MASSIVE COVID RELIEF OPERATION IN INDIA: The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) in India is serving food to vulnerable populations who have been affected by the COVID-19 containment measures. Latest figures show that TAPF, and its supporting organisations, have served over 60 million meals to people from vulnerable communities, such as daily-wage earners, industrial workers, labourers at construction sites, etc., across India.
As soon as India declared a national lockdown on March 25th, TAPF launched into its national campaign to provide meals. As of June 10th, TAPF has served over 32 million freshly cooked meals and 684,384 food relief kits with essential groceries – amounting to over 28 million meal servings – totalling over 60 million meals served. The Foundation is undertaking this relief initiative in 17 states and two union territories in association with the Government of India, State Governments, UT Administrations and civic authorities.
Leveraging TAPF’s existing state-of-the-art kitchens across India, freshly cooked meals are prepared and served with the help of volunteers who maintain social distancing. Simultaneously, food relief kits are being distributed to vulnerable communities throughout India, including Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab and Assam.The contents of these kits are based on the local palate of the region, with each kit having enough dry ration to cook up to 42 or 28 meals.
Speaking about these relief feeding efforts, Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, said: “This has only been possible due to the collaborative efforts of everyone involved. I extend my deepest gratitude to various Governments, corporate partners, individual donors, motivated volunteers and all our well-wishers for enabling us to serve people in these difficult times through their sustained support. We will continue to extend our services as long as it is possible.’’
SERVING THE VULNERABLE IN THE UK: The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK (Charity number 1117756) is undertaking food assistance to support children, the elderly, the vulnerable in the UK. Since the UK’s March 23rdlockdown, a little over 100,000 meals have been served by the foundation along with its affiliate partners Food For All.
Freshly cooked khichdi, an Indian dish made with vegetables, lentils and rice, is being prepared daily in two London kitchens, in Holborn and in Watford, with the help of hundreds of volunteers who observe the social distancing guidelines set out by the UK government. The hot food is distributed at no cost from various points in London every day of the week including Saturdays.
Speaking about the UK operations, Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, CEO at TAPF UK said: “The Akshaya Patra Foundation is committed to ensuring that we provide a solution to hunger and improved nutrition with speed and at scale. In addition to our work in India, we are engaged with a range of affiliate partners in London to serve as many as possible. We are also executing Holiday Hunger projects in the Greater London area and are preparing to serve over 30,000 meals during the coming school holidays. We are immensely grateful to all our partners and supporters who help us to make this possible.”