Volunteers Speak

Volunteers Speak

The Zero Hunger Challenge

Zero hunger

In a world of abundance, it is disheartening to witness the persistence of hunger and malnutrition. The Zero Hunger Challenge calls for a collective effort to eliminate hunger, ensure food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

The challenge focuses on five key elements that are essential to achieving zero hunger: sustainable food production, improved access to food, zero loss or waste of food, ensuring adequate nutrition for all and building resilience to food-related crises.

Sustainable food production is a crucial aspect of the Zero Hunger Challenge. It involves promoting agricultural practices that are environmentally friendly, such as organic farming, crop rotation and agroforestry. By adopting sustainable practices, we can increase food production while minimising the negative impact on natural resources, such as land, water and biodiversity.

Improving access to food is another important goal of the Zero Hunger Challenge. This involves ensuring that everyone has physical and economic access to nutritious food at all times. It includes measures such as improving infrastructure for food storage and transportation, supporting small-scale farmers, empowering women in agriculture and promoting inclusive and equitable food systems.

Zero loss or waste of food is a critical element of the Zero Hunger Challenge. Currently, a significant amount of food is lost or wasted throughout the production and supply chain. By reducing food loss and waste, we can ensure that the available food resources are utilised efficiently.

Ensuring adequate nutrition for all is an essential part of the Zero Hunger Challenge. It involves addressing malnutrition in all its forms, including undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity.

Building resilience to food-related crises is the final component of the Zero Hunger Challenge. This involves strengthening the capacity of communities and countries to withstand and recover from emergencies such as natural disasters, conflicts and economic shocks.


The Zero Hunger Challenge is a call to action to eradicate hunger, ensure food security and promote sustainable agriculture. By addressing the root causes of hunger, implementing innovative solutions and fostering collaboration, we can create a world where no one goes to bed hungry. The Zero Hunger Challenge requires collective efforts from governments, civil society, the private sector and individuals. Together, let us strive towards a future of nourishment, dignity and opportunity for all.

Created by:
Rohit Kumar
Nipun Tyagi
Anitha Shivamallaiah

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Empowering the Nation’s Youth with Mid-Day Meals

Akshaya Patra CSR

The Indian Government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme (now called the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan) is a transformative initiative that combines the power of education and nutrition to make a lasting impact on the lives of millions of children in India. Recognising the critical link between adequate nutrition and effective learning, the scheme aims to provide wholesome and nutritious meals to schoolchildren, thereby addressing the dual challenges of hunger and education. With a mission to ensure that no child is deprived of education due to hunger, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India, ensures effective implementation of the government scheme, emerging as a beacon of hope, nourishing minds and nurturing futures through the transformative power of mid-day meals.

The power of a mid-day meal

Improved attendance:
Mid-day meals (MDM) ensure improved attendance and participation. Hunger often deters children from attending school regularly, hindering their educational progress. By offering meals at school, MDM incentivises students to attend classes regularly and ensures they have the energy to focus on their studies. When children are well-fed, they are more likely to engage actively in the learning process, leading to improved academic performance.

According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018, the scheme increased overall enrolment by 5% and reduced dropouts by 20%. Furthermore, ASER data from 2019 indicates that 95% of enrolled children in government schools availed of the mid-day meal, contributing to improved attendance rates.

Enhanced well-being: By providing balanced meals, Akshaya Patra helps combat malnutrition and enhance the overall health of children. Healthy children are more resilient, have a lower risk of illness and are better equipped to participate actively in their education. By nourishing young minds, food for education programmes empower children to reach their full potential and cultivate a lifelong love for learning.

Reducing financial burden: By serving mid-day meals (MDM), Akshaya Patra alleviates the financial burden on families to provide meals for their children; this incentivises families to send their children to school every day. The improved health and educational outcomes of children lay the foundation for sustainable development, empowering communities and paving the way for a more inclusive society. By enabling them through meals for education, the NGO unlocks doors to endless opportunities.

Overcoming gender barriers: In many parts of India, girls face cultural and socio-economic barriers to accessing education. By providing nutritious meals at school, the PM POSHAN Scheme helps break down these barriers and encourages parents to send their daughters to school. The provision of meals not only incentivises regular attendance but also assures parents that their daughters will receive proper nourishment, addressing concerns about their well-being.

A study by the World Food Programme (WFP) found that every $1 invested in school meals can yield a return of $3-$10 in economic returns through increased productivity and reduced healthcare costs.

