STONEHAM, MA– In response to the devastating floods in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, the Akshaya Patra Foundation is providing hot fresh meals to families affected by the disaster. Since the end of October, Chennai has experienced the heaviest rains and flooding in 100 years. Over 269 people have been killed and 120,000 people have been rescued from rising floods waters. Families remain without access to basic needs such as food, shelter or sanitation.
Akshaya Patra is working to provide up to 10,000 hot, fresh meals a day to survivors of the Chennai floods. Currently a team of 10-30 Akshaya Patra team members are preparing these meals from a wedding hall at a temple in Chennai. Akshaya Patra is also looking into the feasibility of building a temporary aid kitchen like that set up in Bhaktapur, Nepal, to aid survivors of the two earthquakes that hit that region in the spring.
Packaged food is also being shipped from Akshaya Patra Bangalore. Akshaya Patra’s Bangalore kitchen is one of 22 mechanized kitchen facilities that provide daily school meals to more than 1.4 million children in government schools across India. Akshaya Patra’s founders used their own knowledge of engineering to design immense mechanized kitchen facilities capable of preparing meals for 100,000 children or more every day. Akshaya Patra’s custom chapatti machines can bake 60,000 chapattis per hour and easy-tilt cauldrons can produce 1,200 liters of rice or sambar in just two hours.
These technological innovations optimize quality and minimize cost, time and labor to ensure that the meals prepared are safe, fresh, and nutritious. All of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens meet the highest standards of safety and efficiency, and eleven of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens have already been certified as FSMS ISO 22000:2005 compliant, which means they meet the standards of the International Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The International Organization for Standardization established the ISO 22000 certification to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain.
Akshaya Patra is uniquely qualified to provide aid relief after natural disasters. In 2012, Akshaya Patra prepared 50,000 meals for survivors of floods in the Bhatta Basti, Shastri Nagar, and Jahawar Nagar areas of Rajasthan. Following the two earthquakes in Nepal, Akshaya Patra established in five days a temporary kitchen in Bhaktapur that prepared 10,000 meals an hour up to 100,000 meals a day to survivors of the earthquakes.
Concerned and compassionate individuals can help support Akshaya Patra’s efforts. Donors in the United States can support Akshaya Patra’s Chennai Kitchen Fund at www.foodforeducation.org/campaign/chennai or by sending checks to:
Akshaya Patra USA
92 Montvale Avenue
Stoneham, MA 02180