CALHOUN, Ga.–Surya has made a five-year commitment to The Akshaya Patra Foundation (foodforeducation.org), one of the world’s largest non-governmental (NGO)-run school feeding programs, to help build this program for children in India by offering its time, expertise and financial support. Its financial contribution will feed 3,333 students each year for the next five years, Surya said.
Founded in rural North India, Surya is aware of the health and educational challenges in rural areas, a release said. Satya Tiwari, president of Surya, spent his childhood in a village outside of Banaras, India, and continues to rely on weavers from these communities, so Akshaya Patra’s mission that no child be deprived of education because of hunger held a special meaning. “Surya is very committed to improving the welfare of communities it works with,” Tiwari said. “Access to quality education is critical for the sustenance of these communities and without adequate food, it is difficult for students to stay in school and learn. Surya wants to be part of that solution.”
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a public-private partnership, currently serves midday meals to more than 1.3 million children daily in more than 9,000 schools throughout 10 states of India. It costs Akshaya Patra $15 to feed a child for an entire year, Surya said. “We are delighted to forge this partnership with Surya,” said Madhu Sridhar, president and CEO of Akshaya Patra USA. “As Akshaya Patra strives to become a role model for other NGOs, we look forward to engaging Surya and other strategic partners in meaningful ways so that Akshaya Patra can reach its next goal of feeding five million children by 2020.”