The mid-day meal program was launched by the Government of India in the mid-1960s, and is the largest school-lunch program in the world, feeding 120 million students across the country. The Akshaya Patra Foundation started its own initiative in 2000 to provide mid day meals to 1500 school-going children across 5 schools in Bangalore. In 2006, the two collaborated to exponentially increase their social impact, and to take a big step in helping India meet its Millennium Development Goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and achieving universal primary education.
At present, Akshaya Patra Foundation provides freshly cooked and nutritious lunch to more than 1.5 million school-going children in 9,692 government schools across 9 states and 1 Union Territory. The Better India Team recently visited the enormous centralized kitchen at Vasanthapura in Bangalore, and came away thoroughly impressed by the scale of operations, the complexity and the attention to detail.