By: GIRISH PATTANASHETTI
June 22, 2015
Midday meals for over 1.32 lakh schoolchildren come from the mega kitchen of Akshaya Patra Foundation at Rayapur in Hubballi.— Photo: Girish Pattanashetti
The mega kitchen run by the Akshaya Patra Foundation at Rayapur in Hubballi supplies freshly cooked food to an about 1.32 lakh children from 789 schools spread across the district. The facility is now knocking on the doors of the Guinness Book of World Records for its reach out.
People in this kitchen cook 14 tonnes of rice and 6 to 7 tonnes of vegetables every day (apart from quintals of other ingredients).
The food is carried by 40 vehicles covering a distance of 3,000 km every day to cover the schools in four taluks of Dharwad district. About 380 employees, including hearing impaired, work in shifts to cook here.
“Right from the procurement to cleaning of foodgrains and vegetables, to cooking and finally delivering the food at the required temperature (60 degrees Celsius), standard procedures are used, which has resulted in the kitchen getting ISO 22000 certification,” Yagneshwara Dasa, Manager (Operations), Akshaya Patra Kitchen told The Hindu
Set up 10 years ago at a cost of Rs. 11 crore, with 95 per cent donation from Infosys Foundation, the mega kitchen had undergone periodic upgrading. Seventy per cent of the cost of the meal is met by the State government.
The kitchen at Hubballi has already got a commendation of certificate for food safety by the Confederation of Indian Industry and National Award for Food Safety-2014. “Now we have applied for OHSAS (Occupation Health and Safety Assessment Series) and EMS (Environmental Management System),” said Mr. Yagneshwara Dasa.