Food and Education

Food and Education

Pick your programme to donate this Hunger Action Month

hunger action month

Weddings, birthdays, parties, functions, festivals generate so much of food waste. When people can waste that much food, can’t we save that much to feed people in need?

This Hunger Action Month, let’s take one step closer to making India a hunger-free nation.

According to Global Hunger Index 2021, India’s score of 27.5 is considered to be serious.

The good news is responsible individuals and NGOs are working on making the situation better. They help underprivileged street dwellers, nursing mothers, pregnant women, aged individuals, school-aged children and so on. However, the success of all these activities largely depends on donations from people.

Feed to defeat hunger this Hunger Action Month
Hunger Action Month is a special month to be fully aware of the hunger crisis. People all around the world show their support for the cause of ending hunger. The occasion is observed all over the world, including India.

We, at The Akshaya Patra Foundation—one of the renowned NGOs in India, observe Hunger Action Month every year. We have been feeding hungry people for 21 years with donations from our kind and consistent supporters. Today, we proudly nourish over a million children, disaster victims and many vulnerable mothers every day.

Sinchana S of GMPS Unkal School, Karnataka, is delighted to be able to go to school every day and focus on her studies without being distracted by hunger. She mentions that the meals served by Akshaya Patra are full of nourishing vegetables that she cannot access at home due to unfavourable financial conditions. Therefore, she enjoys these satisfying school meals and loves to have them with her friends. At her school, Akshaya Patra also funds hot milk in the morning which keeps them satisfied until lunch break.

So, take out a few moments from your busy schedules to empower the destitute people in India through your donations. Have a look at the programmes we run at Akshaya Patra and choose how you wish to contribute this month:

PM Poshan Abhiyaan

Through PM POSHAN Abhiyaan (formerly called the Mid-Day Meal Scheme), we serve freshly-cooked meals in Government and Government-aided schools across 65 locations in 14 states and 2 union territories.

Currently, we nourish 1.8 million underprivileged children daily which allows them to concentrate better, develop strong immunity and grow healthy, physically and mentally. We follow international hygiene standards and nutritional guidelines mandated by the Supreme Court of India and the Ministry of Education (formerly known as the Ministry of Human Resource Department) while preparing and distributing the school meals. We have also won several accolades for financial transparency, relief feeding and serving society in multiple ways.

You can donate to feed a child with our flagship programme supporting the Indian Government’s PM Poshan Abhiyaan or for any of our other programmes detailed below.

Anganwadi Feeding Programme

Ideally, children must receive nourishment from their foundational years that start in their mother’s womb. Hence, nursing and would-be mothers must receive balanced nutrition to build strength during and after childbirth. It helps in the development of vital organs and immunity of the newborns during crucial years of their growth.

When you contribute to the Anganwadi Feeding initiative, you not only donate to feed a child but also strengthen the health and chances of survival of the mother as well.

Feed the Homeless Mothers Programme

A woman needs 1,800-2,200 calories a day to carry out simple tasks. However, 40 million women in India who are left alone without husbands and families struggle to make ends meet. They are deprived of the basic nutrition needed for survival.

With Feed the Homeless Mothers initiative, we serve freshly cooked meals to nourish them. These meals save them from diseases and help them restart their lives with new hopes. Feed to defeat hunger in homeless widowed mothers.

Night Shelter Feeding Programme

Lakhs of people in India live on the streets or inside kaccha houses (jhopris) without basic amenities. They often depend on leftover food and the little money they have. They are also the most affected during disasters such as the pandemic, heavy rainfalls or heatwaves.

We feed them three cooked meals every day in Rain Baseras (Night Shelters)—the only hope of survival for them. Support Akshaya Patra to help street dwellers rise towards good health and opportunities for better lives.

Bangalore Relief Feeding Programme

Unprecedented rainstorms are flooding the streets and houses of Bangalore. Affected people, including pregnant women and little children, face chaos with their daily necessities and food supplies being washed away by the rainwaters.

