Who are we?
The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) UK is the UK branch of TAPF India and became active about eight years ago. TAPF India is an Indian non-governmental organisation (NGO) headquartered in Bengaluru. The organisation strives to eliminate classroom hunger by implementing the Midday Meal Programme in government schools and government-aided schools. Alongside, TAPF also aims at countering malnutrition and supporting the right to education of socio-economically disadvantaged children.
What do we do?
In the UK, TAPF UK fundraises to support the work that is done in India but also to support the local community by feeding homeless people in London and addressing holiday hunger among children. Holidays are a tough time for financially weak families in the UK. School children are not provided with free school meals during holidays, and this puts a huge strain on families to provide these meals.
In 2017 TAPF UK took on the initiative, much like its Indian counterpart did 17 years ago, to venture into providing free and nutritious meals for the vulnerable, in London. TAPF UK came to this decision as the team had noticed a rising problem and an urgent need to tackle the state of hunger and homelessness in the UK.
Since 2000, TAPF India has been directing its efforts towards providing fresh and nutritious hot meals to children on every single school day. We are continuously leveraging technology to multiply our reach. We use state-of-the-art kitchens which have become a subject of study and have attracted curious visitors from around the world.
By feeding children one wholesome meal a day, they are given the nourishment and motivation they need to pursue an education for a better future. It is our endeavour to reach out to every child at the grass-roots level of society. What have we achieved?
TAPF UK flagged off its ‘Nourish to Flourish’ school holiday feeding program in London in 2019. Since then, we have consistently scaled up the program over each school holiday. This year, we served around 35,000 meals across Tower Hamlets, Hertfordshire, and Harrow Councils to children during summer holidays over a five-week period.
Daily in Central London we feed an average of 3,000 homeless people with the help of affiliated organisations. In tackling homeless hunger, TAPF UK found that we are the most effective when operating at street level, which is why we have set up fixed distribution points across inner-city London. By being immediately accessible to those in need we are able to positively impact and improve upon the quality of life of thousands of rough sleepers at a consistent and constant rate.
The partnership of TAPF India with the Government of India and various State Governments, along with the persistent support from corporates, individual donors, and well-wishers have helped the organisation to grow from serving just 1,500 children in 5 schools in 2000 to serving 1.8 million children.
Today, TAPF India is the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) Midday Meal Programme serving wholesome food every school day to approx. 1.8 million children over 19,000 schools across 12 States & two Union territories of India using 52 state-of-the-art kitchens.
What will you helping us do for the people we provide meals for?
Our vision is that no child shall be deprived of an education because of hunger and our mission is to feed five million children by 2025.
27% of the world's malnourished children live in India with malnutrition accounting for 50% of child deaths within the country. Across India, every day 8.2 million children are forced into work to earn their food. That means 1 in every 11 children are engaged in child labour instead of going to school.
Moreover, gender bias and food insecurity are significant factors that contribute to low school attendance rates and perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
By partnering with us you can help with your contribution to: • avoid classroom hunger • increase school enrolment • increase school attendance • reduce school drop-out rates • address malnutrition • enable pupils to improve their academic performance • support the aspirations of children and help them to exit the poverty cycle • address food insecurity in the UK among rough sleepers and school children.
It costs 7 pence to feed one child one midday meal in India. It costs 50p to feed a homeless person in the UK and it costs £1 to feed a child in the UK to address holiday hunger.