A Pioneering Program
Akshaya Patra operates 18 centralized and decentralized kitchens, located in eight states across India. It is a pioneering program in India's social and developmental sector, which uses technology extensively for minimizing cost, time and labor.
The program has leveraged technology in cooking and delivery, built global standards of supply chain efficiency and built forward and backward linkages by ensuring that procurement is done directly from the farmers for the inputs and delivered to the beneficiaries in the most cost-efficient manner.
Flexibility & Creativity
One of the cornerstones of Akshaya Patra's success is the flexibility and creativity with which the program has been conceived and executed. Where the environment is conducive, the program has incorporated a centralized approach, backed by technology-driven processes. In situations where infrastructure is not conducive, it has adopted a decentralized mode of operations, to cater to the need of the local community.
Why Our Kitchens are Successful
Akshaya Patra feeds over 1.2 million children every day during the school year in various parts of India using two operational models for its kitchens: centralized and decentralized.
The Centralized Model
The centralized kitchen model leverages technology to increase efficiency, lower costs and maintain high standards of quality. Some key aspects of the centralized models include mechanized machinery, adherence to international standards of hygiene and quality and larger reach in regards to the area, schools and students served.
- The kitchen in Hubli can prepare 185,000 meals in less than five hours.
- Gravity flow mechanisms minimize human handling of food and ensure high standards of hygiene.
- Large stainless steel cauldrons with tilt mechanisms prepare 1,200 liters of lentils in two hours.
- Use of steam as a cost-effective and clean means to accelerate the cooking process.
- Innovative chapatti (flat whole wheat bread) making machine prepares 40,000 chapattis in an hour.
The Decentralized Model
The decentralized kitchen model is for rural areas where transportation costs are high due to road conditions and the large distance separating villages. In the decentralized model, small kitchens are built next to the schools and local women are employed to prepare the meals for the children. The women are paid a salary and trained in cooking methods, so the meals are balanced for nutritional content and are prepared hygienically. The Akshaya Patra brand has come to symbolize quality and good taste everywhere - something the rural kitchens take pride in.