Food and Education

Celebrate for a CauseFood and Education

Every Milestone has a Story


Children embody all that is good and noble about mankind. For a nation to make significant strides, it is imperative that its children are well-educated and well-nourished.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, through its mid-day meal programme for school children, has ensured that millions of children across India are provided with healthy, wholesome mid-day meals, so that children do not drop out of school due to hunger. Recently, the Foundation, which feeds over 1.6 million children across 10 states in India in 13,210 schools, celebrated having served 2 billion meals since its inception, in the presence of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Honourable President of India.

They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Akshaya Patra’s journey too had humble beginnings in the year 2000, when the organisation started serving mid-day meals to 1,500 children in five schools in Bengaluru. In the years since, the Foundation, in partnership with state and central governments and with the help of generous benefactors, established its presence across the country. It now provides nutritious mid-day meals, cooked in its centralised and decentralised kitchens under extremely hygienic conditions, to school children in 10 states in India – Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.

Throughout the years, Akshaya Patra has shown much innovation and has been the topic of numerous case studies. Its state-of-the-art kitchens, many of which are ISO-certified, have also been covered as part of lengthy documentaries by the international media. The year 2012 was a very special one for Akshaya Patra, as it served its 1 billionth meal and was ranked 23rd among the top 100 NGOs in the world, by The Global Journal. In just four years since, the Foundation has reached yet another significant milestone of serving 2 billion meals. The organisation has its goal of feeding 5 million children by 2020 firmly in sight, as it pursues to expand its presence across the country. To view images of President of India commemorating 2 billion meals, click here.

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Food and Education

Treats from 10 States


India is a melting pot of different cultures that blend together beautifully, whilst still maintaining their unique flavour. Since the country is divided into states and union territories, each state and region has a distinct culture to call its own. This diversity extends to their cuisines and food traditions, which are strikingly different, yet bound together with the fine thread of Indian-ness – that collective of traits that give us the same identity, despite our diversity. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is present across 10 states in India, and since we, at the Foundation, are fond of vegetarian fare, we bring you a taste of scrumptious fare that comprises the cuisines of these 10 states.

The cuisine of Karnataka can be broadly divided into North Karnataka and South Karnataka. Like most of South India, idlis, dosas, uttappams, sambars and a wide array of chutneys are consumed here. In North Karnataka, jolada rotti (jowar roti) is a staple food item, while in South Karnataka, ragi rotti (made from ragi dough), akki rotti (made from rice flour and comprising onions and chillies) along with ragi mudde (steamed ragi dumplings) are quite popular. Chutneys typically include coconut, but North Karnataka also loves its Shenga (peanut) chutney. Besides these, rice dishes like Bisi Bele Bath and Puliyogare are favourites here, along with Kosambari (vegetable salad). Karnataka also has unique coastal cuisines. Delightfully, as is custom in most of South India, the delicious preparations concocted by people of the state are served on banana leaves.

The cuisine of Gujarat is as sweet as its people. This region is predominantly vegetarian, and vegetable dishes, called shaak in Gujarati, may be dry or prepared as curries and typically include some jaggery or sugar. Gujaratis have a love for all kinds of vegetables, including ladyfinger (bhinda), bitter gourd (karela), bottle gourd (doodhi), fenugreek (methi) and others. Undhiyu (a mixed vegetable dish cooked painstakingly in earthen pots) and the Gujarati kadhi (which makes use of buttermilk and gram flour) are quite popular in the state as well as among those outside it who love Gujarati food. Snacks from Gujarat, like the Kutchi dabeli, dhokla, khakra are extremely popular in neighbouring Maharashtra as well.

Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh, due to its history, has numerous influences – from Central Asia, other regions of North India like Punjab and Kashmir, as well as the Middle East. The chaat, loved across India, calls Uttar Pradesh its home, having originated there. Rotis, puris and parathas are commonly eaten breads in the region. The richness of the cuisine is evident by the generous use of spices and elaborate cooking techniques. Paneer is a hit favourite among the people of Uttar Pradesh, with Navratan Korma, a Mughal delicacy, having come from the region. Besides this, the samosa too was born here, before it went on to conquer all of India. The region is also known for its delicious vegetarian kebabs.

