Anganwadi feeding – a boon for early childhood development

anganwadi feeding

Adequate nutrition is vital for growth and development in children, especially during the early years of life. An NGO in India, dedicated to providing nutritious mid-day meals to children across the country, Akshaya Patra also provides nutritious meals in Anganwadi centres. At present, the NGO serves 1,39,272 beneficiaries in 6,251 centres across 10 locations of four states.

Anganwadis are care centres for children aged 0 to 6 years old, pregnant women, and lactating mothers belonging to socio-economically challenging backgrounds. These centres are a part of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. Anganwadis implement the health, nutrition, and early education programmes of ICDS. Focussing on nutrition, Anganwadis provide support to improve the nutritional status and health of children aged 6 years and below. It also works towards educating mothers about nutrition and health thereby enabling them to provide better care for their children. Along with caring for children, Anganwadi centres also provide healthcare and nutritional support to pregnant women and lactating mothers.

In an endeavour to support the efforts of Anganwadi centres, the 21-year-old NGO in India, The Akshaya Patra Foundation stepped in to provide nutritious meals to the beneficiaries of these centres. Akshaya Patra is one of the most reputed mid-day meal NGOs in the country with a beneficiary base of 18,00,907 children in 19,039 government schools and government-aided schools located across 13 States and 1 Union Territory. Having been a provider of mid-day meals to children, Akshaya Patra is well-aware of the significance of adequate nutrition in growth and development of children. Hence, by initiating the Anganwadi Programme, the NGO aimed to feed the children and women in Anganwadi centres with nutritious meals daily.

Significance of Anganwadi Feeding Programme
Nutrition is of utmost importance during the initial years of children. It directly impacts overall health and growth in children along with supporting attainment of developmental milestones during the first six years of life. To ensure the beneficiaries receive the required quantity of nutrients every day, Akshaya Patra follows a cyclic and locally palatable Anganwadi food menu. This results in inclusion of a variety of nutritious food items, taste, and ready consumption of the served meals by the beneficiaries as well as prevents monotony.

The Anganwadi Programme is a great boon to children.

  • It provides adequate nutrition.
  • It supports age-appropriate physical growth and cognitive development.
  • It supports health and increases immunity.
  • It addresses malnutrition and related health concerns.
  • It reduces mortality and morbidity rates.

Impact so far
Currently, 1,39,272 beneficiaries in 6,251 Anganwadi centres are benefitting from Akshaya Patra’s freshly prepared, nutritious Anganwadi food menu. Of these, 1,35,612 are children in the age group of 3-6 years in 5,928 Anganwadi centres across 10 locations of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana; and 3,660 are pregnant women and lactating mothers across 323 centres in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

As an NGO in India, Akshaya Patra is continuously striving to expand its programme to feed the children and women in more Anganwadi centres across the country.

Your support is essential
Anganwadi Programme is a crucial intervention to make sure each child receives a healthy start in life. Contribute generously to feed the children and women during the most crucial years of their lives. Your support will indeed make a big difference.

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