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Akshaya Patra Usa Awarded $100,000 Grant For Mangalore India School Meal Program

Press Release

The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA (AP-USA)is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program.  Akshaya Patra USA was chosen from 479 applicants, during a competitive review process.

Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest NGO-run school meal program, and provides nutritious school meals to 1.5 million children in 11,501 schools across 10 states in India every day. Akshaya Patra USA supports this mission by raising funds and awareness for the school meal program. 

Representing Akshaya Patra USA, Emily Rosenbaum, CEO, and Ankita Narula, Director of Development – Northeast, will join approximately 300 other guests at a June 9th at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector.  With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $140 million to local nonprofits alone.

“This grant will provide a tremendous boost to a key kitchen building project in Mangalore, India,” noted Emily Rosenbaum, AP-USA CEO. “The 50,000 children annually who will receive hot, nutritious meals at school DAILY in Mangalore for decades to come will be the living legacy for the importance of this award.  More than 30% of the malnourished children in the world live in India, and these meals in school that allow children from even the poorest families to attend school (rather than work) simultaneously reduce childhood malnutrition and pave the way for better economic opportunities for these students and their families. ”

The Cummings Grant will support the building of a new centralized kitchen in the city of Mangalore which is in the State of Karnataka.  Akshaya Patra’s centralized kitchens Akshaya Patra produces fresh, nutritious meals to government schools from state-of-the-art centralized kitchen facilities.  Akshaya Patra's founders used their own knowledge of engineering to design immense mechanized kitchen facilities many of which are capable of preparing meals for 100,000 plus children every day.  Akshaya Patra’s custom chapatti machines can bake 60,000 chapattis in five hours and easy-tilt cauldrons can produce 1,200 liters of rice or sambar in just two hours. 

These technological innovations optimize quality and minimize cost, time and labor to ensure that the meals prepared are safe, fresh, and nutritious. All of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens meet the highest standards of safety and efficiency, and ten of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens have already been certified as FSMS ISO 22000:2005 compliant, which means they meet the standards of the International Food Safety Management System (FSMS).  The International Organization for Standardization established the ISO 22000 certification to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain.

The “$100K for 100” program supports nonprofits that are not only based in but primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk cities.  This year, the program is benefiting 41 cities and towns within the Commonwealth. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages more than 10 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation. 

“We admire and very much appreciate the important work that nonprofit organizations like Akshaya Patra USA are doing,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to support their efforts.”

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including education, homelessness prevention, elder services, healthcare, and food insecurity. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years.

The complete list of 100 grant winners will be available at www.CummingsFoundation.org  after June 9th.

About Akshaya Patra USA

Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra began by serving 1,500 in 5 schools in Bangalore. Today Akshaya Patra is the largest NGO-run school meal programs in the world and serves over 1.5 million children daily in over 11,501 schools through 24 kitchens in ten states in India.  In 2016, Akshaya Patra is celebrating its 15th Anniversary and the serving of its 2 billionth meal to children in India.  Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of Akshaya Patra and raises funds and awareness for the school meal program in India.

Akshaya Patra has received international recognition for its life-changing mission.  In 2016, Akshaya Patra’s Founder Madhu Pandit Dasa received the Padma Shri Award, India’s fourth highest civilian award, for his work with Akshaya Patra.  Shridhar Venkat, CEO of Akshaya Patra India, was recognized as being among the 50 Most Impactful Social Innovators in the world. Akshaya Patra was recently awarded the Nikkei Asia Prize, an award established to recognize an organization’s outstanding achievements that contribute to the region’s sustainable development. For more information about Akshaya Patra, please visit www.foodforeducation.org.

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. With assets exceeding $1 billion, it is one of the largest foundations in New England.  The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn.  Its largest single commitment to date was $50 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.  Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

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