The fragrance of cuisine from Odisha wafts up potently to engulf the senses. Despite going easy on the spices and the oil, food from this region is extremely aromatic and flavourful. Rice is the staple food item in the state and interestingly, fruits like jackfruit, plantain and papaya are commonly used in it. The most famous Odia dish is the Dalma, which includes vegetables, raw papaya and Pigeon Pea (toor dal). Mustard oil is commonly used in the cuisine of the region, along with Panch Phoron masala. Vegetables popular in this state are potatoes, brinjal, yam, drumstick, along with banana flowers and stem. The khechidi (Odia-style khichdi), too is an important component of an Odia meal.

The cuisine of Rajasthan is as lavish as its many famous palaces – rich and loaded with ghee. The first names that come to mind when one mentions Rajasthani food, are Daal Baati Churma and Gatte Ki Subzi. Daal Baati Churma comprises flat, thick, round baked breads (baati), served with dal, along with crushed baati sweetened with jaggery or sugar (churma). Gatte Ki Subzi comes from the kitchens of the Rajputs and includes a number of gatte (balls made from gram flour) in spicy gravy. The state also enjoys a number of scrumptious desserts – Ghevar, a popular dessert in North India, has its roots in this very region.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
The fiery flavours of the cuisine in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (both were formerly part of a single state up to 2014) make for an unforgettable experience. This cuisine has many variants depending on region – Rayalaseema, Uttarandhra, Telangana and coastal Andhra. One aspect that binds cuisines of these two states is the love for sweet-sour-spicy flavours, as tamarind and red chillies are used generously. A variety of dosas, upmas, pohas and bondas are had for breakfast here. The staple diets, however, vary according to the influences of the states bordering them. Rayalaseema has a love for ragi much like Karnataka, which borders it, while rice is the staple food here, along with the rest of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana cuisine has influences from neighbouring Maharashtra, with rotte (roti) taking precedence over rice. In Andhra Pradesh, the curries are called koora and are popular among the people here, along with gravies. In Telangana, the Pulusu, a stew that is quite similar to curries, particularly the Pachi Pulusu, is well-liked. In sweetmeats, the Senaga Pappu Payasam, made with chana dal, coconut and jaggery, is a favourite, and is a fixture during auspicious occasions such as festivals.

Famous all over the world for its teas, Assam also has a lot of aromatic and flavourful delicacies, full of different spices, to offer. Much like Odisha, Assam too has rice as the staple food, along with a love for mustard oil. Assamese food is a vegetarian’s delight, as the climate allows for vegetation to thrive. Therefore, green leafy vegetables and herbs, known as xaak are widely used in the cuisine. The Khar is a particularly unique preparation, which includes water that is filtered through the ashes of banana skins, obtained by drying and burning them. Raw papaya is generally used while making Khar. This is the dish that the Assamese usually start their meal with.

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu, the land of delicious filter coffee, also offers an array of delicacies that predominantly feature rice, lentils and generously use curry leaves, along with whole spices. It is common to find whole pepper, cloves, cinnamon and other spices in Tamil cuisine. Coconut too is a frequently used ingredient. Dosai (dosas), different kinds of chutneys, utthapams, idlis, medhu vadai (medu vada) make up the popular breakfast options. The podi idli (idli coated with spicy podi chutney) is simply delicious. In the main course, Sambar Sadam, Puli Kulambu, Rasam and other gravies, are had with rice. When it comes to sweetmeats, Payasam and Sweet Pongal are the undisputed kings!

Famous over the world as the rice bowl of India, Chhatisgarh unsurprisingly has rice as the staple diet, along with jowar, maize and wheat. Pulses such as toor dal and urad dal are commonly used in cuisine of this state, and much like Assam, green leafy vegetables are quite popular here as well. The chila, a pancake made using rice flour and dal, is quite the coveted breakfast dish in households here. For those with a sweet tooth, a sweetmeat called Bafauri, made with chana dal, is the star of the meal.

Evidently, the states in which Akshaya Patra serves its mid-day meals have some wonderful cuisines. You can help feed children healthy, nutritious mid-day meals too, to keep them in school with your contribution. Donate now!

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Food and Education

Things You Must Know About Akshaya Patra

Things about Akshaya Patra

India is on the roadway to success and to make this journey smooth and inclusive, it is essential that the children of this nation do not miss out on education due to hunger. The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) helps this cause by providing wholesome, nutritious mid-day meals to school children across India. Read on to find out how this illustrious, award-winning organisation does it!