We are responding with Relief Feeding Programme for these troubled Bangaloreans. The meals served include tomato rice/jeera rice and dal/dhalcha. Contribute to help them survive the distress.

Final Thoughts
Hunger is at the core of many other ills such as malnutrition, diseases, child labour and illiteracy. Eliminating it alone can improve the lifestyles of billions of people around the world.

Today, options are many for the ones who wish to help. Even the smallest donation from you can feed a disadvantaged child for several months!

So, don’t wait! Support Akshaya Patra and let your kindness win over the evil of hunger.
Donate online this Hunger Action Month to nurture an individual’s health and dreams right from where you are!

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Food and Education

Key issues of under-nourishment in middle childhood


Middle childhood is the second opportunity for growth after early childhood. Growth is not restricted to a physical growth spurt but also includes psychosocial development, establishing lifelong dietary and lifestyle habits.
Right nutrition provided during this period fuels both the brain and the body. Today, many children fail to consume nutritious diets in their childhood days. By eating junk food like chips and soda, they bereave themselves of a foundation for long and healthy adulthood. For children coming from challenging backgrounds, they do not eat breakfast almost every single day. They come to the school directly to eat lunch that is served as a part of the MDM scheme.

Issues of malnourishment in children
Malnourishment is deficiency, imbalance or excess in an individual’s energy and nutrients. There are various forms of malnourishment that include sub-forms of undernutrition that include:

Low weight to height ratio is called wasting. It indicates recent and severe weight loss because the child has not had enough food to eat or has diarrhoea.

Low height-for-age is known as stunting. It is a result of chronic or recurrent undernutrition. When a child suffers from stunting, s/he is held back from reaching their physical and cognitive potential.

Children who have low eight for their age suffer from being underweight. A child who is underweight for his/her age may be wasted, stunted or both.

Micronutrient related deficiencies
Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals enable the production of hormones and enzymes and other substances essential for adequate growth and development.

When a child suffers from malnourishment, a series of other illnesses follow. Unhealthy diets and improper food consumption give way to non-communicable diseases as well. Growth failure and micronutrient inadequacy in childhood can create high-risk chronic diseases in adulthood if not taken care of early. Adolescents experience a rapid increase in physical growth and development and their intake depends on various factors.

Influencing factors on dietary choices and eating behaviours
Dietary choices and lifestyle behaviours are driven by a range of factors like:

Individual factors
These include personal preference of food, perceived benefits, healthy eating, meal frequency and willingness to learn about healthy eating. For example, children start developing a liking towards a particular category of vegetables or the opposite.

Interpersonal factors
Children’s dietary choices are heavily influenced by their support system, family, peer, parenting style, etc. If a certain family of fruits or vegetables are not eaten in a family, the child is more likely to grow up disliking or not eating that fruit or vegetable.

Macro-level factors
Policies and advertisements also influence children’s likes and dislikes. For example, if a particular dish is promoted on television, children develop the interest to try the dish at least once.

Environmental factors
Factors related to availability, accessibility and affordability influence dietary intake in children. Availability of fruits and vegetables in a locality influences their choice of food. School food environments influence their choices as they spend most of their time in school and one-third of their nutritional requirements are met during the schooling hours.

Tackling malnutrition with the Midday Meal Programme
Minimum or no access to nutritious food results in deficiencies of vitamins and micronutrients in children. As a part of the MDM scheme which is now known as the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan, school meals are provided to lower and upper primary school students. With the implementation of the Government’s Midday Meal Programme in India, 16 million children benefit daily.

There are many NGOs that run this scheme for the benefit of children coming from challenging backgrounds. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such NGO catering to the nutritional requirements of children.

Reach of this NGO in India
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a non-profit organisation that implements the Government’s Midday Meal Programme. This Foundation has the distinction of being the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme, serving freshly cooked nutritious meals to over 1.8 million children in 19,039 schools of 13 states & 1 union territory. It caters to the local palate of children studying in Government and Government-aided schools with its centralised and decentralised kitchens present in 58 locations of India.

