Akshaya Patra's mission is to simultaneously address childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. Akshaya Patra USA supports this mission by raising funds and awareness in the United States.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a secular non-profit organization in a public private partnership with the Indian government, which implements the world's largest NGO managed mid-day meal program. Akshaya Patra began as a pilot program feeding 1,500 children daily in five schools. Driven by the vision of its founders and Board members, today Akshaya Patra feeds more than 1.6 million in over 13,529 government schools in 11 states from 25 centralized and 2 de-centralized kitchen locations. Akshaya Patra employs 5800 employees to prepare and distribute the meals every day.
Since the inception in year 2000, the organization has scaled and improved its program every year because of its commitment to excellence in all aspects of the execution. The model combines good management, innovative technology and smart engineering to prepare and deliver a fresh meal at a fraction of the cost of similar programs worldwide. Our meals, a strategic intervention, give children an incentive to continue school (and an alternative to working to eat). The meal, meanwhile, provides them with the necessary nutrition to develop cognitive abilities and to focus on learning. Akshaya Patra's program has increased school enrollment (especially for girls), increased school attendance and retention and improved performance and health in children.
India is home to 40% of all malnourished children in the world. Since over 100 million in India survive on less than $1.25 a day, the poorest families are often forced to pull their children from school to help put food on the table. The single largest factor for poor children dropping out of school is the necessity of supplementing family income. By providing a hot nutritious mid-day meal, Akshaya Patra creates the conditions which allow even the poorest families to continue their child's education.