Akshaya Patra Bay Area Benefit Event raises $500,000 for school meals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Krista McCarthy, Marketing Manager, 781-438-3090 x 7, Krista@apusa.org
STONEHAM, MA– Over 300 business, non-profit, government, and philanthropic leaders attended the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s 2017 Bay Area Benefit Gala on September 10th raising $500,000 for the organization’s school meal program. The funds raised will provide daily school meals for a year to 33,333 children.
Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest NGO-run school meal program and serves hot fresh school lunches to 1.6 million children in 13,839 schools from 32 kitchen facilities in 12 states in India. Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of Akshaya Patra and raises funds and awareness for the school meal program in India. The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA has Volunteer Chapters in cities across the United States that hold fundraising and awareness events for the organization. Akshaya Patra USA The Bay Area Chapter is one of Akshaya Patra USA’s oldest chapters.
The event featured Dheeraj Pandey, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Nutanix, as the event’s keynote speaker. Dheeraj Pandey is committed to supporting Akshaya Patra at personal level as well as through his company Nutanix. Several employees from Nutanix attended the event along with Dheeraj and his wife. Nutanix India employees have volunteered in Akshaya Patra’s Bangalore kitchen and schools. Twice a month Nutanix source meals for their employees from Akshaya Patra’s Akshaya Nidhi program. The Akshaya Nidhi program sells mid-day meals to corporate and industry employees to raise funds to support school meals for underserved children in government schools.
The event also featured Diane Greene, Google’s Senior Vice President of Google Cloud Business, who accepted an award on behalf of Google. The award recognizes Google as Akshaya Patra’s “Corporate Partner of the Year”. Diane Greene and her husband Mendel Rosenblum were impressed by the scale of Akshaya Patra’s school meal program in India and the efficiency with which the organization is run day after day. They called it an extremely successful public private partnership to serve the children of India and are committed to supporting the organization’s school meal program.
The annual Benefit Event is organized by Akshaya Patra’s Bay Area Volunteer Chapter led by Advisory Board members Anuradha and B V Jagadeesh, Charu and Manish Gupta, Gautam Godhwani, Gita and VR Ranganath, Jyoti and Anil Godhwani, Mona and Ajay Shah, MR Rangaswami, Pooja and Ashu Garg, Pooja and Navin Chaddha, Ranjana and Siva Sivaram, Sanjeev Sardana, Satya and Krishan Kalra, Seema and Sarvajna Dwivedi, Smita and Sumit Sadana, Sumir Chadha, Varkha and Hitesh Chellani, Vasanthi and Ari Arjavalingam and Vaijayanthi and Prabhakar Kalavacherla.
The event was sponsored by WestBridge Capital, Western Digital, Sumir Chadha, Deepak Kamra, Pooja and Ashu Garg, Mayfield, BV and Anuradha Jagadeesh, Navneet Chugh, Vasanthi and Ari Arjavalingam, Swapna and Dheeraj Pandey, Seema and Sarvajna Dwivedi, Satya and Krishan Kalra, Sanjeev Sardana, MR Rangaswami, Jyoti and Anil Godhwani, Gita and VR Ranganath, Gautam Godhwani, Jyoti & Avinash Parwaney, Indu & Chandra Mundra, Deutsche Bank, Revathi and Nari Narendrnath, Vaijayanthi and Prabhakar Kalavacherla, Smita and Sumit Sadana, Padmasree and Mohan Warrior, and Mona and Ajay Shah.
THE AKSHAYA PATRA FOUNDATION
Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra began by serving 1,500 in 5 schools in Bangalore. Today Akshaya Patra is the largest NGO-run school meal programs in the world and serves over 1.6 million children daily. Akshaya Patra has pioneered an innovative program design that combines technological innovation and government collaboration to create a highly effective, sustainable, and replicable school meal program.
Rather than compete with government-run school meal programs, Akshaya Patra has partnered with the federal and state governments to manage the school meal programs where requested. In return, the state and federal governments provide Akshaya Patra with cash and grain subsidies that drastically reduce the cost per meal by an average of 60%. This has enabled Akshaya Patra to reach twice as many children as it could on through fundraising alone. By working alongside the government, Akshaya Patra has ensured the school meal program is both effective and sustainable.
Another hallmark of the Akshaya Patra program are the centralized kitchen facilities that have been designed and engineered by the management team to optimize quality and minimize cost, time and labor. Using their own knowledge of engineering, they designed kitchens that can produce large quantities of high quality food at low cost and with minimum human intervention. Akshaya Patra kitchens are unique in impact, hygiene, and environmental sustainability:
For many of the children Akshaya Patra serves, the school meal is the only complete meal they will receive in a day. The meal serves as an incentive for struggling families to send their children to school where they will have access to the life-changing benefits of education.