After continuously receiving school meals, drastic physical and cognitive developments have been recorded in mid-day meal beneficiaries. Meals become an incentive for parents from low-income backgrounds to send their children to school so that they can receive at least one complete meal a day.
To read stories of children, click here.

Donate online to support children’s food and education on every day of their school. Your contribution to this NGO in India will help in supporting the dreams of little children who aim big in life.

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Food and Education

Akshaya Patra – NGO responsible for bringing social change via midday meals

ngo in india

India has established itself as one of the potential superpowers of the world but has a lot more to address on the malnutrition front. To achieve sustainable development, many ministries have lined up to achieve various goals. A few of them are listed below:

• Ministry of Education
• Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
• Ministry of Women and Child Development
• Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
• Ministry of Finance

Over the last few decades, India is contributing rigorously to the second goal of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); which is to tackle all forms of hunger and malnutrition. To address this issue, the Indian government came up with various concepts and provisions like Public Distribution System (PDS) for food grains – provision of subsidized food, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) – targeted food supplementation to pregnant women nursing mothers and children, National Midday Meal Scheme – provision of a cooked meal once a day to every school child.

Role of NGOs in supporting the Government of India
NGOs play an important role in the development of a community, a state or a nation. On a broad level, the major roles of NGOs are to be:
• An Implementer
• A Catalyst
• A Partner

NGOs bridge gaps between philanthropists and beneficiaries. With online donations, contributions, in-kind donations, etc., NGOs benefit the target group in various ways. It also helps in expanding its reach to bring more beneficiaries under its umbrella.

Given the population of India, it is a humungous task to feed every single child. This is why various NGOs joined hands with the Government of India to implement the midday meal scheme on a large scale.

Role of Akshaya Patra in supporting health and nutrition of school children
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO that has taken to serving school lunch to its beneficiaries since 2000. Today, it has the distinction of being the world’s largest NGO run school lunch programme, which serves freshly cooked, nutritious mid-day meals. After the mandate of the Supreme Court of India to begin the midday meal scheme across the country, other NGOs also started providing school lunches to children.

Did you know? Before the pandemic, Akshaya Patra served mid-day meals to 1.8 million children every day.

Studies have shown that midday meals improve attendance rates of school children, reduce dropout rates, improve classroom performance, help in cognitive development and improve nutritional levels drastically.

It becomes extremely necessary to nip the buds of problems right from the beginning. Eradicating classroom hunger is one such problem. Make online donations to Akshaya Patra to feed one child for a whole academic year. You never know which child needs your support the most; your contribution can bring a million smiles. All you have to do is think of their nutritional status and act to feed them nutritious meals.

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Food and Education

Healthy children make a healthy nation

childrens day

India is one of the largest countries in the world with a constantly growing population.

India’s child population (aged 0-14 years) is 26.6% of the total population of the country.

Acknowledging the fact that children are the building blocks of a nation, the Central Government of India initiated various schemes to ensure that they get the right nutrition (right from their birth) and the required education for their development. Some of these schemes are Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme and the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDM).

Nutritional requirements of children at various stages of life
Nutritional needs vary from one stage of life to another. essential amino acids, fatty acids, carbohydrates and various other vitamins and minerals help in life sustenance and health in different proportions. For example, macro and micronutrients intake in childhood is recommended to be higher when compared to adulthood.

midday meals

Many NGOs in India have worked in tandem with the Government of India to ensure that nutritional deficiencies are tackled right at the base level – infancy and childhood.

Did you know?
Mid-Day Meal Scheme was started by the Central Government in 1995 to feed the children. However, only a few states could scale up the programme immediately.

The Mid-Day Meal Scheme was started in 1995 by the Central Government of India to provide free school meals to children studying in Government and Government-aided primary schools in classes I-V. After the Supreme Court’s order in 2000, many states covered this programme with the help of NGOs. One such implementing partner that operates on a public-private partnership (PPP) is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. The NGO that fed 1500 children in Karnataka’s Bengaluru in 2000, grew multifold with the support from the Government of India, the State Governments and associated organisations.

