5 Food Hygiene and Safety Principles Followed By Akshaya Patra

About Akshaya Patra

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a mid-day meal NGO in India headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The Foundation has been in the service of children since its inception in 2000. With a vision, “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, the Foundation strives to provide freshly cooked, wholesome, and tasty meals to school going children. Currently, Akshaya Patra provides mid-day meals to more than 17-lakh children on each school day and it aims to feed 5 million children by 2020.

Food hygiene at Akshaya Patra

As they say, the greater the expanse of work, greater is the responsibility. And, it is evident in Akshaya Patra’s field of service. The Foundation makes use of the centralised kitchen concept to serve meals in urban and semi-urban areas, and the decentralised kitchen concept to provide meals in remote areas. Preparing and serving lakhs of meals every day is not an easy task and to serve hygienic and clean food requires utmost diligence and commitment. Thus, to ensure that children receive hygienic and safe food each time, this  NGO in India follows several measures during each stage of production – pre-production, production, and post production. Here are five principle hygiene and safety measures followed by each kitchen of Akshaya Patra irrespective of being centralised kitchen concept or decentralised model:

Quality assurance of raw materials: The Supplier Quality Management System incorporating factors such as Supplier Selection, Supplier Qualification, Supplier Rating etc. is adhered to at each kitchen to ensure procurement of the right and the best quality raw material. The raw materials are accepted only after thorough quality inspection to confirm it meets the Foundation’s raw material specifications that has been adapted from Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Storage and handling: Perishable raw materials like vegetables are either procured daily or stored in cold storage. Dry raw materials are stored in dedicated storage rooms. To ensure use of fresh raw materials, all the kitchens follow the FIFO (First In First Out) and FEFO (First Expiry First Out) methods while issuing raw materials for production.

Sanitisation: All raw materials are thoroughly washed and cleaned with potable water. The kitchen equipment and cleaned before and after use and are sterilised using steam.

Protective gears: All kitchen employees mandatorily follow hygiene practices like hand washing and sanitisation and make use of protective gears such as masks, gloves, boots etc.

Food packing and transportation: The cooked food is packed in insulated vessels and are transported to schools in customised insulated vehicles. The insulated vessels and vehicles retain temperature and ensure meals remain fresh till it is consumed by children.

With the reputation of being considered as the top NGO in India, Akshaya Patra is well-aware of its purpose and responsibility towards lakhs of children it feeds each day. Hence, it also undertakes various improvement processes to enhance its operations, efficiency, productivity, and certainly hygiene and safety.

Ambassador Program at Akshaya Patra

Campus Ambassador

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India and an implementing arm of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Mid-Day Meal Scheme is a Government of India’s initiative to provide cooked meals as lunch to children of government and government-aided schools. The Foundation has been in the service of providing freshly cooked healthy meals to children since 2000. It has been recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme and as a top NGO in India. Over the past 17 years, Akshaya Patra has observed significant impact of mid-day meals on the health and education of children. Hence, strives to extend the reach of the Scheme to millions of more children by involving the entire community.

Youth Ambassador Program is one of many ways to encourage community participation, especially, the youth. Through this program, Akshaya Patra provides a platform for and encourages youth to get involved with the cause of providing nutritious food to children and support their education. The chosen Ambassadors will work as a representative of Akshaya Patra and promote the NGO’s cause in their network of associates – either through digital platforms or conventional platforms like hosting awareness drives and campaigns to increase visibility of Akshaya Patra’s realm of work, achievements and milestones.

Role of a Youth Ambassador

As a Youth Ambassador, you will be responsible for:

  • Promoting Akshaya Patra’s recent happenings as provided by the Foundation;
  • Conducting promotions about the Foundation’s cause with prior permission from the NGO;
  • Referring or asking your friends and colleagues to promote and share Akshaya Patra’s cause on their social media networks; and
  • Writing as a guest blogger for the NGO’s official blog.

At no point, the Ambassador must conduct any donation drive or do any negative promotion about Akshaya Patra.

Benefits of Youth Ambassador Program

The Youth or the Campus Ambassador Program has a dual benefit. It is a win-win for the Ambassador and the NGO.

For the Ambassador – The Ambassador gets the opportunity to work for a noble cause, participate in nation-building while also getting a chance to widen his sphere of influence. They will get an opportunity to work in live projects that will help them to develop new set of skills and get exposed to multiple roles. The Ambassadors will be provided training in their field of interest by experts and will be oriented about the complete programme, its implication and its operations. They will have the opportunity to visit Akshaya Patra kitchens, beneficiary schools and children based on their preferred location. Upon achieving the responsibilities, Akshaya Patra will offer him/her with a Youth Ambassador Certificate. Extraordinary efforts will be recognised with prizes such as brand vouchers from Big Bazaar, Airtel (free top ups), Shoppers Stop, and the like. Ambassadors will receive free tickets or passes for the events organised by Akshaya Patra.

For Akshaya Patra – The NGO will get visibility thereby upping its chances of receiving support from the community. An increase in community support will help the Foundation to expand the benefits of the programme to more children from its current 1.7 million beneficiaries. It will help the Foundation to achieve its mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020. The support from the community will directly impact the health and education of children across India in an everlasting way.

Sign up as a Youth Ambassador

To be recognised as the Youth Ambassador of the top NGO in India, all you need to do is sign up and apply for the ambassador’s position based on your line of interest such as social networking, blogging, data collection, content writing, and the like. Once you submit the filled form, Akshaya Patra will review it and upon fulfilment of all the eligibility criterions, you will be taken on board as a Youth Ambassador or a Campus Ambassador.

Go ahead, grab the opportunity to set an example for the youth and transform lives of children. Sign up for Akshaya Patra’s Campus Ambassador Program.