World Food Safety Day 2024: Akshaya Patra’s Assurance of Safe Meals

World food safety day

Good food is essential for our healthy living. However, access to healthy and safe food is challenging nowadays as commercialisation has penetrated even in food materials and thus, numerous food-borne diseases have started flourishing. As per the reports of the World Health Organisation (WHO), “over 200 diseases are caused by eating contaminated food.” To raise awareness about the importance of ensuring food safety, the United Nations General Assembly with the support of the World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) started observing 7 June as World Food Safety Day. “Food Safety – Prepare for the Unexpected” is this year’s theme.

As an NGO that provides mid-day meals to children in government and government-aided schools, Akshaya Patra strives to provide children safe, hygienic mid-day meals.

Let’s have a look at some of the food hygiene and safety principles we follow to ensure children’s health.

• Quality check of the raw materials

Assuring the quality of raw materials is important to serve good meals. So we follow a criteria for supplier selection and procurement of raw materials. If the raw materials do not meet the expected standards, we return them. In addition, we conduct regular inspections to ensure raw materials meet all the specifications adapted from the Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA).

• Preservation of raw materials

Once the quality checking is done, raw materials for cooking are stored appropriately to retain their quality. The vegetables that we procure daily are cleaned thoroughly and sanitised before cutting. Ready-to-cut vegetables are stored in cold storage. The rice supplied by the Food Corporation of India is machine-cleaned to ensure that all contaminants are eliminated before cooking. All the kitchens follow the FIFO (First In-First Out) and FEFO (First Expiry-First Out) methods to maintain the freshness and quality of the raw materials. Thereby, the kitchens can preserve and store the raw materials without spoilage.

• Maintenance of quality and safety during cooking process

The cooking process of all kitchens adheres to food safety standards. The first step is to sterilise all the equipment including cauldrons, sambar/dal tanks, knives and cutting boards using steam. The vessels used in kitchens are made of stainless steel of 304 grade which is best for cooking. Our kitchen staff are properly trained to follow the food safety measures and also to maintain their personal hygiene.

• Food packing and transportation

Once the cooking is done, the food is packed in steam sterilised vessels. Our specially designed vehicles are also steam sterilised before loading. The vehicles are designed in such a way as to save the food temperature and its freshness. We also use logistic charting and GPRS to ensure safe and on-time delivery.

• Post delivery

Taking regular feedback from schools is a crucial step that we follow to bring necessary improvements. The quality officers in the kitchen take action accordingly. We have also institutionalised Good Manufacturing Process (GMP), monthly audits and surprise audits to ensure food safety and quality.

• Continual improvement method

To enhance the quality of mid-day meals, we designed a programme called AkshayaPragathi. For this, we follow Kaizen philosophy, CI Projects and Six Sigma methodologies. Regular training workshops are conducted for employees in kitchens across the country.

All the efforts that we put in are to bring more children under the Government of India’s PM POSHAN Abhiyaan (the Mid-Day Meal Programme) and thus achieve our vision – ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ The numerous food safety awards that we have won over the years are a testament to our commitment to provide children healthy and safe mid-day meals.

Let’s have a glimpse at some of the awards that we received for food safety.

• Surat and Vadodara units received Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Award for Food Safety in 2016

• Our Vasanthapura kitchen (Bengaluru) received the top position for the Outstanding Performance in Food Safety and Hubballi kitchen received the second highest position of the ‘Certificate of Commendation for Significant Achievement in Food Safety’ at the CII National Award for Food Safety 2014 during the 9th Food Safety and Quality Summit

• Akshaya Patra Bellary received the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Award for Food Safety – 2013, for efficient Food Safety and Quality Systems

Safe food means fewer illnesses which in turn improves attendance and retention rates in schools. When you support us, you are taking a significant step to alleviate malnutrition in children and empowering them to learn well and dream big.

Donate online to nurture children by ensuring their continued access to safe and nutritious meals. Let’s build a healthy and happy generation together!

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Transforming Dreams through Meals

donate to fulfil the dreams

Dreams are the colours of life. They are the source of inspiration to work hard, no matter what tough trials we need to go through. However, there is a section of people who are forced to forfeit their dreams due to the socio-economic challenges they face. Their focus is more often on arranging at least one meal a day. Have you ever imagined how their children’s life would be? These children face challenges in receiving even basic needs such as good food and education. Isn’t it disheartening to see them giving up on their dreams due to their circumstances?

