The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Bengaluru, India. Our organization strives to fight issues like hunger and malnutrition in India, by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in the government schools and government-aided schools. Akshaya Patra aims not only to fight hunger but also to bring children to school.
Since 2000, the organization has worked towards reaching more children with wholesome food on every single school day.
Akshaya Patra is continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children. Its state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and they attract curious visitors from around the world.
In partnership with the Government of India; various State Governments, the inestimable support from many businesses, philanthropic donors and well-wishers; we have grown from our humble beginnings in the year 2000, serving just 1,500 children across 5 schools. Today Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal program serving wholesome food to over 1.6 million children from 13,529 schools across 11 states in India.
It all began by feeding 250 children in a Government school in Balmatta, Mangalore. The program was inaugurated by Chancalapathi Dasa, Vice Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation. N.Yogish Bhat, MLA, Mangalore, Abhay Chandra Jain, MLA, Moodbidri, Nagaraj Shetty, MLA, Bantwal and Thejomaya, Ex-Chairman, Mangalore Urban Development Authority.
On the day of inauguration, two schools enjoyed hot, nutritious mid-day meals served by Akshaya Patra. As word spread about Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals, more schools in the region wanted to be served by the Foundation.
Overcoming challenges of available area and technology, and with an increase in manpower, the Akshaya Patra kitchen functioned to its maximum capacity to feed over 5,000 children.
Karunya Sagar Dasa, President of the Foundation in Mangalore, says, “We reach out to schools including areas such as Talapady, Mulki, B.C.Road and neighboring areas.”
Today, as thousands of children relish the midday meal and talk about it at their homes, the contribution of the Foundation has reached far and wide. Many more schools want the Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals to be served. The kitchen, however, hasn’t been able to respond to these requests due to constraints of space and government permission. Karunya Sagar Dasa says, “Our immediate need is to build a centralized kitchen capable of feeding 50,000 children at a time daily. This is planned to be an ISO standard kitchen. If a generous donor can donate for the construction of this kitchen, we can realize our dream of reaching out to more children in the coastal region.”
Testimonials of the program
“I live on the banks of the Gurupur River and have to come by boat which operates at half hour intervals. As I get on the boat, I am greeted by children studying at local government schools who are inquisitive about the menu for the day since they know that I work for Akshaya Patra.” —Ratna J Suvarna, an employee who has been with Akshaya Patra for more than six years
The Akshaya Patra kitchens have a character of their own and do not compromise on quality and hygiene when it comes to procuring raw materials and delivering hot, nutritious food. The journey of a million smiles begins in our kitchen and this is a story of yet another one.
Akshaya Patra’s first kitchen at Mangalore was started in 2005 at Kadri Mallikatta. It was later shifted to Sultan Battery Road in 2006-2007. The second phase of the kitchen was inaugurated by Subir Raha, Ex- Chairman, ONGC and Dayanand Pai, MD, Century Builders Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore, and was presided over by Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
The Akshaya Patra being sensitive to the needs of the regional palate includes the traditional food of each region in its midday meal menu. Boiled rice is part of the menu in the coastal region of Karnataka.
Akshaya Patra’s kitchen cooks 2,500 kgs of rice, 4,000 ltrs of sambar,500 kgs of dal, 1,250 kgs of vegetables, and 1,200 lts of curds every single day.
Akshaya Patra’s three item menu consists of boiled rice, sambar or rasam, and a third item is among tomato rice, pulao, pulses, curd or sweets like payasa or Pongal.
The employees come in early in the morning, but in spite of the early working hours, they do not complain. “We understand that our work helps thousands of children,”they say.