Origins and areas of work

  • The seed of TAPF philosophy was planted on a hot summer day in Mayapur, West Bengal when A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada saw children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food.
  • Srila Prabhupada took a solemn vow that no one within 10 miles of his centre would go hungry. Inspired by this, Akshaya Patra was born in June 2000 in Bangalore, Karnataka.
  • The organisation provides mid-day meals to 1.58 million children in 11,360 Government schools across India.
  • Its philosophy is to provide wholesome, nutritious food to schoolchildren and help keep them in school since many children in India discontinue school due to financial difficulties and malnutrition among them too is a common concern.
  • The organisation works on a Public-Private Partnership model, with state and central governments, with centralised and decentralised kitchens along with a small kitchen in Chennai that feeds children of a private school.
  • Other feeding initiatives of Akshaya Patra include anganwadi feeding, feeding expecting and lactating mothers, feeding in special schools, subsidised lunch for the economically backward, feeding runaway children, the homeless and residents at old-age homes, and disaster relief.
  • Akshaya Patra undertakes social initiatives like after-class tuitions, life skills programme, community health camps, scholarship programmes and health check-up camps.


  • Back when it was founded in 2000, the Foundation served 1,500 children in five schools in Bangalore.
  • By 2004, Akshaya Patra was present in three Indian states – Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • It now has a presence in 10 states, with 26 kitchens at 25 locations.
  • The kitchens in Karnataka are present at HK Hill and Vasanthapura in Bengaluru, Hubballi, Mangaluru, Mysuru and Ballari.
  • Akshaya Patra’s Rajasthan kitchens are presently located at Jaipur, Baran, Nathdwara and Jodhpur.
  • The Uttar Pradesh kitchens are operational at Vrindavan and Lucknow.
  • In 2006, the Foundation established itself in Odisha. It now feeds children in Puri, Nayagarh, Rourkela and Bhubaneswar.
  • In 2007, it started feeding children in Gujarat. Its operational presence in the state is at Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat.
  • In 2008, Akshaya Patra inaugurated kitchens in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It currently has kitchens at Visakhapatnam, Mangalagiri and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, and at Hyderabad in Telangana.
  • In 2009, the Bhilai kitchen in Chhattisgarh was launched.
  • In 2010, Assam had an Akshaya Patra kitchen of its own at Guwahati.
  • In 2011, Akshaya Patra set up a small kitchen at Chennai in Tamil Nadu to feed the children of a single private school.

Kitchens and its processes

  • The centralised kitchen template is adopted at urban and semi-urban locations.
  • Centralised kitchens have the capacity to produce up to a whopping one million meals. They are mechanised cooking units, where the cooking process requires minimal human intervention.
  • Areas that are difficult to access by road aren’t conducive to the construction of centralised kitchens and hence use the decentralised kitchen format.
  • The decentralised units are operated by Women Self Help Groups (SHGs), supervised by the Foundation’s kitchen process and operations module.
  • The decentralised units can cook meals for one to two schools in the area.
  • Hygiene is of paramount importance at the Akshaya Patra kitchens at every stage. Only quality suppliers are associated with for the programme, using Supplier Quality Management Systems (SQMS).
  • The First In First Out method ensures that the organisation makes effective use of perishable items.
  • Akshaya Patra is very particular about its safety protocol, so the staff makes sure to wear face masks, gloves, hair caps, gum boots and other protective gear.
  • Charts placed around the kitchen also encourage people to take showers daily and wash hands frequently, among others.
  • Improvement measures like Kaizen, Six Sigma and Continual Improvement projects are implemented after receiving feedback from schools about the quality of food.