Akshaya Patra: Creating a Brave Generation through Mid-Day Meals

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that empowers children to pursue their dreams. Here, we believe that education is the key factor that can improve the lives of children. It gives them the knowledge to design their life and makes them responsible citizens. As an implementing partner of the Government of India’s PM POSHAN Abhiyaan (formerly known as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme), Akshaya Patra strives to ensure that no child in India is deprived of education because of hunger. The journey that started in the year 2000 with 1,500 children has now reached new heights, feeding 2.2 million children every day. In all these years, we have had the good fortune to witness numerous stories of resilience that inspire us to enthusiastically go ahead and continue providing children a nutritious mid-day meal as an incentive to come to school.

Give children opportunities to colour their life with Akshaya Patra.

The stories of Sumaya, Hussain, Rushi, Gungun and Dharamveer represent our 2.2 million children and are a testament to how your contribution is helping us to nourish their dreams. Continue supporting us by donating online to feed children. Help us write more such stories of hope and resilience.

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A Journey of Hope: Feed a Child, Feed a Dream

A Journey of Hope: Feed a Child, Feed a Dream

There is hope in the eyes of every child and some hopes are determined to reach the destination. To enable them for a better future, Akshaya Patra supports 2.1 million such dreams.

This heartwarming narrative captures the essence of the incredible impact that The Akshaya Patra Foundation is making.

Once upon a time in the heart of India, in the small town of Akshayagram, lived a group of bright-eyed children eager to learn. 🏫 However, their dreams were often overshadowed by the growls of empty stomachs, a stark reminder of the challenges they faced. 🍚

In this tale of resilience and compassion, enters The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a beacon of hope for these little dreamers. 🌈 Their magical wand wasn’t made of stars but of steaming pots and pans, ready to weave a story of change.

🍲 Food for Education:
The enchanting aroma of nutritious meals filled the air as Akshaya Patra began its mission. Every day, the children were greeted with smiles and warm meals that fuelled not only their bodies but also their aspirations.

🌍 Zero Hunger Challenge:
The Foundation took on the challenge to create a world with zero hungry bellies. It was a quest that resonated with the hearts of many, as they joined hands to turn the dream into reality.

📚 Quality Education:
With bellies full, the children found themselves more attentive in classrooms, soaking in the knowledge that would shape their futures. Education became the key to unlocking doors that hunger had kept closed for too long.

🇮🇳 Hunger in India:
The tale echoed the larger narrative of hunger in India, a challenge not easily conquered. Yet, Akshaya Patra persisted, knowing that a child well-fed today could break the cycle of hunger tomorrow.

🌽 Food Security:
The children discovered a newfound sense of security in the regular, wholesome meals provided by the Foundation. The fear of an empty stomach slowly faded away, making room for dreams to flourish.

🤝 Volunteering:
The townsfolk, inspired by the magic unfolding, eagerly volunteered. From chopping veggies to serving meals, the community actively participated in the enchanting act of giving.

As the story unfolds, it invites you to be a part of this magical journey. Join The Akshaya Patra Foundation in their mission to feed a child, for in doing so, you’re not just providing a meal; you’re nurturing a dream, a future. ✨

Donate, volunteer and be the hero in this tale of hope. Together, let’s feed a child and witness the transformation of dreams into reality. 🌟

Apoorva Jawke

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Rounding up 2023 at The Akshaya Patra Foundation

2023 Hightlights of TAPF

2023 at The Akshaya Patra Foundation marked the generosity and commitment of our esteemed donors and well-wishers for a healthier and prosperous future. Our 23-year-old NGO persisted for another year in its relentless efforts towards nourishing vulnerable populations.

Not only did we serve mid-day meals (MDM) to government school children under our core programme for PM POSHAN Abhiyaan, but also substantially supported crisis victims with our relief feeding initiatives.

Last year, due to steadfast collaborations with our donors, well-wishers and governments, we accomplished
• Serving food from new kitchens
• Felicitation students and teachers from our beneficiary schools for their exceptional accomplishments
• ISO certifications for our existing units
• Recognition for the lives we impacted

Here is a rundown of events highlighting our progress in humanitarian service.

