WHAT WE DO
India is home to the largest number of children in the world. But unfortunately, not all our children have access to well-balanced and nutritious food. According to the Global Nutrition Report 2016, nearly 70 per cent of our school-going children are undernourished.
How do we solve such a deep-rooted problem that draws sustenance from the many social, economic and demographical challenges that face our country? One step at a time.
While the Government’s Mid-day meals and other initiatives have to a considerable extent addressed hunger in school-going children, a lot remains to be done in terms of meeting the nutrition gap. Breakfast, which research has shown has a lasting effect on the health of children, presented itself as a window of opportunity for us to make a difference.
By serving balanced and filling breakfast, we seek to bridge the nutrition gap in children from rural India and disadvantaged sections of the society.
HEALTHY BREAKFAST MAKES HEALTHY CHILDREN
Healthy children are the building blocks to a healthy future of our world. And research has shown that breakfast is a great way to give the body the refuelling it needs, especially for children. Consuming a nutritious breakfast aids in their physical and mental well-being, academic achievement and cognitive development.
NUTRITIOUS AND HEALTHFUL START OF THE DAY
We serve freshly-cooked breakfast to more than 1,10,000 children every day across our centers in 16 states and 1 Union Territory of India.
Our breakfast menus are prepared under the guidance of nutritionists’ panel and is designed to meet the calorie requirements of growing children. It contains a variety of foods, such as, milk, whole grains, proteins, and fruits and vegetables, to help keep students energetic and ready to learn until lunchtime.
The entire process from planning the menu to sourcing of vegetables and milk to training the cooks is meticulously planned, making sure that the breakfast is wholesome in its nutrition quotient and meets the quality standards and cost checks. It is also scientifically calibrated with the prescribed percentages of carbohydrates, proteins, and fibre components, as suggested by nutritionists.
The entire week’s breakfast offering put together would meet roughly about 20-30 percent of the weekly nutrition requirement of a school-going child. This is in keeping with the standard norms worldwide.
QUALITY CHECK AND CONTROL
A check on quality of ingredients is maintained by working closely with the local vendors from whom milk, vegetables and fruits are sourced. Doing this helps us positively engage the villagers, empowering them economically, and also keeps a tab on overall costs.
Cooks, who are the backbone of the entire programme are carefully selected to ensure that the breakfast not only meets the nutrition needs of the young bodies, it satisfies their little taste buds too.
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WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT US?
Our greatest strength is our volunteers. From identifying needy schools and centres, to negotiating the best compensation for vendors and working tirelessly to reach nourishing breakfast to children on time, they lead the way. Comprising men and women across professions and age groups, our volunteers are united in their passion to participate in the cause of nation-building. We have a decentralised model of operations, as local vendors and suppliers are leveraged for the raw materials. This empowers the villagers economically, while making them willing partners of growth in their children’s lives.
OUR HOLISTIC APPROACH TO CHILD WELFARE AND NUTRITION
It is said it takes a village to raise a child. To ensure that children continue to reap the benefits of healthful breakfast and values-based sessions, we aim to reach out to their village as a community. Towards this, we have adopted a four-pronged inclusive approach, modelled on the 4Vs of Vidya, Vaidya, Vaari and Vidyuth.
• Reach out and partner with children, their parents, teachers and village elders through breakfast programme and allied offerings.
• Conduct regular health screening and ensure good health and wellbeing.
• Involve villagers and work with them to improve infrastructure.
• Achieve rural uplift and transformation to make the villages ideal, as models worthy of emulation.
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