Akshaya Patra Tri-State Gratitude Gala raises over $2 M for
midday meal program

The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA’s Tri-state volunteer chapter raised over $2,000,000 at its 2023 Annual Gratitude Gala on October 7, 2023. The event held at Newark Airport Marriott, was attended by over 500 business, nonprofit and philanthropic community leaders and professionals. 


Dr. Rachana Kulkarni, Board Member of Akshaya Patra USA and Chapter Chair for the Akshaya PatraTri State Chapter shared with the audience the impact of Akshaya Patra’s mission that “No child in India should be deprived of education because of hunger” is a powerful weapon for the children of the underprivileged society to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. She said that with the mid-day meal program, the kids and their parents don’t have to choose between food & education- they are guaranteed both! 


The gala featured incredible speeches by Mr. Desh Deshpande, a well-known philanthropist, the keynote speaker Dr. Neelli Bendapudi, President of Penn State University and Consul General Mr. Randhir Jaiswal. The speakers stressed the impact of education on various aspects of life and businesses and the need for thoughtful philanthropy and the role of Akshaya Patra in that space. 


Mr. Deshpande talked about Akshaya Patra’s vision of feeding 5 million children in the near future and the impact of the generosity on generations to come. He underscored the use of innovation and technology, highly mechanized and modern kitchens of Akshaya Patra to ensure safe food delivery to millions of children daily. Consul General Jaiswal showcased Akshaya Patra as a great example of a successful joint venture between the public and private sectors in India. Dr. Bendapudi shared her personal experiences growing up and underscored the importance of education and lauded Akshaya Patra as a vessel to fulfill that dream. 


“We are very grateful to the Tri-State community for their incredible generosity. The funds raised will help Akshaya Patra continue its mission of unlimited food for education”, said Roopa Makhija, Board Member of Akshaya Patra USA. 


The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the world’s largest NGO serving 2.2 million school children in over 20,000 government schools from 67 kitchen facilities in 14 states and 2 union territories across India. Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of Akshaya Patra and raises funds and awareness for the government school midday meal program in India. The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA has Volunteer Chapters in cities across the United States that hold fundraising and awareness events for the organization.


For more information about Akshaya Patra please visit www.apusa.org or 

Contact Ankita Narula at [email protected] or 781-454-7247 

Image courtesy of Provided

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