Akshaya Patra Undertakes Relief Feeding to Support Government’s Efforts During COVID-19 Outbreak
March 28, 2020: The Government of India has announced a 21-day complete lockdown to contain COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, which has affected the lives of people in every section of life, especially vulnerable communities like migrant labourers and homeless people. The Government, on its part, is implementing various relief efforts to help them. The Akshaya Patra Foundation will be aiding the Government’s efforts by providing food relief in various locations across the country. We will be initiating these efforts through our network of kitchens whilst working closely with the Government of India, State Governments and other civic administrations. With the proactive support of corporate partners, individual donors and motivated volunteers who have selflessly come forward at this hour of need, we will strive to comfort people, either through cooked meals or through food relief kits.
As the implementing partner of the Government’s flagship Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Programme, we are committed to the responsibility of providing wholesome meals to children. During this period of uncertainty, we will be closely monitoring the situation on a daily basis. Akshaya Patra’s local units will be diligently following the directions of the concerned authorities so that nutrition can be delivered to children in the most feasible manner.
We are also proactively working with various agencies and organisations to implement other food relief efforts in locations across the country. We have already begun providing cooked meals in Jaipur and Ajmer (Rajasthan), Hyderabad (Telangana), Pune (Maharashtra) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
We are arranging for food relief kits to be distributed to as many people as possible in Bengaluru (Karnataka) and other locations. These kits will comprise of items like rice/flour, tur dal/mung dal, chana, sunflower oil, spices such as turmeric, jeera, and dhaniya powder, sambar masala/garam masala, and pickle. They will also contain vegetables with longer shelf-life, such as potatoes and pumpkins. Each of these food kits will be sufficient to prepare two meals a day for an adult for about 21 days. We will commence distributing these food relief packets as soon as possible.
We understand the urgency as well as the criticality of the endeavour. Therefore, we will strive to maintain the highest standards of safety and hygiene in all our processes whilst we reach out to as many people as possible. We will also engage corporate volunteers to distribute freshly cooked food and relief kits.
Speaking about these efforts, Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation said, “We solemnly stand committed to working with the Government of India and State/UT Governments and render all possible services to the people of our nation in these difficult times. Akshaya Patra has always strived to assist the Government’s efforts and bring relief to people during crises. I am extremely grateful to the various Governments, our corporate partners, individual donors, motivated volunteers, and all our well-wishers for their support. Our efforts are driven by the earnest hope that the situation will improve soon and normalcy returns. Until then, we will continue to work together and serve the people in need during this COVID-19 outbreak.”
For updates and details of Akshaya Patra’s relief operations across India, please visit www.akshayapatra.org
About The Akshaya Patra Foundation
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which strives to address classroom hunger and malnutrition in India. By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Government and Government-aided schools, Akshaya Patra aims to fight hunger and at the same time, bring children to school.
Since 2000, Akshaya Patra has worked towards reaching out to children with wholesome food on every single school day. The Foundation is continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children. Its state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and attract curious visitors from around the world.
In partnership with the Government of India and various State Governments and the inestimable support of many philanthropic donors and well-wishers, Akshaya Patra has grown from humble beginnings serving just 1,500 school children across five schools to becoming the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal programme, serving wholesome food to over 1.8 million children from 19,039 schools across 12 States & 2 Union Territories in India.
Akshaya Patra has time and again come forward for disaster relief work across the country. Over the years, we have conducted relief feeding in flood-affected parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh as well as drought-affected parts of Karnataka. Our relief feeding efforts even crossed borders in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake in April 2015 as we set up a temporary kitchen to feed the affected over a period of three months. We will continue to serve the people in their times of need throughout this crisis and beyond.
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