Nagpur : Akshaya Patra and Share Our Strength has collaborat- ed to build a kitchen in Nagpur to serve hot, fresh nutritious mid-day meals to approximately 15,000 school children. Shridhar Venkat, CEO, The Akshaya Patra Foundation mentioned the move is aimed to supplement government funded mid-day meal program to eliminate child hunger and achieve food security and improved nutrition for the city's public school students.
Akshaya Patra will hold a taste event to raise funds and awareness on Februay 26 at Chitnavis Center from 5 pm to 11 pm. Present on the occa- sion will be chefs Sanjeev Kapoor and Vishnu Manohar. Speaking at a press confer- ence Jeetu Jodhpurkar said, "The visitors will have a first hand experience of Akshay Patra's work and they can contribute to pay for one child's school meal for an entire year. This will be matched by Share Our Strength and they will con- tribute an equal amount of funds raised during the programme".
Share Our Strength, a US- based national NGO facilitat- ing school meals to hungry kids in the US and abroad, and Akshaya Patra, the world's largest school meals provider, have part- nered in India to accelerate the impact in the effort to serve hot, fresh, nutritious meals to 3 million children everyday by 2025. The program was launched in India in November last year and Akshay Patra has picked Nagpur as the first place to implement their joint effort. Together, their work aligned with the government's mid- day meal program will help eliminate classroom hunger, increase attendance and enrollment in schools, and address malnutrition.
Sameer Bendre, Chief of Operations. Persistent Systems mentioned that Akshay Patra is in the process of identifying a suitable place to set up its kitchen in Nagpur and plans to run the scheme from the next academic ses- sion. Akshaya Patra has esti- mated an annual budget of three crores to meet its pro- duction and logistics in Nagpur city. The organisation plans to raise half of the required amount through crowd-funding and the other half will be funded by Share Our Strength. Also present were Ram Pasudkar, Sachin Jaghirdar, Jeetu Nayak and Swami Viyopam Das.