The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation for children implements the mid-day meal program in 10 states of India. With the objective of benefitting children across urban and remote location, this non-profit organisation for children operates two models of kitchen: Centralised Kitchen and Decentralised kitchen. Centralised Kitchens are large and mechanised cooking units in urban and semi-urban locations with the capacity to cook up to 100,000 meals, thereby facilitating large scale feeding. Presently, Akshaya Patra operates 20 Centralised Kitchens across India.
Decentralised Kitchens are operated in remote locations and are run by engaging Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of the locality under the guidance and supervision of Akshaya Patra's kitchen process and operations module. Akshaya Patra follows this format to implement the mid-day meal program in two locations namely Nayagarh in Odisha and Baran in Rajasthan.
With the sole aim of nourishing the children with a wholesome meal, all the kitchens of this non-profit organisation for children follow a strict and mandatory kitchen process to maintain quality and hygiene of the prepared mid-day meals. Each kitchen functions in compliance to the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) for all pre-production, production and post-production processes. 11 Centralised Kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified and the remaining kitchens are in the process of certification. Below are some FSMS practices while implementing the mid-day meal program:
- Adherence to routine personal hygiene chart and use of protective gears by every kitchen staff.
- Standardised recipes to maintain nutritional value *Implementation of Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS).
- Employing FIFO (First In First Out) and FEFO (First Expiry First Out) in storage, handling and preservation of raw materials.
- Steam sterilisation of all vessels and equipments, delivery vehicles and usage of Stainless Steel 304 grade vessels for packing the cooked meal.
- Periodic monitoring and recording of Critical Control Points (CCPs).
- Customised vehicles with temperature control and honey comb structure to avoid spillage during transportation.
- Adoption of methods like Logistic charting for route optimisation, GPRS to track the delivery vehicles for safety and on-time delivery.
- Post-delivery processes like taking and reviewing feedback from schools, initiating appropriate improvement actions, circulating Do's and Don'ts pamphlets.
- Monthly Audits on Food Safety and Quality.
- Implementation of Continuous Improvement Methods like Kaizen, CI Projects and Six Sigma.
It is necessary that even the society offers a helping hand to enable Akshaya Patra to expand and sustain the mid-day meal program. The donations to charity will help provide wholesome meal and education to millions of needy children. Strategic planning equips Akshaya Patra to utilise 82% of the total cost as programme cost. Online donation platform gives you the ease and convenience of making donations to charity from the comfort of your space and time. Apart from contributing donations to charity, you can also choose to get involved with this non-profit organisation for children as a potential volunteer.
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