Tampa Bay Florida Chapter
Tampa Bay Community Partners with Akshaya Patra to Build Kitchen in Gujarat
Philanthropists Dr. Vijay Patel and Dr. Kiran Patel each commit to $1 million contributions
At its November 19th Tampa Bay Gala, the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA's Tampa Bay Chapter committed to raise $ 3.1 million to build and sustain a new kitchen in Gujarat which will be located about 60 kilometers south of Vadodara and will serve the communities of Mota Fofalia, Sinor, Dabhoi, and Karjan. A public/ private partnership with the government of India, Akshaya Patra is the world's largest NGO-run school meal program, and provides school meals to 1.6 million children in 13,210 government schools across India.
Dr. Kiran Patel, a cardiologist and community philanthropist, galvanized the event supporters with a $1 million pledge to build a new kitchen in Gujarat. Dr. Kiran Patel emphasized: “The gift of education is the best that somebody can give to anyone. Imagine a holistic approach where you also provide nourishment for the needy so you are providing health and education together. That is Akshaya Patra.”
Dr. Vijay Patel, a core Volunteer and Tampa physician pledged additional $1 million to support this worthy cause. He reflected: “As Mahatma Gandhi, said, “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread””.
A local Businessman Vijay Patel, boldly and generously challenged the Tampa Bay community to match his commitment of $250,000.
Dr. Kiran Patel, Dr. Vijay Patel, and Mr. Vijay Patel released a video appeal to raise funds for the kitchen. The video can be seen here: https://www.foodforeducation.org/tampabay-kitchen
The Tampa Bay Akshay Patra Chapter Kitchen plan will raise a total of $3.1 million from these philanthropists and from the donations of community members at large. Akshaya Patra USA and India will raise an additional $1.55 million to complete the total required for the construction of the kitchen and three years’ operating support.
Desh Deshpande, Chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA and keynote speaker of the event, congratulated the Tampa Bay Chapter, saying: "The Tampa Chapter is an example of what a community can accomplish when they come together to improve the futures of children in a community a world away."
Dr. Kaushal Chari, chair of the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA Tampa Bay Chapter, stated: "I would like to thank Drs. Kiran and Vijay Patel and Mr. Vijay Patel, along with all the members of the Tampa Bay Community for their generosity, commitment and vision to bring about their campaign for a new kitchen. When completed, this new kitchen will nourish the dreams of the 50,000 children every day. Their outstanding generosity and continued dedication to reaching their $3.1 million goal will inspire others to help this great organization to reach greater achievements of impact and scale. The beauty is that with Akshaya Patra, for every $15 we raise for kitchen operations, children who might otherwise be missing out on the benefits of education will receive a hot, nutritious meal at school for an entire academic year.”
The 2016 Tampa Event Volunteer Committee was led by Dr. Kaushal Chari, Mr. Fazal Dasankop, Dr. Dilip Mehta, Dr. Ashok Modh, Dr. Vijay M. Patel, Dr. Sathya Prakash, Mr. Vijaya Prakash, Dr. Raju and Anita Rao, Dr. Madhvi Sekharam and Mr. Sri Sridharan.
Akshaya Patra operates 26 kitchen facilities across India. Each of the 24 centralized kitchens utilizes state-of-the-art technology to freshly prepare hot, nutritious meals daily. Each of the kitchens follows the highest standards of hygiene and food safety, and 13 kitchens have received FSMS ISO 22000-2005 compliant certificate, 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 operates three other kitchens in Gujarat at Vadodara, Ahmedabad, and Surat. These kitchens serve 1,475 government schools and prepare meals for 407,992 children daily. In total, Akshaya Patra currently serves 1.6 million children daily in government schools across 11 states in India. Feeding children at school is a proven strategy for breaking the cycle of family poverty, increasing school attendance, reducing drop-out rates and child labor as well as dramatically improving children’s health and nutrition status.
Individuals or families interested in more information about joining this noble effort should contact Emily Rosenbaum, CEO of Akshaya Patra USA, at Emily@apusa.org or 781-454-7222 and visit www.foodforeducation for more information about Akshaya Patra.
To donate today, please click on the link below: https://www.foodforeducation.org/campaign/tampa-kitchen
Emily Rosenbaum, CEO
Akshaya Patra USA
92 Montvale Avenue, suite 2500
Stoneham, MA 02180