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Congressman Jim McGovern To Serve On Advisory Board For The Akshaya Patra Foundation

Press Release

The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA recently announced that Congressman Jim McGovern, U.S. Representative for Massachusetts' 3rd Congressional District, will serve as an honorary member of the foundation’s advisory board. Lincoln Chen, MD, an authority on international health issues, will also serve on the board.

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 only $28 to feed a child daily for the entire school year.

Congressman McGovern has earned a strong reputation as a champion of human rights and he is committed to reducing hunger and poverty in the developing world.  He is a co-chair of the Congressional Hunger Center, a unique not-for-profit anti-hunger leadership training organization located in Washington D.C. Akshaya Patra was recently chosen by the Congressional Hunger Center for its Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program.  

“I am honored to serve as an honorary member of the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s advisory board,” said. Rep. McGovern.  “I believe that hunger is a political condition – we have the resources to end hunger, and what we need is the political will to make it happen.  The innovative programs of the Foundation can serve as a model for the rest of the world.”

Akshaya Patra has grown exponentially in the last seven years from feeding 1,500 to currently distributing freshly cooked healthy meals to over 850,000 underserved children in over 4,200 government schools every day, in five states in India, making it the largest NGO run school feeding program in the world. Akshaya Patra strives to feed one million children each day by 2010.

Dr. Chen, the President of the China Medical Board that seeks to advance health in China and Asia, has worked extensively on issues of world social development with a special focus on the areas of health, population, food and nutrition.

"Feeding school children a wholesome healthy meal is a meaningful and impact way of overcoming physical, cognitive, and emotional growth and development essential for adult productivity,” said Dr. Chen. “India must harness, not waste, its precious human resources, its most abundant asset.”

“It’s a great honor for Akshaya Patra to have both Congressman McGovern and Dr. Chen on our advisory board,” said Madhu Sridhar, President, Akshaya Patra Foundation, USA. “The addition of such international luminaries will add new momentum to our mission of eradicating hunger and malnutrition and promoting education not only among the children in India but the entire world. “

Through kitchens especially 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, the foundation has grown to become the largest, and certainly most innovative, school lunch program in the world. Akshaya Patra is a great example of what a non-profit organization can achieve-- a cost effective, scalable solution with very high quality service delivery.

Harvard Business School recently released a case study on Akshaya Patra that is being used for the MBA curriculum for precise time management.  In addition, Akshaya Patra was one of the only 30 organizations to be highlighted at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007.

For more information, or for full bios of the honorary board members, please contact Kathleen Cosgrove at kathleen@akshayapatrausa.org.

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