Providing mid-day meals has revolutionised the intersection of education and nutrition in India. Through their unwavering commitment, expansive reach and nutritious meal offerings, Akshaya Patra along with the support from its donors and the government, has transformed the lives of millions of children. By ensuring that children receive regular meals at school, the scheme not only addresses hunger but also paves the way for improved attendance, enhanced educational outcomes and the holistic development of young minds.


Arya Nair
Mohit Sharma
Harshal Singh

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Impact of Nutrition on Education of Children

Impact of Nutrition on Education of Children


Children who suffer from poor nutrition in early childhood can develop nutritional deficiencies in iron and iodine, which can cause cognitive, physical and social/emotional developmental delays.

Malnutrition can result in long-term neural issues in the brain, impacting a child’s emotional responses, reactions to stress, learning disabilities and other medical complications.

Relationship between Nutrition and Education

• Nutrition is critical for the overall development of children, including physical and mental.
• For a healthy mind, children need healthy food.
• A healthy immune system improves their attendance in school which is vital for their educational growth.
• A balanced diet results in better sleep which is important for children’s development.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation gives school children the meals they deserve, with special focus on nutrition. The organisation aims at fighting malnutrition and supporting the right to education of children from challenging socio-economic backgrounds.

Based on our recent visit to Akshaya Patra located in JP Nagar Bengaluru, we came to know that they are currently serving more than 90,000 children across the city. The experience of visiting Akshaya Patra’s kitchen was mesmerising.


Based on these facts articulated above, we can conclude that mid-day meals contribute to overall development of children, which would have otherwise been ignored due to the vulnerabilities of the EWS (Economically Weaker Sections). Due to the organised and collaborative efforts of Akshaya Patra, the mid-day meals are able to cater to such a large group of needy children.

Created and complied by:
Dushyanth Peddi
Richie Agarwal
Swati Pandey

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Battling Hunger in India: The Remarkable Contribution of Akshaya Patra

Battling Hunger banner

Hunger is a pressing issue affecting numerous countries across the globe, and India is no exception. With a population of over 1.3 billion people, India faces significant challenges in eradicating hunger and ensuring food security for all its citizens. However, amidst these challenges, there are organisations that are making a remarkable difference in fighting hunger, and one such organisation is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. This blog explores the prevailing issue of hunger in India and sheds light on the incredible contributions of Akshaya Patra in combating this crisis.

The State of Hunger in India

India, despite being one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, struggles with hunger and malnutrition. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), India is home to the largest undernourished population globally, with approximately 189.2 million people suffering from hunger. The situation becomes even more alarming when we consider the vulnerability of children, who are the most affected by this crisis. Lack of proper nutrition hampers their growth and development, affecting their physical and cognitive abilities, and ultimately hindering their chances of leading a productive life.

Akshaya Patra’s Mission

Akshaya Patra, established in the year 2000, is a non-profit organisation that strives to eliminate classroom hunger and improve the overall well-being of children in India. The Foundation operates on the belief that no child should be deprived of education due to hunger. Their core initiative involves providing nutritious mid-day meals to school children, with a dual aim of addressing hunger and increasing school attendance.

Contributions of The Akshaya Patra Foundation

Mid-Day Meal Programme: The flagship programme of The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the Mid-Day Meal Programme, which serves as a significant intervention to combat hunger and malnutrition among school-going children. The Foundation prepares and delivers freshly cooked, nutritious meals to government schools across India. Through this program, they not only provide sustenance to children but also help in increasing their concentration levels and overall academic performance.

Scale and reach: Akshaya Patra’s operations are truly impressive, with a robust infrastructure that enables them to prepare and deliver millions of meals every day. They leverage state-of-the-art kitchens, adhering to stringent quality and hygiene standards. With a network of centralised and decentralised kitchens, the Foundation serves meals to schools in urban and rural areas, ensuring that children across the country have access to nutritious food.

Empowering women: The Foundation’s initiatives also focus on empowering women through collaboration and employment. By employing local women as cooks and kitchen staff, Akshaya Patra creates employment opportunities and promotes gender equality. This not only helps in community development but also enables the Foundation to sustain its operations efficiently.

Disaster relief: In times of crisis such as natural disasters or emergencies, Akshaya Patra extends its support by providing meals to affected communities. They have been instrumental in offering food relief during floods, earthquakes and other calamities, thereby ensuring that the affected populations have access to essential sustenance.

Feed to defeat hunger

You can help NGOs in India like Akshaya Patra achieve their mission by contributing towards their programmes. You can donate or volunteer with the NGO to weave the fabric of positive change in the world.