With its constant effort to provide unlimited food for education to children studying in Government and Government-aided schools, it aims to mitigate classroom hunger. With the vision “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger,” the organization is on a mission to serve mid-day meals to 5 million children by 2025, every day.

Akshaya Patra takes care of nutritional needs of children even today
The main objective of the Mid-Day Meal Programme was to improve the nutritional status of children. There was a need to encourage people from economically challenging backgrounds to send their children to school and free meals were one major reason why they attended schools regularly, concentrated in classrooms and participated in activities thereby increasing enrolment, retention and attendance rates.

After almost 18 months of school closure, children are back to schools and Akshaya Patra is back to serving them nutritious food. Locally palatable meals are served to school children to ensure that no food is wasted due to changes in the local flavour of food. By providing free unlimited food for children, Akshaya Patra aims to tackle two important issues – hunger and education.

Support to feed the children of India by making online donations to Akshaya Patra. How developed they are and they can be lies upon us. Let’s feed them together because they are the ones who will make our nation a better one every single day by walking on the path of progression.

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Celebrate for a Cause

Feeding children of the state on Kannada Rajyotsava

kannada rajyotsava

From the whole of the Akshaya Patra family, wishing everyone a Happy Kannada Rajyotsava!

The 1st of every November is Kannada Rajyotsava, a day when a sense of pride fills the hearts of Kannadigas as ‘Jai Karnataka’ reverberates in the entire state. On this day, all Kannada speaking areas were merged into a new state that was initially called Mysore. In 1973 on this very day, the name of this state was changed to Karnataka. The birth of a Kannada speaking state is celebrated as Kannada Rajyotsava where Rajyotsava comes from two words – ‘Rajya’ meaning state and Utsava meaning festival.

The whole state is decorated with red and yellow while Karnataka flags are hoisted in every location and the state anthem ‘Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate’ is sung in communities, associations, other establishments, etc. Many NGOs too celebrate this day with great fervour, celebration and arrange for special lunch for their beneficiaries.

In many schools – both private and public, a sense of patriotism is tingled in every child by arranging for debate competitions, fancy dress competitions and enacting skits and plays. This is mostly followed by a special lunch for all the children.

Akshaya Patra, Akshara Dasoha and the connection with Karnataka
In 2000, The Akshaya Patra Foundation started providing school meals to children in Bangalore under its own school lunch programme to support their education and nutrition. To verify the efficacy of the lunch scheme, this NGO in Bangalore was called in for its testimony, post which, the Mid-Day Meal Programme was mandated. Integrating the centrally sponsored scheme – the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NPNSPE), the State Government launched the Akshara Dasoha Scheme [Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme] in June 2002.

Nutritious meals are prepared by Akshaya Patra in Karnataka from its seven kitchens – V.K. Hill (Bengaluru), H.K. Hill (Bengaluru), Jigani (Bengaluru), Hubballi, Mangaluru, Mysuru and Ballari. The kitchens in V.K. Hill, Jigani and H.K. Hill are ISO 22000:2005 certified, the Ballari and Hubballi kitchens are ISO 22000:2005, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 certified. The kitchens of Mysuru and Mangaluru are under the process of certification. In every kitchen, locally palatable meals are served to its beneficiaries to ensure that there is no wastage of food.

stories of children

Akshaya Patra is extremely grateful to The Government of India, State Governments, District Authorities, individual partners, corporate donors and volunteers for constant support over the last 20 years.

Kannada Rajyotsava amid the COVID crisis
This is the second year in a row when the festivities of this special day will be minimized; all due to the pandemic. As schools were shut for a very long time, Akshaya Patra expanded from providing unlimited food for children to unlimited food for everyone in need.

stories of children

This NGO in Bangalore has served a cumulative of 2,14,01,130 meals in the form of:
• Cooked meals served to every individual in need
• Happiness Kits to mid-day meal beneficiaries
• Family Happiness Kits to vulnerable families
• Raksha Kits as an incentive to help people get vaccinated
• Shakti Kit to nourish expecting mothers.

