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Akshaya Patra Boston Chapter Hosts A Successful Annual Gala

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Akshaya Patra Boston Chapter Hosts a Successful Annual Gala with 537 Supporters and an Inspiring Keynote Address by Penn State University President Neeli Bendapudi

The Akshaya Patra Foundation's Boston Chapter celebrated a highly successful Annual Gala on April 28, 2024, at the Burlington Marriott Hotel. The event brought together 537 compassionate supporters, raising significant funds and awareness for the Foundation's vital mission to end child hunger in India.

The evening's highlight was an inspiring keynote address by Penn State University President Neeli Bendapudi, who emphasized the importance of providing nutritious meals to children, ensuring they have the energy and health to pursue their education and dreams. 

Throughout the night, attendees engaged in conversations about the Foundation's initiatives, celebrated recent achievements of 4 billion meals served at the United Nations, and pledged their ongoing support. "The continued backing from our community is invaluable," said Rakesh Kamdar, an advisor for Akshaya Patra Boston. "This year's turnout and the generous contributions will go a long way in helping us achieve our goal of providing nutritious meals to children in need across India."

Akshaya Patra’s Boston Chapter has long been a beacon of philanthropy in the region, and this year’s Annual Gala solidified its status. "It's truly heartwarming to witness the Boston community's united front in backing Akshaya Patra's mission, providing daily midday meals and opening doors of opportunity for 2.2 million government school children. The energy in the crowd was palpable, their support genuine, and Neeli Bendapudi's keynote address ignited the room with inspiration." Said Desh Deshpande, Chairman Emeritus, The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA. 

The funds raised will directly support Akshaya Patra’s meal programs and beyond-the-meal initiatives across India. "We continue to experience tremendous support for AP's mission of feeding millions of children, so they are motivated to stay in schools and continue their education.  The Gala was completely sold out and the audience was very excited about the mission and eager to get involved in supporting the cause." Said Jit Saxena, one of the key supporters of Akshaya Patra. Prashanth Palakurthi, another key supporter said “Akshay Patra's commitment to a future where hunger does not impede the nourishment of minds promises enduring benefits for humanity. The organization's extensive scale and impressive history stand out. We are enthusiastic about making our contribution to its endeavors.” 

The Foundation's innovative model works with local communities and governments to provide nutritious, mid-day meals to schoolchildren, ensuring that hunger does not stand in the way of education. "The Akshaya Patra gala in Boston was a shining example of the community's deep commitment to making a tangible difference, with over 500 people from New England coming together for the cause. It is a proud moment for us that the United Nations has recognized Akshaya Patra for serving its 4 billionth meal, and I am honored to be engaged as a part of this beautiful mission. The energy in the room was electrifying, and Neeli Bendapudi's inspiring keynote speech perfectly framed the impact of this initiative. I am proud to be part of this remarkable event and look forward to continuing this important work with such dedicated people." said Anantha P. Chandrakasan, MIT Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, Dean, MIT School of Engineering.

The event was coordinated by Boston Chapter Co-Chairs Ajita Bhat, Bela Chandok, Rajeev Jain, Samantha Ganglani, Yoshika Sherring, and Venkat Kolluri, with support from Chapter Advisor Rakesh Kamdar and other dedicated committee members Manju Sheth, Neena Grover, Dr. Megha Joshi, Dr. Smita Patel, Nidhi Singhal and many more.

About Akshaya Patra: Since 2000, Akshaya Patra has been at the forefront of the fight against hunger and has served over 4 billion meals to children in India. Through its innovative kitchen solutions and a commitment to sustainability, the organization continues to strive towards its mission every day.

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