Case Studies

  • The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been the subject of numerous studies for its exemplary work.
  • The most notable is the Harvard Business School case study featuring the organisation in 2007.
  • The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) Corporate Social Responsibility project for 2012-2013, conducted by National Corporate Social Responsibility Hub, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, was an impact assessment study report featuring Akshaya Patra.
  • Nielsen conducted an impact assessment study in 2010 to gauge the effect of TAPF mid-day meal programme in enhancing school enrolment, attendance, classroom performance and nutritional status of the students.
  • In 2012, Manipal University released a report on measuring the impact of the mid-day meal on child growth.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Akshaya Patra has been recognised by numerous national and international organisations and prominent world leaders for its impressive work.
  • The Foundation received the Nikkei Asia Prize 2016 for noteworthy achievements in the Economic and Business Innovation category.
  • TAPF was felicitated by CNN-News18 and Infosys, as part of its Innovating For A Better Tomorrow show, for positively impacting over a million Indian lives.
  • The World Economic Forum invited Akshaya Patra at The Project Hunger in Africa to share its experiences.
  • Barack Obama, President of The United States of America, sent a letter of appreciation to The Akshaya Patra Foundation, thanking it for its efforts.
  • Akshaya Patra was chosen as a recipient organisation for The Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Programme. This programme pairs upcoming leaders with effective organisations that address the primary causes of hunger across the world.
  • In 2009, Akshaya Patra entered the Limca Book of Records for running the largest mid-day meal programme in the world.
  • Akshaya Patra was also included in the India Book of Records for operating the largest school meal programme.
  • Giving Every Dream A Chance, a video by Akshaya Patra, received the Platinum award at the AVA Digital Awards 2016 in the Online Video category.
  • At the League of American Communications Professionals LLC (LACP) 2014/15 Vision Awards, Akshaya Patra was awarded Gold in the Annual Reports Competition in the Non-Profits category.
  • The ABP News Positive Award 2015 was awarded to Akshaya Patra for being a symbol of positive change in society.
  • The Foundation won the Best NGO award at Mother Teresa Awards 2014.
  • At the ARC Awards 2015, the biggest international competition honouring outstanding achievements in annual reports, Akshaya Patra received the Silver for its Annual Report 2013-2014, titled The Fab Five Superheroes, under the Foundation category of Non-Traditional Annual Reports.
  • TAPF also received the Grand Award Winner position for the Best of International segment at the ARC Awards 2015.
  • TAPF’s Annual Report 2013-2014 received the Platinum award at the 2015 Hermes Creative Awards.
  • Akshaya Patra scored a double victory at the Summit Creative Awards 2015, where its film – The Possibilities – received Gold, and its Annual Report 2013-2015 received Silver.
  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) awarded the 2014 Asian MAKE (Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise) award to the Foundation.
  • At the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) Collateral Awards, 2016, Akshaya Patra won big, with four awards – a Gold, a Silver and two Bronzes in different categories.
  • PRCI also conferred the Chanakya award upon Akshaya Patra for NGO of the year 2015.
  • The Quality Mark Award For Achievement and Excellence 2015 in the NGO category was awarded to Akshaya Patra.
  • At the 21st Annual Communicator Awards, TAPF received the Award For Excellence in the Print not-for-profit category for its Annual Report 2013-2014 and for its film The Possibilities in the Video not-for-profit category.
  • The Foundation is a five-time winner of the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) Awards.
  • Akshaya Patra’s Annual Report 2012-2013 won the Gold at 44th Creativity International Awards.

Prominent people who have visited the kitchens

  • The Akshay Patra kitchens have been visited by illustrious people from India and abroad. These include former Presidents of nations, spiritual leaders and luminaries from the corporate, entertainment, technology and other fields.
  • Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Mohammed Yunus, former United States President Bill Clinton, and His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet have all graced Akshaya Patra’s kitchens.

Strategic partnerships

  • Akshaya Patra has forged a successful strategic partnership with the prominent Indian philanthropic organisation Jamsetji Tata Trust.
  • The Foundation has also entered collaborations with State governments in India and with companies like Kellogg’s, Microsoft, Monsanto, GE Healthcare, Toms, Huawei and a lot of other prominent organisations.

Giving Every Dream a Chance

  • In 2015, Akshaya Patra made the dreams of three schoolchildren come true by arranging a month-long mentorship programme for them.
  • Shivu, a budding astronomer, was mentored by Preethi Krishnamurthy, Senior Research Fellow doing her PhD in Astrophysics, who revealed secrets of the stars to him.
  • Shekar, an aspiring chef, was trained by Chef Ramasamy Selvaraju of Vivanta By Taj to whip up delicacies.
  • Manjula, under the guidance of Zulfia Shaikh, founder / director – Bengaluru School of Speech and Drama, learnt to bring forth her inner actress.

And that’s a wrap!

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Food and EducationSchool Note

Diary of a School Girl


Dear Diary,

Today’s Science class was very interesting. Our teacher taught us about Human Body. Until today, I did not know there were so many bones in our body. 206? That’s a lot. I’m only 12 years but it feels like I’m learning so much already. My school is my only distraction from all the problems at home.

