“On World Food Day, let us each recommit to doing our part to end hunger and poverty wherever it exists.” – Barack Obama, Former US President.
16th October of each year is observed as the World Food Day across the globe. It is observed in honour of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. In order to address the various aspects of the need to tackle global hunger, this day is celebrated with a specific theme each year and the theme for 2018 is: “Our Actions Are Our Future. A #Zero Hunger World By 2030 is Possible”. Government and non-government entities advocate the need and importance of food security along with taking necessary steps to ensure food is available for all.
Akshaya Patra and World Food Day
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO providing nutritious lunch to Government school children in India observes World Food Day not just for a day, but, every day! The NGO provides freshly cooked, wholesome, and tasty meals to more than 1.76 million children in 14,314 Government schools across 39 locations of 12 states, on each school day. By providing mid-day meals Akshaya Patra aims to counter two main issues: hunger and illiteracy. Over the years of service, the Foundation has observed that mid-day meal is a potential incentive in bringing children to school and supporting continuity of their education. Hence, World Food Day activities is an every day commitment at Akshaya Patra.
The World Food Day celebration at Akshaya Patra is being supported by noteworthy personalities from the culinary and nutrition world namely: Mr Sanjeev Kapoor, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur; Chef Ramasamy Selvaraj, Taj Vivanta, Bengaluru; and Ms. Divya Sathyaraj, Nutritionist. They are also the Goodwill Ambassadors of Akshaya Patra and wholeheartedly support the Foundation’s cause. Here is what they have to say –
“I am happy to associate with The Akshaya Patra Foundation as a Goodwill Ambassador. Akshaya Patra is all about giving nutritious food to children. My own journey of cooking food for my family and friends and presenting it to millions of viewers on television is in absolute sync with the Foundation’s idea – the joy of giving is much more than the joy of receiving.” – Mr Sanjeev Kapoor, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur.
“It has been a proud moment to be associated with Akshaya Patra. It gives me an opportunity to support children in the pursuit of their dreams through the Foundation’s ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’ initiative. My association with Akshaya Patra as a Goodwill Ambassador is a step forward towards the larger goal; there are millions of dreams that need a chance.” – Chef Ramasamy Selvaraj, Taj Vivanta, Bengaluru.
“As a nutritionist I strongly believe that a healthy diet will have a profound effect on a child’s well-being; a child’s body needs nutrition, not just food. Akshaya Patra has done incredible work to end classroom hunger. Leaders like President Barack Obama have appreciated the Foundation’s outstanding work in feeding children. I completely resonate with the vision and goals of Akshaya Patra and, I am truly honoured and privileged to be chosen as the organisation’s Goodwill Ambassador.” – Ms. Divya Sathyaraj, Nutritionist.
School Meals and Dreams
When children are well-fed and well-educated, it gives them the confidence to aim and achieve. It instills in them the hope for a better and brighter tomorrow. And, this gets reflected in the words of these children:
- “I aspire to be a District Collector.” – Y. Lalita, Visakhapatnam.
- “My aim is to be an Astronaut.” – Atharva Ajay Kale, Nagpur.
- “I aspire to be an Army Officer.” – Lakshmi Bai, Karnataka.
- “My goal is to be a Physical Education Teacher.” P Narasimha Raju, Visakhapatnam.
- “My aim is to be a Police Officer.” – Archana, Lucknow.
- “I aspire to be a Mechanical Engineer.” – Vikas Mudi, Karnataka.
These were just a few dreams from among 1.76 million dreams that gets fuelled by the nutritious meals of Akshaya Patra!
Support Akshaya Patra, Support World Food Day
When you support Akshaya Patra, it has both immediate and gradual impact. Your one moment of generosity towards Akshaya Patra will:
- Ensure daily school meals of children;
- Support education;
- Improve health and nutrition levels of children;
- Empower children to become resourceful and responsible citizens; and
- Make India a Zero Hunger nation.
So, this World Food Day, donate for a child, take a pledge, or share the significance of food security in your network of friends. Your care for children will pave way for generations of healthy, educated, and resourceful citizens.
“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” – Buzz Aldrin, American Engineer, Former Astronaut, and Command Pilot in the United States Air Force.