Akshaya Patra feeds over 8-crore meals during COVID-19 crisis
Established in 2000, The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the pioneer mid-day meal NGOs in India. It provides nutritious mid-day meals to children studying in Government and Government-aided schools. Akshaya Patra is present in 52 locations spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories.
Aside from its core cause, Akshaya Patra provides food relief to the needy during crisis situations. In the past, it has supported crisis-hit people during floods, cyclones, and earthquake. Presently, it is providing food relief to the marginalised and low-income sections of the society under its COVID Relief Services.
Akshaya Patra’s service during COVID-19 crisis
The Foundation began its COVID-19 Food Relief Service on 25 March 2020. It is reaching out to daily wage workers, migrant labourers, construction site workers, and needy people at old age homes and night shelters. The relief service is operational across 19 states namely Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, West Bengal, Punjab, Jharkhand, and Himachal Pradesh.
Working in close coordination with State Governments and District Administrations and with the help of individual donors, corporate partners and volunteers, Akshaya Patra has:
· Served a cumulative of 8-crore meals
· Served 4,74,30,724 freshly cooked meals
· Supported 8,03,607 families with essential grocery kits
· Distributed 9,198 Happiness kits to support mid-day meal beneficiaries
· Fed 1,50,000 Shramik passengers
· Served immunity-rich meals three times a day to COVID-19 patients
Lives of people changed by Akshaya Patra during the pandemic
“I came to Dadra and Nagar Haveli many years ago, but never thought this day will come. I am worried I might not be able to see my parents in Odisha again. As soon as my children saw the blue van, they recognised it to be Akshaya Patra’s vans that served them nourishing mid-day meals in their Government Primary School at Amboli. They were happy and excited to know that the meals in this tough time was coming from the same blue van.” — Chandan Bahera, Silvassa
“I was in the catering business and do not have a job since the lockdown and unable to feed my family of five. My funds were exhausted and I did not have money to pay my rent, so I had to vacate. So, we moved to a shelter home in Ranbasera, Ahmedabad. My decision to move here has not only taken care of our safety, but also of our food. The Akshaya Patra Foundation provides meals twice a day here — afternoon and night. This ensures that we receive healthy nourishing food without having to spend any money.” — Arshad Khan, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
“The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic jeopardised our life much beyond what we could have ever imagined. My husband, a construction site worker lost his job overnight due to the lockdown. It became difficult to find another job and there was no source of income. With no money left, neither could we buy food nor could we feed our daughter. We heard about a food distribution service and rushed to the site. Since then we have been receiving food three times a day: at 8 o’clock, 1 o’clock, and 6.30 p.m. We are grateful to Akshaya Patra; we now have food to eat.” — Nagarathna, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
“I work with the Chennai Corporation and am responsible for cleaning the roads and collecting garbage from nearby areas. So, whether it is a pandemic or not, I have to step out for work every day. But the issue was food. Due to the lockdown, all restaurants and shops remain closed. So, my colleagues and I had to walk 3 kilometres to the Corporation Office Canteen with the hope of getting food. Even if we reached the canteen a few minutes late, all the food would be exhausted and we would end up working the entire day on an empty stomach. My colleagues are I are very grateful to Akshaya Patra for providing us meals, free of cost, in this time of crisis. Now, we get food, every day, guaranteed!” — Sudha K, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
“When the lockdown was announced, I decided to go back home in Ratlam. Since there was no transportation available, I decided to walk the distance of more than 650 kilometeres. With an eight-month old in my womb, the journey was indeed difficult. I reached a shelter home at Maheshwari Seva Sadan in Nathdwara where Akshaya Patra had been serving freshly cooked lunch and dinner. In this chaos, I found a roof, food, and nourishment for my unborn child. The relief was unimaginable.” — Indra, Pokhran, Rajasthan
There are millions of people who are in need of support during the COVID-19 crisis. Donate online to help them survive this pandemic by supporting them with something as basic as food.
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