What Next?
As we all hope for the effect of the pandemic to decrease, life to go back to normal, schools and colleges to reopen, Akshaya Patra is gearing up to serve safe meals to children of Karnataka. All the kitchens of this NGO are being sanitized and cleaned to deliver hygienic food to children studying in Government and Government-aided schools. Donate online to support this NGO in Bangalore to take care of children’s nutritional requirements daily.

Dedicate this Kannada Rajyotsava to the children of Karnataka.
Support their food and education today!

kannada rajyotsava

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Food and Education

Akshaya Patra is back with serving mid-day meals to children

midday meals scheme

For over one and a half years now, schools have remained shut owing to the pandemic. In all these months, children coming from low-income backgrounds have neither received mid-day meals nor have they attended online classes due to lack of infrastructure. However, many NGOs came up with distributing grocery kits to these children. One such NGO in India was The Akshaya Patra Foundation that started the Happiness Kits initiative to support the health, hygiene and education of children.

Akshaya Patra asked children from Government and Government-aided schools what they wanted and what they missed the most. They missed going to school, either they were too bored, missed their friends, wanted a classroom environment or missed eating mid-day meals at school. Even after 18 months since the onset of the pandemic, children remain at home and want to go back to school.

See what the mid-day meal beneficiaries have to say:

Some states of India have reopened schools by following guidelines stated by the Ministry of education. Now that children have started going back to school, the smiles on their faces are self-explanatory of their happiness and joy.

Currently, Akshaya Patra is running the Government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme in few parts of four states of India, namely, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana. Since the reopening of the schools following the pandemic, a total of 44.6 lakh locally palatable meals have been distributed to children coming from challenging socio-economic backgrounds.

Some of the meals served to mid-day meal beneficiaries in:

In Uttar Pradesh, children from Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Mathura and Vrindavan have been receiving their daily source of nutrition from mid-day meals.

midday meals scheme

In Andhra Pradesh, children from Gambheeram, Kakinada, Kuppam, Managalagiri, Srikakulam, Vizag and Nellore receive their share of nutritious mid-day meals.

midday meals scheme

Children in Ballari, Karnataka receive nutritious school meals following the pandemic.

midday meals scheme

In Telangana, school children from Narsingi, Nawabpet and Kandi are currently being served freshly prepared mid-day meals.

midday meals scheme

Every state serves locally palatable meals to avoid wastage of food due to dislike of taste. Each meal is served according to nutritional requirement guidelines for Primary and Upper Primary students.

Akshaya Patra is doing its bit to ensure that children remain healthy by eating good food every day. You can support this NGO with your online donations of ₹1100 to serve mid-day meals to children for a whole academic year. When you donate online, you also get a tax exemption certificate for your good deed.

coronavirus prevention

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Food and Education

Share meals to end hunger during Hunger Action Month

Hunger action month

Food has the capacity to either make or break a person. For the body to fight against various infections, diseases or malnutrition, a well-balanced diet is of prime importance. The quality of food that a person consumes, determines how the quality of their life is.

Every individual must be educated about the importance of nutrition, hence, the government of India launched a campaign in 1982 to raise awareness and to encourage everyone to understand the importance of adopting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. National Nutrition Week is celebrated between 1st-7th September every year since then.

With the COVID pandemic wreaking havoc in people’s liveso, this year’s theme is “feeding smart right from start” with which the government aims to provide information on how adults and children alike, can benefit from a god diet, right from birth. You can either provide food for the hungry or make them aware of nutritional values present in different food items.

Nutritional values in Akshaya Patra’s food
Nutritional values of various dishes are very difficult to calculate. However, we can know the nutritional value of every single ingredient that goes into specific dishes. Akshaya Patra provides nutritious school meals to mid-day meal beneficiaries, freshly-cooked meals to people affected by the COVID pandemic and other low-income sections of India that need food assistance (construction-site workers, aged people, grave-diggers, sweepers and cleaners, auto rickshaw drivers, etc.).