Dear Diary, let me tell you about my life. We are five people in the house. Dad works as a coolie in the railway station and my mother is a housewife. I have an elder brother at home who is now in high school and I have a baby sister who is still in Anganwadi. It’s been two months since I moved to 7th Standard and I enjoy going to school. Exams make me nervous at times. I wake up at 6 am every day to help my mother with kitchen work. We do not have any water supply in our house and so I fetch water from a public tap. Our family needs at least six to seven buckets of water every day—for the kitchen, bath and to drink. In all this rush, I sometimes forget to eat breakfast. In school, our headmaster says ‘Breakfast is the most important meal’ but I feel I do not get the time to eat.

I leave home at 8 am with my best friend Uma. She stays close to my house and I’m happy we are classmates. We talk a lot in class and we laugh a lot. It takes 30 minutes for us to walk to school. We don’t realise the passing time because we talk so much. Once we reach school, we work on pending homework or we play a game. At 9 am, the entire school gathers for Morning Prayer. We sing the National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ every day. We also drink a glass of milk before classes begin.

Our classrooms are not big but we have everything we need. There are eight benches in my classroom and the walls are covered with informative charts. Some of the charts are made by us. We have six different classes every day. My favourite is Kannada—the teacher makes it so much fun. In our Kannada textbook, we have a lesson about farming. To make it more interesting, our teacher took us to the ground and made all of us plant a sapling. We water them every day and look after them like the plants are a part of our family. When we do not have any class, we usually sit quietly and read our textbooks. If anyone talks, our class leader writes the names on the blackboard. I always get caught for talking or laughing but I also focus on studies.

We get free lunch at school. At 11.45 am, Akshaya Patra vehicle delivers the food to our school. At 12 noon, lunch is served to everybody. We all eat together and wash our own plates. We usually get Rice and Sambar for lunch but sometimes, we get Bisi Bele Baath or Puliyogare. On most days, the lunch in school is the only meal I get to eat for the day. In fact, my parents sent me to school only because we get free lunch and the burden on the family is less. I’m happy too because the food we get is hot and contains vegetables. Most of us don’t like vegetables but our teachers make sure we all eat them because it makes us healthy.

Once a month, our teachers check our height to record the progress. I’m still 4 feet. I hope I grow taller this year. Before the last bell, we spend time drawing something or we play a game. One of my classmates draws cartoons and that’s very interesting. I like making rangoli designs. My school ends at 3.30 pm every day. We sing Vande Mataram before we leave the classroom.

Once the school is over, I walk back home with my friend. Like every day, I help my mother with fetching water and making dinner. At 5 pm, I step out to play with my neighbours. We play so many games in the evening. Sometimes, my mother lets me watch television. I like watching Chhota Bheem on Pogo. From 7 to 8 pm, I do my homework. If I finish my homework early, I get to watch more TV. After dinner is made, I help my baby sister eat her dinner and I put her to sleep. I try to sleep on time so that I’m fresh the next day. I’ve also been learning that sleep is very important for our bodies to function on a daily basis. I hope I get to become a Science teacher when I grow up.

This is my first journal entry and I hope I write more.  My school is now my companion and education is my hero. Thanks to the Government and to Akshaya Patra, I’m able to study without any disturbance.

Yours truly,
(Inspired by true stories)

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Food and Education

A-Z of Akshaya Patra


We have all learnt the English alphabet by associating each letter with something we were familiar with as a child. Let’s reverse the process. To help you get familiar with Akshaya Patra’s work, we have summarised it all in 26 words.

Akshaya Patra A to Z


Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal programme has been effective in bringing children to school. Many schools have witnessed an increase in attendance since children are assured of one wholesome meal a day. For teachers, it’s always a delight to hear children answer their attendance in schools.


After the food is prepared, Akshaya Patra’s Blue buses deliver the fresh meals to more than 11,000 schools in India. With over 1200 vehicles that are custom designed to carry hot meals safely, hot and heallthy meals are served to children.


The entire programme of providing mid-day meals revolves around children. More than 1.5 million children are being benefitted by Akshaya Patra’s meals every day.


Donations is undoubtedly the backbone for our work. The immense financial support from the government, corporates, individuals and well-wishers continues to help us reach millions of children every day. You can donate to NGO too!


We truly believe that no child should be deprived of education due to hunger. By providing mid-day meals every day, Akshaya Patra ultimately encourages every child to attend school.


