The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a secular not-for-profit organization that cooks, transports, and serves 2 million midday meals to government school children in 20,000 schools across 14 States and 2 Union Territories in India, every day.
We work closely with the Department of Food Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and The National Institute of Health and Family Welfare in India to design a vegetarian menu that would contain the right amount of lipids, micronutrients, calories, and proteins that growing children need for healthy development. The menu is designed to cater to the preferences of the local palate and is continuously optimized to improve taste and nutrition.
Children attending Akshaya Patra schools come from low-income families who typically make less than $2.00 per day and are unable to afford vegetables, grains, and milk – basically, the bare necessities a child needs to grow.
We provide unlimited food. Second and third helpings are always available. Frequently, younger siblings of students come to school at mealtime or students pack leftovers in containers to take home.
Akshaya Patra provides a balanced-nutritious meal, daily, usually consisting of three items, with dessert served once a week. Meals are often supplemented with peanut butter paste, fortified rice, and other innovative ways of improving caloric and nutrient value.