What goes into Akshaya Patra’s food?
Whether meals are cooked for mid-day meal beneficiaries or people affected during the COVID pandemic, The Akshaya Patra Foundation follows strict hygiene and safety practices to prepare food to feed the needy people of India during the COVID crisis. All the kitchens that are equipped to prepare meals on a large scale implement food Safety Management Systems to handle, prepare and deliver food.

midday meal meals

midday meal meals

How can you support to make Zero Hunger possible?
You can support this NGO in India by making online donations through September (Hunger Action Month) and throughout the year. Today, there are lots of people who are not able to get food for their survival due to their economical situations.

Your contribution towards Akshaya Patra ensures no one goes hungry. This Hunger Action Month, let’s #FeedToDefeatHunger.

raksha bandhan

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Food and Education

Midday Meal Service Resumes in India

midday meal programme

Schools have started reopening after a long pause resulted from the pandemic. Various precautionary measures are taken by schools and institutions to ensure the safety of children and teaching staff. A few of them are anxious, while the rest of them have been relieved to be back to a place that was so close to their hearts.

The Education Ministry has laid down a few guidelines for schools to re-open:
• Wearing masks is compulsory for all the students, teachers and staff.
• Strict hand hygiene routines should be followed.
• Children will sit six feet apart from each other.
• Sharing of books, toys and food will be prohibited.

After almost half a year, children are happy to be back to schools, meet their friends and teachers, clear doubts while they are physically present in school and to eat their mid-day meals again.

Resuming service of the Mid-Day Meal Programme
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India has resumed serving nutritious mid-day meals to children who are back to Government and Government-aided schools after the pandemic. Hygiene and safety are given primary importance while preparing these meals. The kitchens and vessels are sterilised and sanitised while employees sanitise their hands and wear safety gear like gloves, masks, kitchen boots and headgears.

ngo kitchens

ngo kitchens

Food and quality checks are conducted at every stage of the preparation of meals. Mandatory routines are followed by each member of the kitchen staff. Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) are implemented in all the kitchens of the organisation. All cutting boards, knives, rice cauldrons, trolleys, rice chutes, dal/sambar tanks, and other instruments are sanitised before usage every single day. Temperature checks are carried out at each stage to ensure that children receive hot food.

Once these meals reach the schools, children thoroughly wash their hands while following social distance norms. Clean plates are distributed to ensure that children comfortably enjoy their food. Currently, the Foundation has begun serving school meals to mid-day meal beneficiaries in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. Locally palatable meals are served in Kandi, Narsingi, Nawabpet, Kuppam, Gorakhpur, Guwahati, Kakinada, Nellore, Lucknow, Vrindavan, Vizag, Mangalagiri, Srikakulam, Gudivada, Ghambiram and Vijayawada.

You can donate online to support Akshaya Patra in feeding mid-day meal beneficiaries. Your tax exemption donations ensure that children get hot, nutritious and hygienically prepared food. After the pandemic, children look forward to gaining their source of nutrition that they had access to earlier.

Your online donations can feed children for one full year at Rs.1100.

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Food and Education

This September, Feed to Defeat Hunger!

hunger action month

September is Hunger Action Month. Communities, NGOs and other organizations call upon for support to provide food relief to people belonging to challenging economic backgrounds.

690 million people worldwide are affected by hunger
381 million undernourished people living in Asia

With the present COVID-19 situation, it is estimated that 130 million more people will slip into the chronic hunger bracket by 2020. Given the pandemic, we need to take tangible steps to fight hunger; hence, the Need to Feed is NOW!

To tackle this situation, various NGOs including The Akshaya Patra Foundation have come together to provide food to the people in need. Akshaya Patra is an Indian NGO that works in tandem with the Government of India and various State Governments to implement the Mid-Day Meal Programme. Along with its core cause, this NGO steps in to provide food relief during crisis situations such as flood, cyclone, earthquake, and is currently serving the needy amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Akshaya Patra’s COVID-19 Food Relief Service
Akshaya Patra and its Associate Foundations started the COVID-19 Food Relief Service on 25th March 2020 and have served a cumulative of 7.8-Crore meals. The NGO has served 4,57,17,685 cooked meals and distributed 7,87,570 grocery kits across 19 states of India – Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, West Bengal, Punjab, Jharkhand, and Himachal Pradesh.