With Akshaya Patra, you can create your own fundraising campaign on our website and help us receive support. It’s an engaging activity and your efforts will directly help the beneficiaries.



The support from the Government of India and State Governments has made the mid-day meal porgramme an affective one. Timely procurement of grains, fund collection and tax exemptions have helped in easing the process of reaching millions of children.


Hygiene is our topmost priority when it comes to quality. Each staff member in the kitchen follows a hygiene chart and vessels are sanitised before and after usage, among other things on the checklist. This directly impacts every child’s health.


We are constantly working towards using technological innovations that enhance our productivity and help maintain quality standards.


Each one of Akshaya Patra’s department is dedicated to making a difference. We have more than 6000 employees pan India who dedicate their work hours every single day towards the cause and help each other grow.


All of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens are well crafted with beautifully planned schedules to help us operate in the best way possible. Today, 12 of our centralised kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified.


The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been conferred as the world’s largest NGO-run mid-day meal programme. We currently feed mid-day meals to more than 1.5 million government school children every day.


To put an end to classroom hunger, we rely on mid-day meal programme. It has emerged as a major solution to achieve 100 per cent school enrolment. Hot and nutritious meals are delivered to all of Akshaya Patra’s beneficiary schools on all school days.


We are thankful to the media for the immense support that we receive in highlighting our work. Our website has a News section too where we showcase important updates.


It is a massive operation to procure raw materials, prepare food, pack them in vessels, deliver them to schools and bring the vessels back to the kitchens. To achieve these, we follow a standardisation module in all kitchens and departments.



From an inventory of vegetables required to make and deliver food to schools to procuring the raw materials every day, the procurement team gets the best of all at the best of prices.


While we are reaching out to hundreds of children on a daily basis, quality continues to be the main ingredient. To maintain the quality, we follow FSSAI specifications and ensure the food is fresh when it reaches the school. A daily feedback mechanism from school plays an important part in this.


The recipes are monitored regularly to meet the needs of children in terms of calories, protein and nutrition. Nutritious food is as important as good taste. Akshaya Patra’s ingredients achieve the right balance here.


More than 11,000 schools are covered under Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal programme. While the teachers nourish children with knowledge, we believe in nourishing their minds through healthy food.


We believe that transparency is the key to trust. At the end of each financial year, we release an Annual Report, complete with financial audits. Did we tell you our award winning annual reports are a favourite among our stakeholders?


As the name suggests, children have access to unlimited food. The thought behind mid-day programme is to provide unlimited food for education—to ensure children’s education is not interrupted due to hunger.


Our organisation works towards its vision ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ It is also our mission to reach 5 million children by 2020.


Every meal served is packed with nutritious ingredients as per Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). We ensure that the child’s daily intake of food has sufficient nutrient requirements to maintain good health.


We live with an X factor. Akshaya Patra started serving 1500 children in Bengaluru and today, the reach is more than 1.5 million. Every day we look out for opportunities to reach more children. We have recently embarked on a journey named ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’—an initiative to help children realise their dreams and passion.


You matter to us! When thoughtful and compassionate people like you join forces with us, we are empowered to bring a change.


It is our attempt to feed the millions of children in India who have the zeal to learn and achieve, but not the means. Akshaya Patra simply acts as the means to ensure children receive adequate support to further their education.

With that, it’s a wrap on the A-Z of Akshaya Patra! Stay tuned for more interesting reads!

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Food and Education

Ensuring Nutritious Meals, Everyday!


At Akshaya Patra, we are passionate about the food that we serve our children but when it comes to the nutritional content of the food, we are meticulous! We are aware that children have their unique nutrient needs and meeting those needs is vital for a child to grow strong and healthy!

Children sit in classes earning to hear the bell ring and then- woo-hoo! It’s break time! These lunch-breaks serve as long-awaited tonic from dreary lessons of Math and Science welcoming excitement in school corridors and playgrounds! Requests for games are rampant and there are little fingers dabbling in lunch ingredients all over the place. Not only does this decrease the time children get to eat their lunch but also results in hurried and selective eating that is detrimental to children’s health and learning!

Hence in such a situation when time is stipulated and one needs to ensure children eat the right combination of nutrients, vitamins, fat, protein, carbohydrates and fibre it indeed becomes a daunting task, especially when it is an everyday ritual.

