Annamrta is a Non Religious, Non Sectarian, Not for Profit Charitable Trust Registered with Charity Commissioner. A strategic program to liberate the underprivileged children from the scourge of hunger and malnutrition. We distribute food in Government aided, Municipal and even in non-aided schools for the benefit of underprivileged children. It is done without any commercial motive and the benefits will be available to students at large without any discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, creed or sex.
How did we begin?
Annamrita is not just a social organization; it is a concept, an ideology and a change agent. The organization was founded with the simple vision of achieving a nourished, hunger-free India, where poor kids would no longer have to sacrifice on education and development and take up menial jobs to augment their family earnings.
The beginning of ISKCON Food Relief Foundation (Annamrita) is a story of compassion. One day in Mayapur, a village near Kolkata, Srila Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of ISKCON, looked out of his room window and saw a group of children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food. From this heart-breaking incident was born a determination that dictated that no one within a radius of ten miles of our centre should go hungry.
Srila Prabhupada did not just preach what he believed in; he brought his beliefs to life in reality. When required, Srila Prabhupada did not hesitate to cook for the twenty odd people who would turn up at our centres. And by doing so he set the right example for years to come, an example that hinted at service, dedication to a cause and nobility of virtue and one that we imbibe at Annamrita.
Annamrita stands on the basic principle of feeding needy children with nutritious and hearty meals which they cannot resist and would want to eat every single day. Simply put, providing nutritious and tasty meals for underprivileged children in aided and non-aided schools has always been, still is, and shall always remain the Annamrita story and way of life.
In the year 2004, we cooked meals sufficient enough to feed 900 children in Mumbai. And there has been no looking back since. Today, ISKCON Food Relief Foundation feeds 1.2 million children in 20 locations in 8 states of India, every day; healthy meals that satiate the body, mind and the soul. And all this is made possible because of our team which comprises of passionate trustees and advisors, a committed and persevering group of missionaries, and our highly competent and motivated employees.
Annamrita, just as the name suggests, provides the ‘amrita’ (ambrosia) in the form of ‘anna’ (food) to school children irrespective of their backgrounds, caste and religion.
How do we cook?
Every Annamrita kitchen adheres to the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. In fact, if you visit any Annamrita kitchen, the standards of cleanliness and hygiene are sure to make you feel like you’ve just entered the kitchen of a five star hotel. Our efforts of maintaining high standards with regards to all our processes have helped us achieve the ISO 22000 certificate for some of our kitchens.
In the professionally managed Midday Meal Program, trained cooks with the help of the most advanced technology, cook under hygienic conditions using fresh and pure ingredients. The meals are packed and sealed in specially designed stainless steel containers and are transported in vehicles most suited for logistical purposes. An estimated 360 tons of food is cooked every day at Annamrita kitchens.
Each day we serve different items as per local taste, so that the children do not get bored of eating the same meal day-in and day-out. The menu comprises of Usal Rice, Pulav, Bhel, Sambar Rice, Amti Rice, Usal Khichdi, Sprouted Lentils Khichdi, Mung Dal Khichdi, Sweet Rice, Halva, Chapati Bhaji and Puri Bhaji.
Annamrita has received several awards, few of which are:
- Lifebuoy National Health Award,
- D.Y. Patil Annual Achiever’s Award,
- Best Partner Award by Indian Development Foundation,
- Vocational Excellence Award by Rotary Club,
- Appreciation Award by Agarwal Associates.
Annamrita spends Rs. 900 annually to bring a smile on the face of a hungry child. While in 2004 we were feeding 900 children, today we provide nutritious meals to over 12 lakh school students. It is our wish and aim to take this number higher and to reach out to as many children as possible.
“The ISKCON Food Relief Foundation has done a wonderful job. Their quality is very good, their timings are very good. They are there on the dot! Our experience with ISKCON has been marvelous. They are dedicated and they do not promise anything that they feel they cannot do.”
Ms. Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister, Delhi
“Such Khichdi is not available even in our homes.”
Shri Rajendra Darda, School Education Minister,Maharashtra
“In our school, most of the students are underprivileged. These children stay in the surrounding slums. ISKCON Food Relief Foundation’s midday meal program is a blessing to these children.”
Mr. Aijaz Ahemed, Principal, Municipal Corporation School, Shrinivas Puri, Delhi
“ISKCON Food Relief Foundation is providing balanced food to the underprivileged children. They
provide a variety of meals on each day, by which there is improvement in the physical and mental growth of these children.”
Dr. Tripta Gupta, Medical Director, B.T. Hospital, Delhi
“One of the most beautiful things for the heart is to see little children… their smiles…tears of their gratitude… to receive their lunch. We take it for granted, but for them they live for that lunch…Just see what…just a little bit of care and concern from our part can do for a person’s entire life.”