.

As part of self-assessment of the Mid-Day Meal Programme, Akshaya Patra time and again conducts third party assessments. One such assessment was conducted by Sigma Research and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. in 2014. The report studied eight location of Akshaya Patra based on the variables pertaining to four main objectives: elimination of classroom hunger, social equity, nutrition and health, and enrolment, retention and attendance. The assessment showed a positive trend on all the variables and the overall score of Uttar Pradesh was 9.43 on a scale of 10. This reveals that while there is significant impact of the mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh, there is also scope for creating more impact.

Currently, Akshaya Patra is providing nutritious school lunch to 2,11,680 children in 3,021 schools in Uttar Pradesh. This means each day millions of children are able to attend school and take steps towards their aspirations. You too can act as a catalyst by choosing to sponsor a child. Come forward and join the ‘unlimited food for education’ motto of this NGO in Lucknow.


Akshaya Patra’s role in children’s development

The vision statement of Akshaya Patra states: ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ In June 2000, the Akshaya Patra Foundation was founded with the objective of ensuring that no child missed schooling for want of food.

Akshayapatra Role

Over the last 17 years, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been playing a pivotal role in the emotional, social and physical development of young school-going children. In fact, these have a direct effect on their overall development while growing up into an adult. That is why it’s important to understand the need to invest in young children.

Young children are like sponges when learning. Hence, these formative years are very important. A major role is played in ensuring children get the best by many a charity for children that facilitate learning.

While the Foundation ensures adequate nutritious food, it also does some other work too that ensure the holistic development of children:

  1. It holds after-class tuitions for children to ensure even those children who may not have anyone to guide them at home too are on a par with other children.
  2. It also holds community health camps. This ensures that children, their families and the whole community get access to the best in healthcare.
  3. It conducts health check-up camps which helps provide treatments on time to the needy, especially children.
  4. The Foundation organises life-skills programmes that makes the deprived children fit enough to have a fair shot at success and can compete in this highly-competitive world, and
  5. The Foundation also has scholarship programmes for children from families that are economically challenged which allows them to afford the best of books and study materials.

Molding children

Referring to a few studies, former US President Obama had said in an address in 2013 that early childhood education had a great impact on life’s outcomes. This is a universal truth and hence even the deprived children should get adequate quality education. One can donate for education in India to ensure these children are able to go to school and are able to study like normal children.

The approach to building a strong foundation for a child’s emotional, social, physical and mental development, which will prepare them for a lifetime can be used during the schooling. Socializing with people other than one’s family in a safe environment is an essential foundational element and a school provides the right environment. This is facilitated by the mid-day meals provided by Akshaya Patra which makes children stay on in school and gain most out of the opportunity.

One can sponsor a child and ensure they are able to play a part in the whole process of a child’s development. One can do their mite by donating to education of children from deprived sections of the society. One can contribute to ensure that at a least child can get good education without having to worry about hunger while concentrating on the studies.

How Does Akshaya Patra Manage Food Production Process

Cooking for a large number of people is challenging as it requires that the chef ensures all elements are in place. In the kitchens of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, it’s an everyday operation that runs like clockwork.

Stop Hunger

The Foundation, an NGO in Bangalore, which runs the school lunch programme for children across 12 states in the country, now serves hot lunches to over 1.6 million school children every day. It supplies freshly-cooked food from 34 kitchens and is scaling up with every passing day. The food prepared here is distributed in 13,800+ schools.

Akshaya Patra’s established systems and process have been dealing with an emergent situation with ease.

Quality Assurance during procurement

The Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS) process covers subprocesses like supplier selection, supplier qualification, supplier rating, etc., to ensure the right and best raw materials are procured. One can sponsor a child to ensure a needy child is part of the system.

Storage and Handling 

Fresh vegetables are procured on a daily basis. Cold storage is used to store ready-to-cook cut vegetables to retain freshness. Rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India.

Quality and Safety during cooking 

All kitchens of Akshaya Patra follow a standard process. This process is charted out to ensure hygiene and quality. Personal hygiene and Food Safety training are provided regularly to the kitchen staff to ensure hygiene standards are met.

Food Packing and Transportation 

The distribution staff picks the food from kitchens and delivers it at various schools around the kitchen. They travel by delivery vans fitted with a honeycomb structure to prevent food from spilling. The vehicles are also insulated to maintain the temperature of the cooked meals. The vans are also equipped with GPS, which makes it easy to monitor the van and ensure the food reaches the school on time.

The large centralized kitchens, on an average, have the capacity to cook up to 2,00,000 meals. For running such large scale operation, one can donate to charity to be part of the operations.

How NGO’s in Uttar Pradesh is Ensuring Children’s Development?

Educating children and ensuring they remain healthy in the region has been an important goal for NGOs working across the world. Many NGOs in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar are working on the similar lines. This helps in increasing the awareness level of children. Many NGO’s in Lucknow are working towards ensuring that the children get quality food and education.

