Celebrate for a Cause

Celebrate World Food Day by Providing Food for Children

World food day

“On World Food Day, let us each recommit to doing our part to end hunger and poverty wherever it exists.” – Barack Obama, Former US President.

16th October of each year is observed as the World Food Day across the globe. It is observed in honour of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. In order to address the various aspects of the need to tackle global hunger, this day is celebrated with a specific theme each year and the theme for 2018 is: “Our Actions Are Our Future. A #Zero Hunger World By 2030 is Possible”. Government and non-government entities advocate the need and importance of food security along with taking necessary steps to ensure food is available for all.

 Akshaya Patra and World Food Day

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO providing nutritious lunch to Government school children in India observes World Food Day not just for a day, but, every day! The NGO provides freshly cooked, wholesome, and tasty meals to more than 1.76 million children in 14,314 Government schools across 39 locations of 12 states, on each school day. By providing mid-day meals Akshaya Patra aims to counter two main issues: hunger and illiteracy. Over the years of service, the Foundation has observed that mid-day meal is a potential incentive in bringing children to school and supporting continuity of their education. Hence, World Food Day activities is an every day commitment at Akshaya Patra.

The World Food Day celebration at Akshaya Patra is being supported by noteworthy personalities from the culinary and nutrition world namely: Mr Sanjeev Kapoor, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur; Chef Ramasamy Selvaraj, Taj Vivanta, Bengaluru; and Ms. Divya Sathyaraj, Nutritionist. They are also the Goodwill Ambassadors of Akshaya Patra and wholeheartedly support the Foundation’s cause. Here is what they have to say –

“I am happy to associate with The Akshaya Patra Foundation as a Goodwill Ambassador. Akshaya Patra is all about giving nutritious food to children. My own journey of cooking food for my family and friends and presenting it to millions of viewers on television is in absolute sync with the Foundation’s idea – the joy of giving is much more than the joy of receiving.” – Mr Sanjeev Kapoor, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur.

“It has been a proud moment to be associated with Akshaya Patra. It gives me an opportunity to support children in the pursuit of their dreams through the Foundation’s ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’ initiative. My association with Akshaya Patra as a Goodwill Ambassador is a step forward towards the larger goal; there are millions of dreams that need a chance.” – Chef Ramasamy Selvaraj, Taj Vivanta, Bengaluru.

“As a nutritionist I strongly believe that a healthy diet will have a profound effect on a child’s well-being; a child’s body needs nutrition, not just food. Akshaya Patra has done incredible work to end classroom hunger. Leaders like President Barack Obama have appreciated the Foundation’s outstanding work in feeding children. I completely resonate with the vision and goals of Akshaya Patra and, I am truly honoured and privileged to be chosen as the organisation’s Goodwill Ambassador.” – Ms. Divya Sathyaraj, Nutritionist.

School Meals and Dreams

When children are well-fed and well-educated, it gives them the confidence to aim and achieve. It instills in them the hope for a better and brighter tomorrow. And, this gets reflected in the words of these children:

  • “I aspire to be a District Collector.” – Y. Lalita, Visakhapatnam.
  • “My aim is to be an Astronaut.” – Atharva Ajay Kale, Nagpur.
  • “I aspire to be an Army Officer.” – Lakshmi Bai, Karnataka.
  • “My goal is to be a Physical Education Teacher.” P Narasimha Raju, Visakhapatnam.
  • “My aim is to be a Police Officer.” – Archana, Lucknow.
  • “I aspire to be a Mechanical Engineer.” – Vikas Mudi, Karnataka.

These were just a few dreams from among 1.76 million dreams that gets fuelled by the nutritious meals of Akshaya Patra!

Support Akshaya Patra, Support World Food Day

When you support Akshaya Patra, it has both immediate and gradual impact. Your one moment of generosity towards Akshaya Patra will:

  • Ensure daily school meals of children;
  • Support education;
  • Improve health and nutrition levels of children;
  • Empower children to become resourceful and responsible citizens; and
  • Make India a Zero Hunger nation.

So, this World Food Day, donate for a child, take a pledge, or share the significance of food security in your network of friends. Your care for children will pave way for generations of healthy, educated, and resourceful citizens.

“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” – Buzz Aldrin, American Engineer, Former Astronaut, and Command Pilot in the United States Air Force.

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Disaster Relief

Akshaya Patra serving food to flood-affected people in Kerala

Akshaya Patra Flood Relief

At the moment, Kerala is reeling under its worst flood since 1924. The torrential rains and landslides that hit the state of Kerala has ravaged the entire state since 8 August 2018, submerging many cities and villages thereby crippling normal life and services. Reportedly, around 10 districts have been severely affected and the entire state has been put under high alert. While the state is receiving help from the entire nation to deal with this unprecedented crisis, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has also stepped in actively in the relief work by providing cooked meals in flood-affected areas.