We who strictly believe in clean and healthy eating have therefore come up with a no-fuss lunch menu that not only suits the various palates that we serve but is also the right blend of

  • vegetables
  •  proteins
  • dairy
  • grains
  • oils
  • nutrients

The mid-day meals are only prepared with the best quality raw produce that is meticulously scrutinised in terms of supplier selection, qualification and rating before starting the cooking process. Every vegetable is washed with potable water and then placed in cold storage for a few hours to retain their freshness while other preparations are made for the day’s cooking. We just don’t stop at this; we ensure that the produce is only accepted after a complete quality inspection to make sure that it meets with Akshaya Patra’s Raw Material Specifications, adopted from the Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA).

We do all of this just to ensure that children get all the support they need to eat joyful meals, attend school regularly and pursue their dreams.

Akshaya Patra being one of the world’s largest NGO run school lunch programmes takes the opportunity of serving children with meals that are a perfect blend of nutrition and taste. Don’t believe us…? Hear it from them!

bharathi-mahapatraBharathi Mahapatra, Headmistress, Odisha“I am grateful that the Mid-Day Meal Programme by Akshaya Patra came as an incentive to education which actually offers two of the fundamental rights of food and education to the children. Absenteeism is less and children are very interested to come to school. The children get to live their childhood as they are supposed to.”


Syed-BasheerSyed Basheer, Teacher, Hyderabad -“Food is an important factor for many students in this school. A child needs food to study and we ensure that every child in the school is fed well. Akshaya Patra is doing great work by feeding these children in our school. For some it’s a blessing because they don’t eat food at home every day. Not only has the students’ health improved, but their academics record also reinstate that a good and nutritious meal plays a crucial role in brain development.”

NousheenNousheen, Student, Telangana – “My elder sister Afreen has a hand deformity. Sometimes, students would make fun of Afreen when she would eat the mid-day meal at school. Because of this she refused to eat with her friends fearing that they would ridicule her for her disability. Over time, I continuously encouraged her to eat the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal because of the healthy nutrients in their food. This will also help Afreen improve her disability.”


These are just a few validations of the everyday work that we do in reaching mouthfuls of freshly prepared mid-day meals to our beneficiaries. We believe in nutrition for children and will only encourage them to take just the right bite!


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Food and Education

When Giving Gloves Appear!


“Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.”- J. Robert Moskin

Times are stormy. The world has offered us enough to complain and fret over. But the question we need to ask ourselves is — how often do we remember to give thanks for what we are in possession of?

Away from the common din of complaints, frustrations, anger and agony there is a day exclusively dedicated to showing your gratitude to all your near and dear ones. This day, universally known as Thanksgiving Day, is marked by excitement and anticipation. It is a day of gaiety and skylarking with your friends and family. People feast and give thanks for their good fortune.

But the question is, is it only enough to thank and be merry for the gift called life! Is our task only limited to enjoying a laugh and lavish meals with our family and folks? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could add a little philanthropic twist to this Thanksgiving?

What better way to show gratitude for your good fortune than to associate with The Akshaya Patra Foundation an NGO for children to help eliminate child hunger. Bask in the happiness of making a child smile this Thanksgiving by a simple donation of Rs. 750/-, enough to feed him/her for an entire academic year. Remember, your contribution will make a lasting impact this Thanksgiving day for kids in need!

We urge you to consider contributing to this worthy cause and Donate food for Thanksgiving on this occasion. A donation from you will give a child a reason to give thanks this holiday.

Above all, on this occasion, we would like to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful for your continued support and efforts to help us succeed. This Thanksgiving let’s come together to put on our giving gloves and bring pockets full of sunshine for our little friends out there.


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Food and Education

US Ambassador visits our Vasanthapura kitchen


We were thrilled to host His Excellency, Mr. Richard Rahul Verma, the US Ambassador to India, at Akshaya Patra’s Vasanthapura kitchen on 4th November 2015.  He was accompanied by Ms. Andie DeArment, Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Consulate General in Chennai.  The Ambassador was received by Shridhar Venkat, CEO TAPF; Sundeep Talwar, CMO TAPF and Vinay N.Kumar, Director Operation TAPF.

 The entourage arrived at the kitchen at 7.30am sharp. After a warm welcome, the Ambassador was escorted to the terrace of the kitchen facility. The Ambassador keenly observed the silos, solar panels, RO (Reverse Osmosis) plant and other fixtures on the terrace. This is where the entire cooking operation starts, as the entire kitchen follows a gravity-flow model that operates downward, floor by floor, to increase efficiency in the processes.