Education for children

Therefore, NGOs like The Akshaya Patra Foundation are reaching out to children in schools of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh among other states. The foundation is serving wholesome meals to school children. The NGO has a state-of-the-art kitchen in Lucknow from where mid-day meals are supplied to various Government and Government-aided schools in Uttar Pradesh.

This has a deeper implication. When children are motivated to attend schools, they develop dreams and aspirations of a career. Education opens up various subjects and avenues. As a result, children learn about their own inclination towards certain subjects. This in turn helps them to take steps towards a fruitful career in the subject they like.

When the NGO in Uttar Pradesh reaches out to school children, it becomes a part of the children’s growth. Children attending schools regularly discover the charms of science, language, politics, geography or humanities. This encourages them to explore their interests. The foundation laid during the younger days forms is important as that helps the children pick their career choices. The Stories of Hope demonstrate how children relish the opportunities of a great career.

NGOs like Akshaya Patra are taking these aspirations to far-off schools in and around Lucknow. These are areas where access to information is often limited. And so when children are exposed to regular dose of education and knowledge, they heartily appreciate it. The NGO thus calls for donors to sponsor a child and pave a career path for him/her. When donors choose to sponsor a child, they become part of his/her growth and become instrumental in his career development. You can contribute and help these children realise their life’s goals. Sponsor a child today.

Sponsor a Child and Develop Hunger Free India

As we celebrate 70 years of independence, let us pledge to sponsor a child and give him the education he deserves.  Millions of children in India suffer from hunger as a result of which their growth is stunted.

Hunger free India

We cannot truly call our country free unless we free our children from the shackles of hunger. Hunger in India is directly related to lack of education and growth among children. Akshaya Patra, an NGO that serves wholesome lunch to school children, is trying to free children from both hunger and illiteracy. When you choose to sponsor a child beneficiary of Akshaya Patra, you get tax exemption in India. But most importantly, you get to be a part of a mission that’s feeding and educating children of India. Let’s together develop a hunger free India.

The history of mid-day meal scheme in India dates back to the year 2000 when the Akshaya Patra Foundation began the mid-day meal programme in Bengaluru. The organisation began serving children nutritious meals, several donors came forward to sponsor children, several others donated vehicles and other resources. The organisation joined hands with the government and now serves meal to children in 12 states in India.

Donors in India started getting tax exemption, more resources were added, the Sponsor a Child programme helped get nutritious meals to many more children. The history of mid-day meal scheme that began with serving 1,500 children continued and served 1.6 million children and became the largest mid-day meal programme in the world.

It’s a scheme that creates a free environment for our children to grow and get education. Our children would make our future society that we visualise as independent and free. And we can ensure this only by setting our children free from hunger today. The mid-day meal scheme is creating history every day in India as more and more children come to school and get wholesome lunch.

If we donate for this cause, we can easily get tax exemption in India. Sponsor a child today.

Make your weekends productive by volunteering with NGOs

What’s your first instinct about spending the weekend? It could be as mundane as doing the laundry or as fun as going for a picnic. But wait, even doing something for the children at a non-profit organisation can be fun, isn’t it?


So here’s a little inspiration. Meet a Std VI student from Puri, Badal Behera, who loves Yoga. He is a beneficiary of the Mid-day Meal Programme in Odisha. Now he loves all sport in general but is particularly passionate about Yoga. He says: Yoga improves memory power and helps in maintaining blood pressure.

There are many children like Badal who have benefitted by the Mid-day Meal Programme run by non-profit organisation for children named Akshaya Patra. You can choose to be an active contributor in one of these hope stories.

The non-profit organisation serves mid-day meals in not only Odisha but also in other states and invites volunteers, donors and contributors for the same. Some sponsor a child, others donate kitchen equipment, still others simply engage in volunteer activities with the organisation.

Volunteer for NGO

Got a free weekend? You can simply choose to be an online contributor by for the Akshaya Patra. You may promote the non-profit organisation for the children on your social media accounts, invite friends to follow the organisation’s Facebook page or simply download the screensavers, wallpapers, posters or banners and build awareness.

You may use your weekend to write blogs on topics like sponsoring a child or about mid-day meals across various states including Odisha. That’s not all, you may engage in online fundraising activities where the funds would be used for serving mid-day meals to children.Weekends are personal and precious to you. But when you involve others, such as children, in this personal space, for a great cause, they become productive too. Volunteer today.

How can parents inculcate social responsibility among children?


James A. Baldwin once said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” One of the best ways that parents can teach their children to contribute to the development of the community is by setting examples of social service. Here’s how they can do it:

Volunteer for education

Take them along on weekends to teach children in slums who have no or little access to school and education. You can also teach them importance of opting for wholesome meal instead of junk by sponsoring meal for the children there. You can talk about Akshaya Patra that’s on a mission to get children back to school by serving them mid-day meals. They will realise the importance of wholesome meal. You can donate online on Akshaya Patra’s website and involve them in the activity.

