Addressing hunger and literacy
A country cannot progress if most of its people are hungry and today, 14% of India’s population is undernourished and needs undivided attention. The only way to ensure a healthy and happy country is by nourishing the ones who need it the most. Annamrita Foundation, also known as Midday Meals, is one of India’s leading NGOs working with an aim to provide food-relief and nourishment to the underprivileged communities of India.
Founded in 2004 by His Holiness Radhanath Swami, the organisation believes that food for all isn’t just about ending hunger; it’s about equal opportunities and a better future. At the core of the foundations ethos is that India’s vulnerable communities must get ample nourishment daily to break the circle of poverty. Their targeted food relief programs ensure nutrition can help children concentrate better in school and help adults take a step towards an equal society. With the promise of good food, attendance in schools grows multifold and communities can break free from the shackles of poverty.
The foundation works directly with central and state Govt. entities India-wide, to blend excellence into their food donation program. From serving mid-day meals as lunch to school going children, and serving meals to the frontline workers and the underprivileged, Annamrita’s food relief programs have a far reaching impact on the society at large. As of today, there have been over 4 billion meals distributed.
A New Era
Inspiration to Serve
Over the past 17 years, Annamrita has been driven by the vision to create a world in which no one in need goes hungry.
Estimates suggest, at the current rate, it will take between 23 years to 50 years to completely eradicate hunger from the face of India. The Annamrita Foundation believes that the only way to reduce the consequences of this monumental challenge is by safeguarding and promoting access to nutritious, safe, and affordable meals to the vulnerable populations of India.
As one of the most prominent Indian NGOs, Annamrita focuses on providing nutritious and high-quality food relief to underprivileged communities in the following ways.
On 25th March, 2020, when India came to a standstill to contain the spread of a pandemic, lakhs of people lost jobs, resources, and daily meals. Annamrita Foundation decided to leverage its kitchens across the nation to do more than just serve mid-day meals. They began delivering healthy and hygienic COVID relief meals to those stranded in the lockdown.
More than two years later, over 3,00,000 COVID relief meals were delivered across 14 cities each day. Overall, 3,56,58,757 meals were distributed to those in need.
The organisation also works on the frontline in the aftermath of natural disasters, providing meals to the displaced and injured.
With the consistently rising number of COVID casualties, India’s healthcare sector was putting up a brave front working round the clock. Annamrita served nutritious meals to medical staffs to revitalize them. And this has been the sole mission of their hospital feeding program: to deliver freshly prepared, nutritious meals to our frontline warriors who are relentless in this battle against COVID-19.
Through this initiative started on March 25th 2020, all the health care staff including doctors, nurses, assistant staff, pathology staff, and office assistants from 28 hospitals were served about 6,82,630 meals till date.
Leveraging its kitchens across the country, the Kit Of Joy program focuses on delivering healthy and wholesome nutrition, in the form of dry rations and provisions to the society stuck in pandemic situations. Each kit donated to a child consisted of rice, flour, moong dal, chana dal, sugar, salt, cooking oil, turmeric powder and chilli powder. More than 80 million Kits Of Joy were served to people in 8 different states of India.
“Anna Daan” or the act of donating food is considered supreme and incomparable to any other form of charity according to the ancient Indian tradition. Annamrita’s program, ‘Tithi Bhoj’ enables one to sponsor meals on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, festivals, promotions etc. for underprivileged children. By partnering with Annamrita on such occasions one will not only continue this tradition but also help sponsor meals and bring smiles to millions of lesser privileged children in slums and tribal schools.
The program ‘Khichdi Drive’ was started with the goal of getting corporates and institutions to taste khichdi at a corporate office, wherein, employees get to taste the same khichdi meal that is being served to the children across schools that day. This activity not only helps fundraise but also creates greater awareness for the cause.
One of the most beautiful things for the heart is to see these little children, the smiles, the tears of their gratitude to receive their lunch. We take it for granted, but for them, they live for that lunch to see what just that little bit of care and concern from our part can do for a person’s entire life.
1,000,000 children from 6,500+ schools across India are being served 1,200,000 meals every single day.
Over 300,000 COVID relief meals were delivered across 14 cities each day since early 2020.
Since inception on March 25th 2020, meals provided for all the health care staff including doctors, nurses, assistant staff, pathology staff, and office assistants from 28 hospitals.
Dry Rations and Provision kits served to people in 8 different states of India.
The genesis of the charity program dates back to 1974 when Srila Prabhupada, Radhanath Swami’s teacher, noticed a group of village children fighting with the street dogs over scraps of food. Troubled by what he saw, he advised his students that no one within a ten-mile radius of any temple or center under his care should go hungry. In line with his decree and being inspired by his vision, the Annamrita Foundation was launched.
It initially started as a children’s NGO that served Mid-Day meals in Mumbai schools during lunch time, and today has grown into an India-wide enterprise to support the needy across many parts of society. Honouring the spirit and compassion of Srila Prabhupada, the Annamrita Foundation aims to serve food to mankind, with the same love and devotion that a mother provides for her own child.