New kitchens

3 kitchens were added to our NGO’s network last year. They serve children under PM POSHAN Abhiyaan as well as provide food assistance during emergencies.

Food relief efforts

We helped deliver food relief during
• land subsidence in Joshimath, Uttarakhand in January, and
• floods in Assam in July

Nourish the Change Awards

Nourish the Change Awards is an Akshaya Patra initiative to recognise students and teachers from beneficiary schools for their extraordinary achievements beyond the classroom walls.

• In an interactive session between students and our leaders on 23 August 2023 in Bengaluru, students and teachers from our beneficiary schools were recognised for their admirable commitment and diligence. Indian artist and film director, Mr Prakash Belawadi and His Highness Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the 27th Head and Custodian of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore graced the event with their presence.

• We marked the 11th anniversary of our Surat Kitchen with Nourish the Change Awards. The event took place on 13 October 2023 in the esteemed presence of Meenaben M Gajjar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner – PM POSHAN Yojna, Surat Municipal Corporation, and many corporate visionaries and ardent advocates of our noble cause.

• On 23 November 2023, Nourish the Change Awards – Mumbai honoured partnerships and felicitated teachers and students who achieved extraordinary milestones despite multiple challenges. Kaustubh Dhavse, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Board Member, Mumbai Film Festival and Krishnakant Upadhyay (IPS), Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mumbai graced the occasion with their presence. Indian Celebrity Chef & Indian Cultural Ambassador, Shipra Khanna and several dignitaries from the film, television and radio fraternity were also present to commemorate the achievers.

• Our Visakhapatnam Kitchen marked its 15th anniversary on 20 December 2023 with the Nourish the Change Awards. 15 years ago, it started by serving MDM to 5,445 children in 7 government schools. To date, it has served more than 31,80,000 mid-day meals and over 25,70,000 meals in Anganwadi centres.

Other highlights

• At the Corporate event of the 12th edition of World CSR Day in February 2023, presented the Certificate of Merit to Akshaya Patra.

• In March 2023, Akshaya Patra and Share Our Strength, a US-based national NGO facilitating school meals worldwide, jointly organised ‘Feed the Future Now’ at Chitnavis Centre. People of Nagpur came in numbers to the fundraising event to pledge donations to feed children.

• In March 2023, our 44th centralised kitchen in Gambheeram, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, was certified with ISO 22000:2018, testifying the hygienic and high-quality food it has been serving since its inception.

• We launched ‘Clean Slate Carnival’ on 15 May 2023, a drive to welcome children back to school. The pilot was carried out in collaboration with Citibank, Cargill, LSEG and Swiss Re to revamp 18 schools across Bengaluru which included cleaning the school premises and painting blackboards for a cleaner and safer environment.

• In July 2023, we were bestowed with the Silver Award towards the COVID Food Relief Project by the 7th CSR Health Impact Awards 2023. The award was presented by Smt Kiran Bedi, Former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.

• Our kitchen in Singupuram, Andhra Pradesh, bagged ISO 22000:2018 certification in July 2023 for maintaining hygiene in the kitchen and serving quality food. We provide mid-day meals in schools under the State Government’s Gorumudda and other programmes.

• Honourable Former Vice-President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, launched mid-day meal distribution in October 2023, supported by Akshaya Patra, for ITI students of Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya Samithi.

• We were honoured with the Nexus of Good Award 2023 in November in the ‘Initiatives for Quality Education’ category. Mr Prabhat Kumar Singh, Former Cabinet Secretary and Governor, and Mr Anil Swarup, Former Coal Secretary of India, presented this prestigious recognition.

We are grateful for the trust placed in us by the people of India. It has allowed us to serve our society without barriers for over two decades and contribute to bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots. With nationwide support, we have collectively supported socioeconomically challenged populations with a vital resource for survival – food.

Your donations over ₹500 to Akshaya Patra are eligible for 80G deductions under the Income Tax Act. However, only those who have opted for the old regime can redeem these 80G deductions.

Become a changemaker today! Join us and enable an inclusive future for India with an online donation.

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Akshaya Patra expands its circle of care with two new kitchens

tapf kitchen

Akshaya Patra kitchens are crucial to the Foundation’s vision of serving 3 million children by 2025. These kitchens are large-scale, state-of-the-art facilities where meals are prepared for school children. In January 2024, the Foundation inaugurated two kitchens in January at Panvel in Maharashtra and Hazaribagh in Jharkhand. The Panvel kitchen is the Foundation’s 68th kitchen and was inaugurated on 3 January, 2024. Meanwhile, the Hazaribagh kitchen, which is the 69th kitchen, was inaugurated on 19 January, 2024.


