Mumbai: Aiding the Government’s relief efforts to help people affected by the complete lockdown to contain COVID-19 outbreak, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has already served over 2 Crore (20 million) meals to vulnerable communities, such as migrant population, daily-wage labourers, industrial workers, homeless people, etc., in various locations across the country. The Foundation has been working to serve these people every day by providing freshly cooked meals and food relief kits with essential groceries while working closely with the Government of India, various State Governments, UT Administrations and civic bodies.
The relief feeding endeavour has been initiated in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Delhi and NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Akshaya Patra is utilizing its kitchen network to prepare the meals and deliver them to the centres assigned by the authorities where it is then served to people in need. Simultaneously, packaging centres have been set up in various locations across the country where food relief kits are packed with essential groceries based on the local palate. The kits to be distributed in Bangalore, for instance, contain rice, tur dal, oil, spices, sambar and rasam powder, and vegetables which are known to have a long shelf-life, such as potatoes and pumpkins. Each kit has groceries sufficient for either 42 or 28 meals.
As of 17th April, Akshaya Patra, with its supporting organisations, has cumulatively served 2,19,44,385 meals — 93,57,839 freshly cooked meals and 3,02,541 food relief kits (1,25,86,546 meal servings).
In this endeavour, the Foundation has been supported by proactive corporate partners and individual donors. Smt. Sudha Murty and Shri. Narayana Murthy and their family contributed 10 Crores from their personal funds toward Akshaya Patra’s COVID-19 relief work. Their generous donation has enabled Akshaya Patra to distribute 1.33 lakh food relief kits, which are equivalent to 55,86,000 meals.
Several organisations have come forward to contribute to the relief feeding endeavour. These include PepsiCo Foundation (3Cr), LG Electronics (2Cr), Deutsche Bank (2Cr), DLF Foundation (1.5Cr), HT Parekh Foundation (1.5Cr), Infosys Foundation (1.2Cr), Nestle India (1Cr), Goldman Sachs (1Cr), CISCO (1Cr), Biocon Foundation (75L), Coca–Cola (50L), CLP (40L), Gland Pharmaceuticals (35L), Capgemini (31.2L), Morgan Stanley (30L), Vedanta (30L), Hero Moto Corp (28L), Walmart (25L), Vivo (25L), Sarojini Trust (25L) and Texas Instruments (22.5L).
We have also received in-kind support for the endeavour with General Mills (Mumbai) donating cookies and cakes for distribution in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Noida, Britannia donating around 20,000 packs of Good Day biscuits to be distributed in Bangalore, and Epigamia donating 17,000 premium yoghurt cups for distribution in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
Similarly, renowned Bollywood personalities, such as Hrithik Roshan and Raveena Tandon, have also donated to the Foundation’s efforts.
Also supporting the Foundation are motivated volunteers who have selflessly come forward at this hour of need. These include volunteering groups, such as Inspiring Indians and Corona Warriors, as well as corporate volunteers from organisations such as the Infosys Foundation and Biocon.
Speaking about these efforts, Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, said, “We have been able to serve over 2 crore meals to people in need during these difficult times due to the collaborative efforts of everyone involved. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Government of India, State Governments, UT Administrations, and local civic bodies for placing their trust and confidence in our service. I also want to thank our partners, corporate and individual donors, volunteers and well-wishers for standing by us and rendering their invaluable services. I sincerely hope that the situation will improve soon and people will be able to get back to their day-to-day life. Until then, we will continue our efforts to serve as many people as possible.”