A sneak-peek into Akshaya Patra’s mega kitchens that feed millions of children

Akshaya Patra Kitchens

Imagine 100,000 meals being cooked in a single kitchen under strict norms of hygiene and quality control. Akshaya Patra’s state-of-the-art centralised kitchens process these meals on a daily basis. Due to their standards of hygiene and technology, they have been featured in National Geographic Channel’s India’s Mega Kitchens as well.

The kitchens follow the six sigma methodology with a pre-scheduled menu and equipment that’s relevant to the specific region. For instance, North Indian kitchens have rice and dal cauldrons with roti making machines while South Indian kitchens have rice and sambar cauldrons.

Ensuring quality every day

The NGO’s kitchens ensure quality all through its centers in India right from the procurement of the raw material. The quality inspection, storage and preservation of raw materials follow the standards set by Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA); the rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India (FCI); all the kitchens follow First in First Out and First Expiry First Out methods while using the raw materials for cooking.

All the vessels used during cooking are of stainless steel 304 food grade material. Well-trained cooks and supervisors ensure quality control during the cooking for these kitchens run by the top NGO that’s on a mission to feed the children.

Here are few photographs that give you a glimpse of our kitchens:

Big couldrons

Big Couldrons

Centralised Kitchens

Centralised Kitchens

Chopped Vegetables

Chopped Vegetables

Roti Cutting Machine

Roti Cutting Machine

The NGO also conducts training programmes for the cooking staff in various parts of India to make them aware and conscious that since they are feeding nutritious meals to the children, they need to be strict about personal hygiene. Akshaya Patra’s newest kitchen opened recently in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. The kitchen has the capacity to cook mid-day meals for 50,000 children. About 28,000 children from 57 government schools In Bhavnagar will be benefitted by Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals in the area. Now Akshaya Patra, as one of top NGOs in India, has 28 centralised kitchens and two de-centralised kitchens across India. The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates in 29 locations across 12 States in India feeding over 1.6 million children.

Water is an essential part of children’s nutrition

Most nutritionists recommend that children must get three meals in a day along with two parts of healthy snacks. As far as the lunch is concerned, Akshaya Patra ensures that school children get a proper diet through its Mid-Day Meal Programme. The organisation has fed over 1.6 million school children so far.

Water - Nutrition

Clean drinking water is an integral part of the Akshaya Patra school lunch menu that this top NGO serves to the children. Children are often never concerned about how much water they need for proper hydration. But water is an essential part of their daily nutrition. Water helps keeping their body temperature stable and it is responsible for carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, protects tissues and organs, soothes joints and removes waste.

Apart from meal time, children would typically drink water after playing outside and thirsting for it. It doesn’t usually strike them that they need more water. Children aged between nine and 13 need 1.6 litres/6 glasses (boys) and 1.4 litres/5 glasses (girls) of water every day. In the 14-18 age-groups, boys need to drink at least 1.9 litres/7 glasses and girls need to drink at least 1.6 litres/6 glasses per day. Apart from water, children can also be fed low-fat milk that nourishes them without giving them sugar or additives that are found in soft drinks or flavoured mineral water. Akshaya Patra encourages children to drink sufficient water after their meals. You can also play a part in this charity fundraising.

Of course, children must be taught to consume more water during hot days or if they are indulged in a lot of outdoor activities or sports. In India, the easily available drinking water is tap water. But the good news is tap water contains fluoride that helps in developing strong teeth. However, the children who go to government schools in India often don’t have access to clean tap water at their homes. We ensure that a wholesome meal apart from clean drinking water is provided to all the children going to the government schools. These children can be benefitted through charity fundraising for Akshaya Patra. Donate for an NGO today.

Earth Day 2017: Akshaya Patra’s kitchens strive for energy-efficiency

We are all children of the Earth and we return to her when our time on the planet is up. To honour all that the Earth gives us and to support the cause of environmental protection, Earth Day is celebrated all over the world on April 22 every year. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a top NGO in India, which operates the world’s largest NGO-run Mid-Day Meal Programme to benefit school children in the country, too is committed to the cause of environmental protection. It has undertaken many initiatives to produce its meals in the most sustainable, energy-efficient manner possible.

earth-day-poster

Three of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens that feed the children are equipped with biogas plants – the Vadodara kitchen in Gujarat and the Vasanthapura and Ballari kitchens in Karnataka. These are all ISO-certified kitchens and the kitchen at Vasanthapura also has a solar plant. The biogas plants use the waste generated during the preprocessing of vegetables prior to food preparation and leftover from the schools if any. A single biogas plant at the Akshaya Patra kitchens uses an average of 200 kg of mixed vegetable waste per day, while the food returns used amount to 500 kg a day. An average of 65.7m3 per day and the biogas used in place of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) amounts to an average of 55m3 per day. Meanwhile, the LPG equivalent generated by the biogas plant amounts to 20-23 kg per day.