People leave their homes at early hours and return after sunset in Hazaribagh and Panvel as the main source of income coming from coal mining activities and agriculture. This makes it difficult for parents to prepare breakfast or lunch for their children and most of them go to schools with empty stomach. This affects their attendance, focus on academics and other activities and performance in general.

Akshaya Patra has expanded its reach through Panvel and Hazaribagh kitchens to break this cycle and implement Government of India’s PM POSHAN Abhiyaan. Panvel kitchen has the capacity to serve 10,000 children while the Hazaribagh kitchen has the capacity to cook mid-day meals for 1 lakh children every day.
A lot of children only attend school because they know they will receive a healthy midday meal. In addition to addressing hunger, the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan has a favourable effect on enrollment, attendance and retention rates. Having wholesome meals enables students to focus in class, learn effectively and ultimately create a brighter future.

Here’s what a teacher from a beneficiary school of the Panvel kitchen has to say about the midday meals.

Anupama Dambre, Principal, Gyan Jyoti Savitribai Phule Mahanagar Palika School, Panvel

“Every day, a teacher only wants to see her students happy and healthy. I am grateful to Akshaya Patra for providing my school’s students with hot, nutritious meals. The majority of these children come from homes that struggle to manage even one healthy meal every day. They are able to focus better on their studies and other co-curricular activities because of the meals given at school.”

For over 23 years, the Foundation has worked towards alleviation of classroom hunger, encouraging marginalised children to get an education and aspire for a brighter future. When you donate to feed the children, these meals act as an incentive for children to attend school every day. Thus, increasing attendance and enrolment rates. The meals also encourage them to continue their education. With the addition of the two new kitchens, Akshaya Patra hopes to impact more young minds.

Meals for Dreams

In order to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition in Indian classrooms, Akshaya Patra is working with the help of the central and state governments, as well as individual and corporate donors, philanthropists. The initiative, which began with 1,500 students in five Bengaluru schools, is already feeding over 2.1 million students nationwide. The NGO has been successful in expanding its care to remote locations with the goal of guaranteeing nourishment for every child.

Donate online and make a difference!

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Celebrate Unity this Kannada Rajyotsava with Akshaya Patra

Official Blog – Kannada Rajyotsava_1160x450

Karnataka celebrates its Rajyotsava on 1 November every year. It’s a day when the state stands tall, honouring its past, celebrating its present and embracing a promising future.

Karnataka Rajyotsava, also known as Kannada Rajyotsava, is a momentous day for the people of Karnataka in India. It is a day of great pride, unity and festivity. Celebrated on 1 November each year, Kannada Rajyotsava marks the day the state of Karnataka was formed. This day is a testament to the rich cultural heritage and the spirit of unity that defines this vibrant state.

Historical Significance
The history of Kannada Rajyotsava dates back to 1956 when the state was reorganised on a linguistic basis. The region had been under the rule of various dynasties and empires, including the Chalukyas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara and the British. On 1 November 1956, the Kannada-speaking regions of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, Hyderabad State and the Madras Presidency were merged to form the state of Mysore, which was later renamed Karnataka in 1973. This day was declared a state holiday and is now celebrated as Kannada Rajyotsava.

Celebrations Across Schools
Kannada Rajyotsava is celebrated with great enthusiasm in schools across the state. The celebrations typically start with flag hoisting and the singing of the state anthem, “Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate.” Students are encouraged to wear traditional attire, reflecting the diverse and vibrant culture of Karnataka. Cultural programmes, including dance performances, dramas and traditional music, are organised to showcase the rich heritage of the state. Students often participate in various competitions like essay writing, drawing and elocution, focussing on Karnataka’s history and culture.

Akshaya Patra: Nourishing Karnataka’s Future
On this auspicious day, it’s crucial to recognise the contributions of organisations dedicated to the welfare of the state. One such notable entity is The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in Bengaluru that implements the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan (formerly known as the Mid-Day Meal Programme). It plays a pivotal role in nourishing the future of Karnataka by providing mid-day meals (MDM) to school children. The eight centralised kitchens serve MDM to close to 3,51,381 underprivileged students of 3,188 schools across the state as a part of the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan. By doing so, it not only works to eradicate classroom hunger but also encourages children to attend school regularly, which is a crucial step towards a brighter future for Karnataka.