Akshaya Patra’s Happiness Bags Programme
Out of the 690 million hungry people, 14 million children under the age of five worldwide suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
COVID-19 has kept 90% of all students out of school, which in turn reversed the years of progression on education.

Reason being this, apart from feeding migrants and daily-wage workers, Akshaya Patra initiated the Happiness Bags Programme for its mid-day meal beneficiaries.

Each Happiness Bag is packed with contents that support health and immunity, hygiene and education of children. Every bag provides:
• Immunity and nutrient-rich food items – glucose biscuit packs, peanuts, jaggery, double fortified salt, ragi flour, turmeric powder, and sambar powder.
• Hygiene kit with tooth brush, tooth paste and soap for all beneficiaries and a pack of sanitary napkin for girl beneficiaries.
• Study materials – an activity book, crayon set or colour pencils, Classmate notebook and pens or pencils.

Your contribution towards Akshaya Patra ensures no one goes hungry amid the prevailing pandemic. Your support provides nutritious meals to the needy thereby directly addressing acute, chronic, and hidden hunger.

This Hunger Action Month, go the extra mile to defeat hunger! Donate Now!

akshaya tritiya

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Food and Education

Mid-Day Meal – Adding Value to Health & Education

midday meal scheme

Imagine a scenario where you are neither influenced by the lifestyle of towns and cities nor have incessant access to even the basic necessities like water and electricity. On seeing your parents struggle to give you the best, you think, ‘I will study hard to become a successful person and give the best life to my parents.’

Similar is the story of Indu, a beneficiary of the Mid-Day Meal Programme, who wants to become a doctor to cure her grandmother – her sole caretaker, and provide free treatment to many like her. Know more about Indu here.

Mid-day meals are a major intervention to bring children to school on a daily basis. There are more than 120 million children in India who receive school lunch as a part of the Government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Most of these children go to school just because they get free and healthy meals that they otherwise may not be able to afford.

History of Mid-Day Meal Scheme in India

The roots of the Mid-Day Meal Programme can be traced back to the times of pre-independence, where the British Administration introduced mid-day meals in 1925, followed by the French administration in Union Territory – Puducherry in 1930. From the year 1962-1963 school year onwards this programme was introduced in the states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and the rest of the States of India in the same order. By 1990-1991, twelve States had implemented the programme.

The Mid-Day Meal Scheme was officially launched in India in 1995 to provide adequate nutritious food to children and has been through many changes since. In 2001, the Supreme Court of India mandated all Government and Government-assisted schools to provide cooked mid-day meals to all the students.

The objectives of the Mid-Day Meal Programme are:
• Protecting children from classroom hunger that limits their focus in class.
• Improving nutritional status of children studying in Government and Government-aided schools.
• Increasing school enrolment rates and attendance rates.
• Encouraging socialisation amongst children regardless of caste or creed.
• Creating employment opportunities for women.
To facilitate the efforts, many non-profit organisations have partnered with the Government to combat classroom hunger and malnutrition in India. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that has been feeding school meals to children since 2000 and has been recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme.

Akshaya Patra’s Reach in India
• 18,00,907 children
• 19,039 schools
• 52 locations
• 12 States & 2 Union Territories

According to UNESCO Institute of Statistics, around 2.8 million children, or more, aged between six and 13 years old, do not go to school. In a situation like this, free, unlimited meals are potential incentives for them to come to school. Akshaya Patra strives to support more children from challenging socio-economic backgrounds with regular school meals. It aims to provide unlimited food for education to 5 million children, every day by the end of 2025.

You can donate online to be a part of Akshaya Patra’s mission to make a difference in the lives of children.

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