The Vasanthapura kitchen in Bengaluru also has a solar plant that generates 12kw electricity per day. The electricity thus generated is used for lighting up the building and all the other single-phase power applications. Akshaya Patra’s upcoming kitchens too have been designed in such a way that they can accommodate solar panels and plans are underway to equip existing ones with them too. The Foundation also seriously undertakes water conservation efforts. Water consumption in its kitchens is reduced with the help of vegetable washing machines, rice washers, steam cooking, high-pressure jets for equipment and vehicle cleaning, vessel cleaning machines and vessel cleaning showers with tanks.

Akshaya Patra, as one of the world’s top NGOs conducts training and awareness programmes for its employees to raise awareness about water management and conservation. Wastewater generated in its kitchens is recycled. This recycled water is reused for gardening. The kitchens, besides using renewable energy such as solar energy and biogas, also harvest rainwater.

Akshaya Patra feeds over 1.6 million children in 13,577 schools in 11 states of India and strives to ensure that it does so in the most sustainable manner possible. To contribute to the Foundation’s cause of ‘food for education’, donate to charity now.

Make a Gift of Wholesome Meals for Children this Ugadi!

 

A new beginning heralds new hopes and dreams, as we bid goodbye to the times that were and look to the future. The festival of Ugadi – as it is called in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and known variously as Yugadi (Karnataka), Gudi Padwa (Maharashtra), Thapna (Rajasthan), Sajibu Nongma Panba (Manipur) and Cheti Chand (in the Sindhi community), marks the New Year for communities across India on March 29, 2017. Spring is in full bloom to welcome the festival, which is celebrated with much enthusiasm, with elaborate rituals and much feasting. On this occasion, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a top NGO in India, would like to wish all its supporters a very Happy Ugadi!

Wide arrays of special dishes are prepared to celebrate Ugadi in its various forms across the country. These include the Puran Poli/Holige/Bobbattu and Ugadi Pachadi among others, which members of a household feast on after they’ve done their ritual worship. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the bounty of nature – food – was available to those who most require it? India’s children—those who carry the promise of a bright New Year and new tomorrow on their shoulders – need to have abundant food for their well-being. A well-fed child is healthy and concentrates well in class; a mid-day meal benefits his or her education and secures it.

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Akshaya Patra has been working tirelessly over the past 17 years to nourish school children in India. The role of NGOs in India is to aid social betterment and Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme is the largest such NGO-run initiative in the world, providing nutritious, wholesome mid-day meals to over 1.6 million children across 11 states in India. The auspicious occasion of Ugadi is a wonderful time to pledge your support to the cause of ‘unlimited food for education’, so that India’s school children do not know classroom hunger and are empowered to pursue their future dreams. All it takes to feed one child for a whole year is a sum of Rs 950. Donate to charity to make the New Year a happy one for these children!

This Holi, Colour a Child’s Life | Donate for a cause

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Celebrated across India with great energy and abundant love, the festival of colours now knocks at your door for a new meaning. Holi 2017 is here and the celebration in India is as exciting! While we create a vibrant atmosphere with colours on this day, let us take a moment to understand how we can make the festival more meaningful.

But before that, why do we celebrate Holi?

A festival for all, Holi marks the arrival of spring with the sky donning a full moon. On this day, farmers come together to offer prayers for a good harvest. The history of Holi from is quite interesting and has great significance; a time when Hiranyakaship’s sister, Holika, protects Prahlad from two obstructions – fire and his father’s pride; depicting a fight of good over evil.

Holi gets its name from this historic event and is in reference with Holika. Even today, many follow the custom of burning Holika’s effigy (known as Holika Dahan). The importance of Holi is not just the fight but letting truth prevail. This Holi, you can pledge to give this day a new meaning – you can help us fight hunger among children.

Being an NGO in India, Akshaya Patra plays the role of children’s guardian. The Foundation provides nutritious mid-day meals to school children and by this, it also encourages children to attend school. Considered as one of the top NGOs in the country, Akshaya Patra reaches out to over 1.6 million school children in India.

How can you make a difference? By supporting a child’s education

As we talk about fighting evil, we would like to highlight the importance of erasing hunger among children. Mid-day meal benefits every child studying in government and government-aided schools while for a few, this meal is the only full meal that they consume for the day.

India is home to millions of malnourished children. To change this condition, many schemes and initiatives have been undertaken by the government and NGOs; Food for Education is one of them. By providing children mid-day meals that are freshly cooked and nutritious, Akshaya Patra aims to achieve two critical UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) – Zero Hunger and Quality Education.

Sponsor a child for year

This Holi, you could take responsibility of a child by donating Rs 950. By contributing this amount, you choose to sponsor the child’s meals for an entire year. Also, the good news is your donation, under section 80G of Income Tax Act, can get you 100% tax exemption benefit. All you have to do is choose to sponsor a child.