Hear the beneficiaries speak

Santhosh, 9 std, GHS, Bagalur, Bangalore, Karnataka
I relish rasam-rice, bisibelebath or pulao with my friends during lunch time.
Anita Kumar, 10 std, Government High School, Bagalur, Bengaluru, Karnataka
“I enjoy bisibelebath, sambar and rice, and payasam the most from the daily menu.”
Purvi Vadapudi, 6 std, G.H.P.S, Ramalingeshwarnagar, Hubballi, Karnataka
“I love pulao. It’s my favourite dish because it is nutritious and tasty. It has many nutritious ingredients like vegetables, grains and pulses in it. The nutritious meals we get after coming to school makes us healthy. And this is one of the reasons why many of my friends come to school.”
Dawal Mallik, 5 std, G.H.P.S, Tarihal, Hubballi, Karnataka
“I love the food served by Akshaya Patra in my school. My favourite dish from the menu is rice and sambar.”

No matter, which school a child studies in; no matter which caste s/he belongs to, Akshaya Patra ensures that every child gets the required amount of nutrition through mid-day meals. The celebrations in schools are a testament to the importance of instilling a sense of pride and belonging in the hearts of young Karnataka citizens.

As Karnataka celebrates its Rajyotsava, it not only marks its history but also the promise of a bright and prosperous future for this beautiful state. It’s a day when Karnataka stands tall, honouring its past, celebrating its present and embracing its promising future.

Your contribution further exemplifies the state’s dedication to the welfare and nourishment of its future generations.

Donate to Akshaya Patra this Kannada Rajyotsava and see the dreams of children come alive as they progress in their academics.

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#BlogToFeedAChildSchool Note

Your generosity can bring children #BackToSchool

Your generosity can bring children BackToSchool

A child’s future is significantly impacted by their access to education, which helps them break the cycle of poverty. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such NGO that tries to help children with their holistic development. Our organisation is dedicated to ensuring that children have access to food and education which in turn helps in their attendance, enrolment and retention in school.

For people who are living with limited opportunities, having access to food and education is a gleam of hope for a better life. Our NGO is dedicated to giving nutritional and educational assistance to those who need it the most through our PM POSHAN Abhiyaan (Mid-Day Meal Programme). The BackToSchool campaign is one such campaign that encourages children to resume their studies after their summer vacation.

BackToSchool’s mission is to give children from backgrounds with limited opportunities access to a high-quality education, regardless of their socioeconomic status, and to give them the tools they need to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Every child will have access to a high-quality food and education and will be able to realise their full potential.

Promoting education as a means of achieving social and economic empowerment is our goal. Moreover, we also strive to give children the knowledge and abilities they require for survival. Through this programme, we envision to live in a society in which every child have access to good food and education and has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

With the help of our BackToSchool programme, we have been able to significantly improve the lives of children in need. We have supported access to food, reduced hunger and poverty, education and encouraged environmentally friendly behaviours. We have also made educational resources and opportunities available. The funds for the BackToSchool campaign is raised through a number of channels, including private donations, corporate sponsorships and foundation grants.

BackToSchool consistently addresses obstacles for children to get access to food, an education and a good life. We give children with limited opportunities, nutritious school meals every day which helps them pursue their education and follow their dreams.

To promote children’s development and create a positive learning environment, we collaborate with the government, schools, parents and communities. By implementing these straightforward measures, we can remove obstacles to the food and education and guarantee that every child grows up to be a responsible adult.

We can raise nutritional and education levels and the future by working together. Extend your support to The Akshaya Patra Foundation and help address hunger.

Donate online!

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Let’s Address Hunger ‘Together’, This World Hunger Day

World Hunger Day

Billions of people worldwide lack adequate access to food and hunger continues to claim more lives than conflict. Despite our increasing food production, the threat of hunger and malnutrition still exists.

This World Hunger Day, on 28 May, here are a few things you can do to address hunger:

Donate Food: Many organisations dedicated to feeding initiatives welcome donations of food items that are largely non-perishable, such as grains, oil, and specific fruits and vegetables. Then they are given out to those in need. The next time you go for groceries, buy a little extra that can be donated.

