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New Director Of Corporate Development Joins AP Team

Kathleen Cosgrove

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an organization with the vision that no child shall be deprived of education because of hunger, is pleased to announce the addition of Suma Adapala as the Director of Corporate Development for its US operations.

Adapala brings over 10 years of corporate management experience to Akshaya Patra, working most recently as a Vice President at Morgan Stanley  She was one of the first ten recipients of Morgan Stanley’s “Pay It Forward” Challenge award launched in 2007, an initiative which taps into the entrepreneurial talents of employees to create a philanthropic legacy.  She has volunteered for several non-profit organizations, helping with their fundraising efforts. Adapala will focus on developing long range and strategic alliances with corporations, foundations and individuals as she raises funds for the programs in India. Adapala received her B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“Akshaya Patra’s mission is a cause dear to my heart.  The impact the organization has on the children is phenomenal,” said Adapala. “The engineering and process innovations, bringing scale, efficiencies, and ease-of-replication to newer sites has made this program a huge success.  By developing incremental funding sources, I hope to be able to help the program launch in new areas. I feel quite fortunate to be a part of the team!”

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the world’s largest NGO-run midday meal program, feeding over one million children each day in over 5,700 schools through 17 kitchens in seven states in India. A public-private partnership, Akshaya Patra 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 $28 to feed a child daily for the entire school year. With an average government subsidy of 50 percent, $28 feeds two children. This meal gives these children an incentive to come to school, stay in school and provides them with the necessary nutrients they need to develop their cognitive abilities to focus on learning.

“Suma’s business acumen will be an asset in fostering support for our mission in the US. Suma brings extensive experience, professional expertise and enthusiasm that will allow us to continue our strategic growth,” said Madhu Sridhar, President and CEO of Akshaya Patra USA. “In this economic downturn, it is important for organizations like ours to bring capable, driven, forward-thinking and positive individuals to aid in our cause. She will be a great asset to our team.”

Akshaya Patra’s kitchens are specially designed by engineers to leverage technology. The organization also sources its food stocks from local markets, thereby reducing 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 can be accomplished when the public sector, private sector and the civic society collaborate-- a cost effective, scalable solution with high quality service delivery. After reaching its goal of feeding one million children each school day, Akshaya Patra’s next milestone is to serve 5 million children daily by 2020. For more information, please visit www.foodforeducation.org.

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