Mid-Day Meals and the Little Blue Bus
The sighting of Akshaya Patra’s food delivery vehicles—the little blue buses—is now commonplace across 72 locations in 16 states and 2 union territories of India. Every day these vehicles transport hot, nutritious and tasty mid-day meals from our kitchens to 24,082 schools and Anganwadi centres across the country where over two million children eagerly wait for them.
When we started the school meal programme in 2000, we didn’t have delivery vehicles. Therefore, we would hire transport vehicles from external agencies to deliver food to the schools. Since there were just five schools and they were situated not too far from the kitchen, it was manageable.
Eventually, one of the trustees of the organisation arranged for a customised transport vehicle—that was our first little blue bus.
As the word spread, more schools wrote to us, asking us to serve meals to their children. With the support of like-minded people, we were able to grow from strength to strength. Our supporters were more than willing to donate customised vehicles to deliver meals to schools.
The blue bus is a customised transport vehicle specially designed to deliver food packed in stainless steel 304 Grade vessels to schools. These vehicles have a puffed body to reduce loss of temperature and a honeycomb structure to hold the vessels upright and keep the freshness of the cooked meal intact till it is served. Every vehicle is steam-sterilised before the loading process.