During our research in to the initiatives being undertaken to tackle food poverty we were fortunate enough to discover the fabulous Akshaya Patra Foundation, a fantastic initiative which began in India and is now doing amazing work over in the UK.
A brief summary direct from their own website sums it up perfectly. The statistics regarding their feeding programme are really quite astonishing.
“The Akshaya Patra Foundation strives to tackle the issues of classroom hunger and educational access in India. By providing free freshly cooked, nourishing school lunches through our Food For Education Programme in government and government aided schools, we aim to fight malnutrition and increase the enrolment of children in schools across India.
Today, the organisation feeds free mid-day meals to 1.8 million school children. This takes place in 19,039 Government schools and Government-aided schools, supplied from 52 kitchens across 12 states & 2 union territories of India.”
The theory is really quite simple that by ensuring school children have healthy, nutritional food when they go to school this will not only enhance their capabilities to learn as well as ensuring they can actually eat but also encourages children to attend school as this is often the only place they will be guaranteed to eat something each day.
With incredible hi-tech kitchens and scientific research in to the benefits of a nutritional feeding programme they are able to monitor the benefits that this can reap.
AKSHAYA PATRA in the UK
Since 2019 they have opened up in the UK to provide children (and adults) healthy meals. The scale is not the same as in India but we know how the numbers are increasing all the time.
They operate two main programmes:
NOURISH TO FLOURISH
Since 2019 they have been providing meals to school children at holiday clubs, council-run holiday centres and community hubs across London boroughs.
They serve roughly 3000 adults, freshly prepared hot vegetarian wholesome meals at various locations in London including Strand and Kings Cross
The food is prepared fresh daily and the only limitation they have is the 2 hour ‘kitchen to table’ time period they have in place to ensure the food is delivered in its very best and safest condition. This obviously limits the areas they can operate and they are looking at expansion in a number of other areas.
We were fortunate to be invited along to their kitchen in Watford. The slick cooking operation and quality of food is very impressive.
To find out more about the foundation please follow the links below
#foodinsecurity #foodpoverty #thejansenfoundation