Initiate a Conversation: You can talk to people on why an issue as grave as hunger must be addressed and form a group, raise money and then donate it to an NGO that provides food to the hungry.

Volunteer: Every city organises soup kitchens (a soup kitchen is a place where food is offered to the hungry usually for free or sometimes at a below-market price), where mostly one-pot meals are cooked or have organisations like us where meals are prepared throughout the year to serve certain vulnerable sections of society. You can volunteer in the preparation, distribution or other activities connected to the cause.

Monetary Donation: Every penny matters. You can extend financial support to charitable organisations that have made a commitment to address hunger. Every donation you make in support of an organisation like us, is used for serving meals to government school children, pregnant and lactating mothers at anganwadi centres and elderly mothers living in ashrams, to ensure that they have adequate food every day.

How your support to an organisation like Akshaya Patra can change the hunger scenario

Akshaya Patra was founded in 2000 with the straightforward idea to provide food for students in order to increase enrolment and retain them in school through a hot, nourishing meal every day. Currently, 2 million children are served and we aim to feed 3 million children by 2025.

When you support us, you are not only helping us serve meals to children from backgrounds with limited opportunities, but also helping them pursue their education and dreams and break the poverty cycle. This aids us to work towards a sustainable solution to end hunger.

Extend your support to The Akshaya Patra Foundation and help address hunger on this World Hunger Day.

Donate online!

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Feeding Children. Empowering Dreams. Saving Tax

tax exemption

Eleven-year-old Neeraj lives in a humble home in Badarpur, New Delhi with his parents, two siblings and grandmother. The recent past has been difficult. Neeraj and her family would frequently go without food as a result of her father’s struggles to find stable employment.

Recently, we, at Akshaya Patra, shared a mid-day meal with Neeraj at his school where he spoke about his dreams and aspirations. With the introduction of the Government’s Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Programme, Neeraj’s life has undergone a significant transformation. In addition to satisfying his hunger, Akshaya Patra also helps him dream for a better tomorrow.

Neeraj aspires to achieve great things in the future. He declares, “I want to be an Army Officer so I may help other people.” Because of the kindness of Akshaya Patra donors, Neeraj can dream of his future with hope that he can make it happen.

Mould Young Dreams
The lives of plants and children are comparable to one another. To obtain the greatest benefits, it requires ongoing care. But most of the time, we disregard this straightforward life principle where continual effort is required.

Children lack the energy to concentrate and study if they do not consume enough nutrient-rich food. The impact of hunger isn’t limited to the immediate reality of an aching empty belly. Research shows that children who suffer from nutrition insecurity or diet-related disease attain less education, experience more sick days, advance less in their careers, are forced out of the workforce earlier and die younger, with fewer of their dreams fulfilled.

Akshaya Patra strives to change this trajectory and see food become a part of what bends the arc towards justice for children who depend on us. With every meal we provide, we are trying to eliminate hunger in classrooms. With one nutritious meal every school day, students can focus on academics and pursue their dreams and aspirations.

Building Dreams. Building Tomorrow
Over the past two years, millions of families have struggled to put food on plates for their families. And with schools closed, many children lost their only access to nutrition in these years.

For underprivileged children and their families, healthy nutrition transforms their lives and gifts them the hope to regain their livelihood.

Saina studies in Class 6 in Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Badarpur, New Delhi. “I just want to go home from work every day and know I made a difference! I want to be a teacher because I want to be able to help mould and shape our future. I truly believe that children are our future and it is important that we provide them with the right information and tools to lead their lives in a positive way,” Saina says.

“How we impact the children we teach now, determines the outcome of our future and being able to be a part of history in a minuscule way is a very big deal,” she adds.

Naveen Eshnan in a 11-year-old, studying in Government Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, New Delhi.
“I made the decision to enlist in the army because I desired a better life for my family and me. The benefits of being an Army Officer are numerous. Being an officer in the world’s best army is the best job I can imagine having. I have the opportunity to serve my neighbourhood and state in addition to my country as an officer in the Indian Army,” Naveen says.

