Bhilai, Feb 10, 2019: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commemorate The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s serving of cumulative 3 Billion Meals at an event to be held in its campus in Vrindavan, Mathura, on February 11, 2019 at 11:30 hrs, informed the Bhilai unit of Akshaya Patra in a press communiqué. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath; and Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar will also be joining the Prime Minister in the programme. Other dignitaries expected to grace the occasion include Hema Malini, MP – Mathura; Shrikant Sharma, Minister of Power, Government of Uttar Pradesh; Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary, Minister – Dairy Development, Religious Affairs, Culture, Minority Welfare, Muslim Waqf and Haj, Government of Uttar Pradesh and Anupma Jaiswal, Minister of State (I/C), Basic Education, Child Development and Nutrition, Revenue and Finance. Karinda Singh, MLA –Govardhan, Shyam Sunder Sharma, MLA – Mant; Pooran Prakash, MLA – Baldev, and Mukesh Arya Bandhu, Mayor – Mathura-Vrindavan Nagar Nigam are also expected to be present. In 2012, Akshaya Patra reached its first major milestone of serving 1 Billion cumulative meals since the inception of the programme in 2000. By 2016, the organisation had already served cumulative 2 Billion meals. This milestone was commemorated in the presence of Pranab Mukherjee, the then President of India, on August 27, 2016, in Bengaluru.
Akshaya Patra has constantly endeavoured to provide well-balanced, nourishing, and tasty meals to all its beneficiaries to improve and ensure their nutritional and health status. This is done with due adherence to regional acceptability, thus the menu is primarily wheat-based in North India and rice-based in South India as well as states like Odisha and Assam. At Akshaya Patra, a conscious effort is made to revise the menu in a systematic and cyclic manner to ensure that children get more variety and change of taste. Food safety, quality, and hygiene are given the utmost importance in the Foundation’s school lunch programme. Food Safety and Quality Control Labs (FSQC Labs) have been set up to facilitate the evaluation of products, ranging from raw materials to cooked meals. As quantity is as important as quality when it comes to nutrition security, indents are collected from every school on the previous day to ensure that children have access to a sufficient quantity of nutritious food. Akshaya Patra has time and again collaborated with premier organisations, such as ICRISAT and CFTRI, for their valuable inputs and guidance on various aspects of the school lunch programme. As the implementing partner of the Mid-Day Meal Programme, Akshaya Patra has received the support and encouragement of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India and various State Governments all along the journey. The Foundation will continue with its commitment to serve quality, hygienic, and nutritious food to school children every day as a part of the meal programme.
It needs a mention that Akshaya Patra is a not-for-profit organisation, which strives to address classroom hunger and bring children to school by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Government and Government-aided schools. Since the year 2000, Akshaya Patra has worked towards reaching more children with wholesome food on every single school day. The Foundation is continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children. Its state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and attract curious visitors from around the world. In partnership with the Government of India and various State Governments, and the inestimable support of many philanthropic donors and well-wishers, Akshaya Patra has grown from feeding just 1,500 children in 5 schools, to serving 1.76 million school children across 14,702 government and government aided schools in 12 states of India.