Everyday, Akshaya Patra provides hot, nutritious school meals to 1.4 million under-served children in more than 10,600 government schools across India from 23 kitchen facilities. For many children this is their only meal of the day, and it gives them the essential nutrients growing children need to develop cognitive abilities that enable them to excel in school.
There are more than 61 million malnourished children in India , a number that accounts for 1/3 of all the malnourished children in the world. Although more than 96% of all children in India enroll in primary school only 58.3% enroll in upper primary school, with a full 40% dropping out . Of those that drop out, 60% will do so to supplement family income through domestic work . Another 30% will drop out of school in order to take jobs to earn money.
This meal program provides children a hot, nutritious lunch using local produce and catering to regional tastes. It gives these children an incentive to come to school, stay in school and provides the basic nutrients for them to focus on learning. A new kitchen has been built in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh by the Caterpillar Foundation. We are currently seeking operational funds for the kitchen to purchase meal distribution vessels and vehicles.
Our meals bring hungry children to school where they have access to life-changing educational opportunities. We will be able to educate all children and provide them the opportunity to go on to secondary and tertiary learning institutions, thereby increasing the literacy rate and helping children escape the cycle of poverty and realize their full potential.