As news of the program spread, the temple received hundreds of requests from other schools wondering how they might participate in the program. Temple leaders were extremely pleased with the program’s success, but also realized that demand vastly out-paced their capacity to supply hand-cooked meals to everyone in need.
The challenge of making the temple’s midday meal program more efficient was taken up by Madhu Pandit Dasa, a graduate of IIT-Bombay’s Civil Engineering program. Madhu Pandit Dasa designed the first centralized and fully mechanized kitchen that was able to produce more than 100,000 high-quality meals in 5 hours, without sacrificing the wholesome quality of the food.
Since then, Akshaya Patra has expanded to 65 centralized and decentralized kitchens in 14 States & 2 Union Territories in India and feeds over 2 million children per day.