The Akshaya Patra Foundation serves mid-day meals to children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools. It provides healthy school meals to 18,00,907 children across 52 locations of 12 states & 2 union territories of India. These meals are a great intervention to bring children to school every day. The Foundation constantly works towards feeding many more children. You can be a part of the Akshaya Patra family by contributing ₹1100 towards a child’s entire year’s school lunch.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is registered under the Indian Trusts Act as a non-governmental organisation. It implements Government of India’s Mid-Day Meal Programme and operates on a Public-Private Partnership model. With persistent support from the Government of India, the State Governments, corporate donors, individual donors and volunteers, Akshaya Patra has grown from feeding 1,500 school children in Bengaluru to feeding 18,00,907 school children in India, on an everyday basis, in a span of 20 years.
How does Akshaya Patra feed so many children daily?
The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 52 locations of the nation in 19,039 Government schools and Government aided schools with high-technology adaptation being the modus operandi of a successful feeding strategy. The kitchens where meals are cooked on a large scale, adapt to the industrial technology available.
Akshaya Patra prepares and serves mid-day meals to children who have a challenging socio-economic background, from two types of kitchens: Centralised and Decentralised. No matter what type of kitchen it is operating, hygiene and quality are given utmost importance. These kitchens adhere to Food Safety Management Systems that include:
• Raw material supplier selection process
• Standard storage and allotment system
• Sterilisation of cooking equipment and utensils with steam before use
• Usage of 304 grade stainless steel for all the vessels
• Conducting training sessions with cooks and supervisors to ensure food safety and undertaking pest control measures
• Checking critical points like cooking temperature, temperature while packing meals, etc.
A centralised kitchen manages all operations from one location. This includes the processes of receiving, storage, maintenance, preparation and delivery. These kitchens are located at urban and semi-urban location, preferably to feed a cluster of surrounding schools. These kitchens are designed to cook meals on a large scale, ranging from 50,000 to 1,50,000 every single day. These kitchens use state-of-the-art tools and technology in preparation of meals.
There are 50 Akshaya Patra kitchens that are centralised in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Daman & DNH, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
You can get a list of kitchens serving mid-day meals in each State, here.
These kitchens make use of cauldrons, trolleys, chutes, dal/sambar tanks, knives and cutting boards. These highly mechanised units ensure highest levels of hygiene by reducing human contact.
Rice cauldrons have a capacity of cooking 500 litres, a dal cauldron has a capacity of preparing 1,200 to 3,000 litres of dal or sambar. The roti making machine can make around 40,000 chapathis in 1 hour.
After thorough quality inspection and meeting the requirements adapted from Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA),20 kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified and the remaining are in the process of getting an ISO certification.
Decentralised kitchens are set up in locations that have bad connectivity and are in remote areas where the geographical terrain makes it difficult to set up a large infrastructure. There are two decentralised kitchens of Akshaya Patra – one in Nayagarh (Odisha) and the other is in Baran (Rajasthan). All the kitchen process and operations are supervised and monitored by Akshaya Patra’s Quality Officers and supervisors.
Akshaya Patra hires and trains women from Self Help Groups (SHG) to cook nutritious and healthy food. Along with preparation of mid-day meals, the NGO also helps in providing employment opportunities to women. The Baran kitchen serves 161 schools and Nayagarh kitchen reaches out to 319 schools.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation has a vision of feeding 5 million school children by 2025. It is possible to serve these children with healthy and nutritious food on a daily basis with regular contributions and donations from generous donors like you.
With your help Akshaya Patra can serve the children of India.