Naveen is the eldest of five siblings. His father is a tailor and the only earning member of the family. This Class 7 student has an ailing grandmother who is looked after by his mother. He adds that the family struggles with money and that Akshaya Patra’s lunch is a glimmer of hope for him that inspires him to go to school. He thanks the NGO for the hot meals provided and also the Happiness Kits that were distributed during the pandemic.

“Because of the demanding nature of a soldier’s life and the fact that they do not live with their families, Defence is the finest choice for anyone who wants to serve their country. They do it without complaining. When there are natural disasters or calamities, they assist us. Since our country’s army men are defending us at the border, we can sleep peacefully today. Serving our country is an opportunity, not just a career option,” adds Naveen.

Jayanthi is a 13-year-old daughter of a farmer father and a homemaker mother. She wants to join the police force when she completes her academics. According to her, every country has its own rules and regulations, and these rules are made to maintain harmony in the country. Sometimes people neglect the rules and cause discomfort and disturbance to others. So, to have an eye on the society, the Government brought in Police Force. They are the Government bodies that maintain peace in society. They help people in different ways and never let people face any difficulty.

She adds: “A Police Officer has many responsibilities; one side they have to maintain peace in the society and on the other side they also have to catch the criminals. If the crime rate increases in a particular area, then they have to answer the higher authorities. Police are not those who remain in a police station and write your report. They also have to solve many cases and some unsolved murder mysteries. The challenges involved in the job inspire Jayanthi to follow her dreams of becoming a Cop.”

Children have big dreams and it is up to us to fulfil those dreams. You contribution of INR 2,500 to The Akshaya Patra Foundation ensures that a child has an access to a healthy breakfast and a nutritious lunch every school day. With each meal you provide, you are gifting the promise of a brighter tomorrow to a child.

Please continue to donate and support millions of children like Saina, Naveen, Jayanthi and Laxmi every day and encourage them to pursue their dreams. Contribute and avail a 50% tax exemption under Section 80G of the IT Act.

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How Akshaya Patra Inspires Children To Dream

midday meals program

Dreams keep you moving forward and the gap between dreaming and making those dreams come true might not always be insurmountable, especially if you have support and know how to get there.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such organisation that works relentlessly to end classroom hunger among underprivileged children and support them to fulfil their dreams. The NGO’s goal is to establish relationships between donors and recipients in order to share joy and grant the unfulfilled desires of children from marginalised communities through food and education.

With feeding lunch to only 1,500 children in 2000, today the NGO upholds a network of world-class kitchens that serve hot mid-day meals (MDM) to 2 million children at more than 22,367 schools in 14 Indian states and 2 union territories.

The Mid-Day Meal Programme (MDM Programme) – currently known as PM Poshan Abhiyaan, a programme to ensure that every child in every government school receives a nourishing meal every school day, is the core service under which Akshaya Patra conducts its operations.

Akshaya Patra’s goal goes beyond simply feeding underprivileged children. It has to do with societal advancement. In addition to encouraging children to attend school, the Foundation works to give them a diversified and nutrient-rich food to improve their nutritional and health status, thus encouraging them to work towards their aspirations.

By 2025, Akshaya Patra strives to serve three million kids every day. The organisation will work to improve its programmes with solutions concentrating on children’s food and nutritional security to put into practise creative ideas as an addition to welfare programmes to improve their health and well-being.

The National Endeavor for Student Transformation (NEST), a set of programmes that focus on children’s holistic development and go beyond meals, has already been introduced. Among them are the school revitalisation programme, which works to create a supportive environment for children through a variety of academic and infrastructure interventions, the Digital Education Programme to provide students with access to digital devices and world-class digital learning platform with professionally curated content and the AVSAR scholarship program, which awards financial aid to deserving students.

Our Beneficiaries

Chandrashekhar comes from a very humble background. He has five siblings and his parents are street-side vendors. He is a mid-day meal beneficiary and enjoys the food served at school. He says he is grateful that the hot meals give him the energy to study well and take part in co-curricular activities.

Currently, millions of children struggle for one square meal a day; for them education is a distant dream. These young lives wait for generosity to help them pursue an education which is their only stepping stone towards their dreams. The school meals do nothing short of a miracle in such a situation. These meals encourage families from difficult socioeconomic circumstances to take their children to school. By supporting Akshaya Patra, you can help over 2 million+ children with nutritious food and education each school day.

Support Akshaya Patra’s Government school students and empower their dreams. Donate for children!

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