Next, he was escorted to the floor below, the third floor of the facility. This is the area where pre-processing is done and raw material is readied to be integrated into the cooking process. The Ambassador was very receptive to the brief that was being given to him by Shridhar Venkat, while Andie clicked away to her heart’s content! The Ambassador showed keen interest in the processes involved in this precooking area. He was impressed by the hygiene and cleanliness maintained on this floor, the cold storage used to keep the vegetables fresh till cooking, and was awed by the use of latest technology and modern practices at every stage in Akshaya Patra’s mega-kitchen! He was especially impressed by the absence of any dependence on LPG in the kitchen!

IMG3The next stop was the second-first floor combined cooking area. This is the heart of this mega-facility. The Ambassador looked mesmerized by sight of huge cauldrons bubbling away. He was so taken in by the captivating sights and smells that he volunteered to participate in the actual cooking! Out came the aprons and cooking gloves for his convenience.  All decked up, he took into hand a massive ladle and started stirring pulao! Next, he took up another ladle and stirred the kesari bhat that was being readied for the school children.  He did a pretty good job, we must say!  He looked around keenly and had many a questions to ask. Shridhar Venkat was close at hand to address each of his queries.

The entourage then landed at the ground floor where the packing of food and dispatch of packaged vessels takes place with a meticulous clock-work precision.  What struck the ambassador was the cleanliness and the faultless packing and dispatch lines. For moments, he observed the food being filled into vessels and then being transported through conveyor belts to the dispatch section.  He then moved out to the dispatch section and was quite impressed by the efficient tagging and loading process. He closely observed the insides of the vehicle that carries these meals to schools.  He was then escorted to the boiler area where bio degradable waste is used to fire the massive boiler that in turn generates steam for the cooking process. The Ambassador was hugely appreciative of our efforts to make the best use of natural resources like solar, bio and green energies!

IMG5This winded up the tour of the facility and the Ambassador and his entourage was escorted up to the Board room. Here, over breakfast, the Ambassador, Ms. Andie, the CEO and the CMO of Akshaya Patra had a chat.

The Ambassador was very pleased and content to have made it to Akshaya Patra’s kitchen despite his very busy schedule in Bengaluru. Shridhar Venkat and everyone at Akshaya Patra too felt very honoured to have hosted His Excellency.

So it was on a very pleasant note that the Ambassador bid adieu, but he did so with a promise to talk about and endorse the good work that The Akshaya Patra Foundation is doing towards the elimination of child hunger in India.

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Food and Education

We turn 15 today!

15Years – blog

Back in 2000, our inspiration, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, caught sight of a group of children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food. This sight greatly agonised him and with this germinated a prolific idea, known today as The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

From this experience was born our vision that “no child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”. This pledge translated into action, when in June 2000, Akshaya Patra served its first mid-day-meals to 1,500 children in five Government schools in Bengaluru.

Since then, 15 years have passed and today we are already serving mid-day meals to nearly 15 lakh school children from 10,845 schools across 10 states in India every single day. Our mission is to reach out to 5 million children by 2020 and we are only going to march ahead to make this happen!

The Foundation has witnessed exponential growth in its every sphere in the last 15 years. Strategic partnerships, constant innovation, planned expansions, enhancement and continuous support from our well-wishers have helped us achieve what we are today!

But the challenges looming are enormous and time is short. The struggle that our children face daily to procure food is overwhelming and reiterates how important it is to end classroom hunger once and for all.

As we celebrate our 15 year anniversary on 11 November, 2015 we would like to extend a warm thank you to all our supporters, donors, volunteers, team members and to every single person who has ever been a part of this journey.

Thank you for believing in us, and thank you for helping us make a difference.

We look forward to celebrating many more years of success with you all.

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Food and Education

Cherish dreams this International Day of the Girl Child

banner edited

For years families in India have pinned their hopes and dreams on their sons. Carefully raising them, providing every opportunity they can afford and most of all treasuring them. Today the scenario is changing, becoming more balanced. Girls all over the country are being nurtured, educated…acknowledged. And with this change, dreams have been born.

This International Day of the Girl Child, take a moment to look at the outstanding dreams and aspirations of our female beneficiaries. All they needed to come this far was a daily meal, a daily class and a big opportunity. Imagine what a little help from you can do.



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