Boston – The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through the Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program.
The India-based organization was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during
a competitive review process. Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra is the largest NGO-run school meal program in the world, according to Time Magazine, and serves 1.8 million children daily in over 19,257 schools through 55 kitchens in 12 states and two Union Territories in India. It costs only $20 to feed a child for an entire school year.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has served over 60 million meals to migrant workers in India and continues to partner with NGOs and the government to ensure that marginalized communities have a source of food during this difficult
time. Additional information is available at www.foodforeducation.org.
The primary goal of the funding is to improve 5,000 children’s access to education through midday meal program, every day, over the course of a school year. Akshaya Patra will provide meals directly to under-served children and serves as a model of sustainable programming due to the unique system of mechanized kitchens, effective delivery network, and the emphasis on public-private-NGO partnerships.
“We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant
winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.”
“We are very excited and fortunate that the Cummings Foundation has gifted us $100,000 this year. With their previous grant gift from 2016-2017, Akshaya Patra constructed a 50,000 meal per day kitchen in Bhavnagar, Gujarat which was inaugurated in June 2017. With the new grant gift, we will be able to support meals for 5,000 children for the entire school year,” said Vandana Tilak, CEO of Akshaya Patra.
The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program resulted from a merger of the Foundation’s two
flagship grant programs, $100K for 100 and Sustaining Grants.
Woburn, MA-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill
Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New
Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn, and Veterinary School at Tufts, LLC in North Grafton.