The Akshaya Patra Foundation originally began as an NGO in Karnataka feeding the nutritious mid-day meals to only 1,500 children across 5 schools in Bangalore. Today the mid-day meal in Karnataka is served to 463,682 children across 2,629 Government and Government aided schools in the state. Besides this Akshaya Patra provides food for hungry children through its 24 kitchen units spread over 10 states of India. Today the Foundation feeds over 1.4 million children across 10,770 schools every day. These nutritious meals ensure that the children have access to at least one meal with healthy, filling food which is vital during their formative years. These meals also ensure that the children have a reason to attend school, so they get educated as well. Very often children have to forgo their education in order to earn money to eat, however due to the school lunch programme parents are happy to send their children to class and reduce their burden of an extra mouth to feed as well.
The NGO in Karnataka functions through six centralized kitchens in the state. The first kitchen was the HK Hill kitchen opened in Bengaluru in the year 2000, followed by the Hubli kitchen in July 2004, the Mysuru kitchen in August 2004, the Mangalore kitchen in December 2004, the Bellary kitchen in July 2006 and finally the Vasanthapura kitchen in Bengaluru in July 2007. Of these both the Bengaluru kitchens, the Bellary and Hubli kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified. To cook tasty food for hungry children in the state, the menu is modified to suit the local palate. Therefore the mid-day meal in Karnataka includes dishes like rice, rasam (a South Indian soup), sambar (a lentil based curry), dal (lentil curry), and healthy vegetable dishes.
The mid day meal in Karnataka is cooked every day from the six centralized kitchens. These centralized kitchens are extremely mechanized units that have the latest in cooking equipment that allows the Foundation to produce huge amounts of food in a very short time. Due to the fact that most of the cooking process is machine run, there is very little human contact with the food ensuring that it is hygienic, and adheres to safety and quality standards too. Through these kitchens this NGO in Karnataka ensures that food for hungry children in the state is cooked in a span of just a few hours.