Know more:

More images from the scene:

Relief work by Akshaya Patra

Location of relief work: Alleppey and Chengannur
Relief team: A team of 27 Akshaya Patra employees along with four distribution vehicles and ingredients to cook 25,000 meals had departed from Bengaluru as an immediate relief response. Everyday, additional ingredients including chapatis, drinking water are being sent from Bengaluru to support the operations at Alleppey.

Relief work updates: Akshaya Patra began serving cooked meals from 13 August 2018.

15 August 2018 – Shri S. Suhas, District Collector of Allapuzha came to visit the makeshift kitchen from where Akshaya Patra is preparing and distributing food to people.

District Collector of Allapuzha

On 18 August 2018, Akshaya Patra dispatched three trucks from Bengaluru loaded with food packets and water bottles to Kerala. The NGO dispatched:

• More than 77,000 chapatis,
730 packs of fruit bread,
10, 872 water bottles (500 ml each), and
5,400 water bottles (1 litre each).

Food loaded truck

Water bottles

20 August 2018 – Additional cooking equipment such as stoves, vegetable cutting machines along with groceries were delivered to Kerala relief team to scale up operations.

25 August 2018 – To mark the tradition of Kerala, Akshaya Patra served Onam special dishes including rice, sambar, palya, and sweet pongal.

28 August 2018 – Shri Kodikkunnil Suresh, MP, visited Akshaya Patra’s makeshift kitchen at the Narasimha Temple in Chengannur.

29 August 2018 – AIKYA volunteers have begun the cleaning up process in government schools and beaches in the flood-affected Alleppey district. AIKYA is the volunteering wing of Akshaya Patra.

Number of meals served:
Akshaya Patra is serving approximately 7,000 – 10,000 meals on a daily basis to the affected people inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food is being prepared at two makeshift kitchens – Alleppey and Chengannur.

Serving the meals

So far, Akshaya Patra has served more than 2-lakh meals in the Alapuzha region.

Type of meals served: Most of the dishes are prepared in coconut oil to suit the local palate. Dishes like boiled rice and sambar, vegetable pulao, tomato rice, upma, chapati and curry are served in the affected district.

Delivery of meals: Akshaya Patra team with the help of four distribution vehicles are delivering meals to the affected people of Alapuzha.

Food delivery van

In areas where vehicles can steer through, cooked food is being delivered to people in Akshaya Patra delivery vans.

Reaching through water

The areas where the rising water level has restricted vehicle movement, food is being transported in boats.

Akshaya Patra relief center

Some people also come to the temporary kitchen arrangement to get their meals.

Status of the relief work: On-going

The feeding cost of the relief efforts amounts to Rs. 3-lakh per day. We request your generous support in helping us reach out to more survivors.

Support us: Donate to Kerala Flood Relief

Reinstating Homes and Government Schools

As the flood water is receding, Akshaya Patra has begun reinstating homes and government schools with the support of Youth Volunteers from 28 August 2018. The first batch of 25 volunteers have left for Edathua Village, Alleppey followed by another batch for Thakazhi Village with all necessary equipment’s like pressure gun, mask, gloves, safety shoes, wiper, mop, soap solution, bleaching powder etc.

Bags distribution

Akshaya Patra also intends to provide education material to children of this region. The Foundation has already received the first request from Angamaly District MLA for 6,000 school bags, 57,000 note books and 6,000 instrument boxes to distribute to the school children in the flood affected areas.

We request your kind financial support for distributing school bags, notebooks, instrument boxes, cleaning equipment and materials, and restoring school building including blackboards, electrical and other fittings. Your generous support will go a long way in bringing back flood-affected families back to their homes and children to schools.

Read about: Akshaya Patra’s relief effort in Coorg

Akshaya Patra’s Proactiveness During Natural Disasters

Whenever a place is hit by natural disasters like flood or earthquake – within the country or across the borders, Akshaya Patra is always present to provide relief to the affected-people by providing food. Here is a quick overview of Akshaya Patra’s past relief activities:

Gorakhpur Flood Relief

Activity Period: 25th August 2017 to 8th September 2017
Total Rice Based Meals Served: 84,200
Total Theplas Served: 1,92,000

Click here to know more.

Gujarat Flood Relief

Activity Period: 25th July, 2017 to 30th July, 2017
Total Theplas Served: 4,00,000
Areas Covered: Banaskantha District (North Gujarat), Kalol and Ahmedabad regions.

Click here to know more.

Chennai Flood Relief

Activity Period: 8th December 2015 to 25th December 2015
Total Rice Based Meals Served: 2,12,000

Click here to know more.

Nepal Earthquake Relief

Akshaya Patra airlifted 1,00,000 meals to earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015. It also established a centralized kitchen in June 2015 to support the affected people of the region. The Earthquake Relief Centralised Kitchen Project was a joint initiative undertaken by Akshaya Patra, Jamsetji Tata Trust, and Sipradian Sahayata Sanstha. The kitchen served 1.4 million meals to the affected people for 88 days. Click here to know more.

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