Nutrition International and Akshaya Patra Foundation Join Hands to Improve Nutritional Status of Women and Children in India
On 18th May, 2018, Nutrition International India and The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF), an NGO running the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal and ICDS programme, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
From Left to Right: Chanchalapathi Dasa with TAPF staff and Sucharita Dutta with Nutrition International staff along with Jennifer Daubeny- Consul General for Canada in Bengaluru after signing the MoU at TAPF office, Bengaluru, India
The MoU was signed by Ms. Sucharita Dutta, Country Director, Nutrition International India and Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation at TAPF’s office in Bengaluru in the presence of Jennifer Daubeny, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada, Bengaluru.
Through this collaboration, the two organisations aim to make the meals more nutritious for the most vulnerable women and children in India, who are served under Government of India’s school feeding and supplementary nutrition programs through the TAPF kitchens.
“The partnership between Nutrition International and Akshaya Patra is an extremely valuable one. By providing technical expertise to fortify wheat flour and double fortified salt to Akshaya Patra Foundation, which is serving wholesome food to over 1.6 million children across 12 states in India, Nutrition International will help ensure essential micronutrients reach these children”, Jennifer Daubeny, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada, Bengaluru.
Nutrition International will support TAPF in fortifying wheat flour with iron, folic acid and Vitamin B12 and double fortified salt with iodine and iron, as per FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) standards. The fortified flour and salt will be used in preparing meals served to women and children under the Government’s Mid-Day Meal (MDM) and Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) by TAPF’s centralised kitchens across India. The fortification process aims to cover 30 percent of the required daily allowance of iron for women and children to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
“This partnership will set an excellent precedence in the field of fortification to combat malnutrition through mid-day meals. We will be able to take advantage of technology of encapsulating iron in the salt developed by Nutrition International to ensure minimum change in the organoleptic properties after fortification. This leads to better acceptance by consumers and greater health benefits for them”, said Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice Chairman, Akshaya Patra Foundation.
“For Nutrition International, it a significant partnership. We are hopeful that this partnership would benefit large number of children who get meals in school under the MDM scheme across the 12 states that are currently being served by TAPF and also beneficiaries of any other programs or states that TAPF decides to support in future,” Sucharita Dutta, Country Director, Nutrition International, India.
Through this partnership, Nutrition International and TAPF collectively aim to:
Develop a model for fortification of staple foods being prepared by TAPF kitchens in the country for meal served under Government of India’s nutrition programmes in schools and scheme for under 6 children and women.
Undertake joint advocacy with the Government for scaling up of staple food fortification to address micronutrient malnutrition in women and children.
Generate evidences on the impact of fortified foods on the health and nutritional status of children.
Develop innovative technologies on food that can improve the nutritional status of the women and children.
Amitabh Kant - CEO, Niti Aayog, GOI paid a visit to Akshaya Patra's kitchen in Hubballi