Work for environment

Buy seeds and saplings and encourage them to plant those. They can also indulge in online fundraising to fund tree plantation drives. But most of all you can involve them in nurturing a beautiful garden at home so that they can learn to respect the environment.

Non-profit fundraising ideas

Children read and observe more than you can imagine. Have a brainstorming session with them at home discussing fundraising ideas. Reap some benefit out of this activity. For example, they can create an artwork that can be sold through social networking sites. The funds raised can be donated to non-profit organisations.

Social responsibility

It’s only when such thoughts and acts are encouraged among children that we can build a selfless society. When you choose to donate towards charity, it’s the biggest gesture you can make in order to encourage children towards social service. Sponsor a child today!

Charity fundraising ideas to take children back to school


A fully literate nation is a step closer to the prosperity of its citizens. As children get back to school, we can engage in some charity fundraising activities to aid their education. Here are some interesting non-profit fundraising ideas you can look forward to.

Selling handmade cards/bookmarks

Bring together children from your area to create interesting art work depicting their school life or subjects they love the most.  Let the children use their imagination and create cards, posters and bookmarks. Organise a non-profit fundraising activity in your area, school or college where you can sell the art works. Use these proceeds to sponsor a child’s education in organisations like Akshaya Patra.

Book exchange

Students in school or colleges or even working executives can be invited on Facebook to exchange their books as a charity fundraising campaign. Motivate people to give away their unused or read books that they don’t wish to retain anymore. Set a nominal fee to enroll in the activity. Inform the participants that the proceeds generated from the activity will be used to send children back to school.

Online fundraising campaigns

Browsing online for information and engaging activities has become a second nature of millennial generation. A thoughtfully created online activity can engage them easily. Use the power of online media to start a charity fundraising campaigns for non-profit organisations such as Akshaya Patra. It’s easier to create online non-profit fundraising campaigns; and if done smartly, you can raise a significant amount of funds for the cause.

Garage sale

You can simply organise a garage sale in your office or colony and ask people to donate things they don’t mind parting from. Participants can not only donate the stuff but also buy some of those that are kept there by others. Use the proceeds of this sale towards any cause related to education.

As you engage in these activities, Akshaya Patra does its bit by incentivising school children to attend schools by serving them wholesome lunch? You can also be a part of the great mission of sending children back to school by starting your own online fundraising campaign. Create a campaign today.

We are a few steps closer to being a fully literate country. Reaching there is not so tough if we come together.

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.

Sponsor a child on World Day against Child Labour

The International Labour Organisation had launched the World Day against Child Labour in 2002 which is observed every year on June 12th. This year as the world pledges to protect children from child labour in conflicts and disasters, let us pledge to sponsor a child in order to secure his healthy upbringing and educational growth.


The World Day against Child Labour 2017 focuses on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour. Around 200 million people are affected by disasters every year, of which a third are children. A major proportion of the 168 million children engaged in child labour live in areas affected by conflict and disaster. The challenge is to feed the children, protect them from mental and physical consequences of disasters and provide them with the basic necessities of life.

Child labour is equally rampant in India and several charitable organisations are striving hard to eliminate the evil through awareness and protection. A lot of these children are found working haphazard conditions and are dropped out of school due to financial responsibilities. A charitable organisation in India Akshaya Patra, thus, is trying to root out this problem through taking mid-day meals to schools. That way, the organisation is able to feed the children, thereby, luring them to attend schools. The parents, therefore, understand now that the whole challenge of feeding all their children is met by simply sending their children to schools. This has significantly raised the school attendance in government schools while also reducing the number of child workers around the country.

Many charitable organisations in India are encouraging individual donors to sponsor a child by donating a meager amount. Akshaya Patra also has a simple plan for sponsoring a child by contributing merely Rs 950/- that would help feed a child for a year. As a result, the child automatically gets education since he is motivated to come to school for his share of wholesome lunch.

One of the most efficient ways to eliminate child labour would be to eliminate the reason for child labour. These reasons are orphaned children, financial responsibilities on children due to a large number of family members to feed, dropping out of school due to disinterest, illiteracy and so on. These children are often desperately put on jobs and therefore must endure the haphazard conditions, low salaries and over-work. Charitable organisations like Akshaya Patra are engaging volunteers to feed the children and use mid-day meals as an incentive to attend schools. Several stories of hope tell the tale of the success of this approach since beneficiary children are learning the importance of education and are working hard. Many of these children are learning to have dreams and aspirations in life, they are inspiring others to study hard and are bringing their siblings to school.

This is surely a good way to eliminate both hunger among children and exploitation of children. As the world observes the day against child labour, you can choose to join the cause of feeding the children and thus indirectly impacting the cause of eliminating child labour.

Sponsor a child today. Donate for Akshaya Patra.