The Akshaya Patra Foundation, USA
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the world's largest NGO-run midday meal program and feeds over 1.4 underserved children daily in over 11,600 schools in 10 states in India. Akshaya Patra is a public-private partnership that combines good management, innovative technology and smart engineering to deliver school lunch at a fraction of the cost of similar programs in other parts of the world. It costs just $15 to feed a child daily for the entire year. This gives the children an incentive to come to school, stay in school and provides them with the necessary nutrients they need to develop their cognitive abilities to focus on learning.
Through kitchens specially designed by engineers to leverage technology and sourcing its food stocks from local markets, Akshaya Patra is able to reduce costs associated with transportation and food spoilage while supporting the local economy. In a short time, Akshaya Patra has grown to become the largest, and certainly most innovative, school lunch program in the world. Akshaya Patra exemplifies what can be accomplished when the public sector, private sector and the civic society collaborate - a cost effective, scalable solution with high quality service delivery.