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Our enthusiastic interns tell us why we are a Great Place to Work – Part 1


The Akshaya Patra Foundation was recently certified as a Great Place to Work by Great Place to Work® Institute. Apart from employees, our interns play a major role in making the place what it is. They share their experience with us.

Intern at Akshaya Patra

Q. Why did you choose to intern with The Akshaya Patra Foundation?
A. Since this is my first internship, I especially wanted the work to be meaningful. Akshaya Patra’s mission and vision resonated with me and I thought it’d be the best place to gain experience working for a nonprofit.

Q. How’s your typical day like?
A. I spend most of the day doing research in order to complete one of my projects. I actually just finished an assignment on a Global Marketing Plan and ways that Akshaya Patra can raise awareness amongst millennials both in the United States & Europe. I had the opportunity to present my ideas to four members of the department.

Q. What are the challenges you faced so far? How did you overcome them?
A. I’m a rising sophomore in college, so before interning at Akshaya Patra, I did not have a lot of experience conducting research. In order to overcome this challenge, I must admit that Google was one of my best friends. I read tons of articles and guidelines that equipped me with the tools to comfortably complete my projects.

Q. Any memorable moment you had at TAPF?
A. One of the most memorable moments is definitely my first day eating lunch in the cafeteria. I ate with my hands, as most of the employees do, and I certainly struggled with the technique.
I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to present my ideas to the Communications team. Honestly, one of my favorite things about interning here definitely has been the tea that’s available every day at 11am and 4pm.

Q. How do you think your skills have helped Akshaya Patra? Do you plan to stay connected with the organization after your internship?
A. I was definitely placed outside of my comfort zone while interning with Akshaya Patra, but I think my ability to take initiative and learn what I can has definitely translated into the work I’ve done. I always aimed to be as thorough as possible and used my experience from living in both the United States and England to give a new perspective when brainstorming ideas on ways to raise awareness abroad.

Q. Tell us something about your experience in India.
A. Since being in India, I’ve been able to travel to beautiful places like Pondicherry, Thanjavur, and Kerala. I think one of my favorite encounters has been with four young boys from Thanjavur that I met while visiting a temple. We didn’t get to have much conversation – they simply kept saying “how are you?” – but we had a lot of fun experimenting with all of the SnapChat filters!

Q. Why do you think Akshaya Patra is a ‘Great Place to Work’?
A. It’s a pretty cliché answer, but the passion for Akshaya Patra and its mission radiates from the employees. Each person puts 110% into their projects – whether big or small. Also, I’ve never been in a workplace where the employees seem more like family than friends. You can tell that everyone genuinely cares for one another.

Rahul - Intern at Akshaya Patra

Q. Why did you choose this organization?
A. I always wanted to learn how NGOs work. I looked online for the best NGOs where I could work for a short period of time. The Akshaya Patra was one of them. TAPF was certainly the best one out of all in terms of scale of operation.

Q. How’s your typical day like?
A. My typical day starts with analysing companies from a list I was provided with. I go through there CSR Page and their annual reports to figure out what areas did they focus on in terms of CSR. Also, I go through their annual report to find a point of contact within those companies. After data collection, I make a comprehensive report on each of these companies. These reports are used to schedule a meeting with them.

Q. What are the challenges you faced so far? How did you overcome them?
A. The biggest challenge I faced was when I could not find any specific web result to analyse a company. I conveyed the problem to my mentor Mr Balakumar and he showed me different methods by which we could find data when it is not readily available on the web. This is a skill which would greatly help me in my future endeavours.

Q. Any memorable moment you had at TAPF? What did you like most about interning here?
A. The most memorable moment would be hangout out with my fellow colleagues while we had lunch in the cafeteria. The food was very healthy and homelike and you meet people across all walk of life there. The thing that I liked the most about TAPF was the approachability that the employees have. They follow a flat structure which enhances learning and exposure.

Q. How do you think your skills have helped Akshaya Patra? Do you plan to stay connected with the organisation after your internship?
A. My analytic skills helped TAPF. I prepared comprehensive reports on future corporate partners. I really hope that it would save the team a lot of time and effort to research about the company and they could directly refer to my reports. I would do my best to stay connected. I will try to extend my help in whatever way I can through Call/Emails.

Q. Why do you think Akshaya Patra is a ‘Great Place to Work’?
A. What separates Akshaya Patra from most NGOs is that fact that it caters to a very niche area i.e. Hunger and the organisation remains focussed towards that goal. Everyone around you arrives in the morning in office to find a solution towards hunger. This focus is what keeps the organisation driven towards that goal of eliminating hunger.

Part 2    Part 3

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