Fortified Midday Meals for government schoolchildren through centralised kitchens

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Fortified Midday Meals for government schoolchildren through centralised kitchens

India
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Feeding underprivileged government schoolchildren a hygienically prepared, fortified and tasty midday meal every working day on a large scale (currently 1 million children)

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our project is addressing the very basic fundamental problem of hunger and malnutrition among children in poor families. It is a well known fact that India’s children suffer from high rates of malnutrition. In many pockets, even a regular meal is a rare occasion for the child. Naandi’s project reaches out to these very poor children. By providing the midday meal in the school, it is ensured that more and more children attend school – this helps address the enrolment & attendance problem in government schools. The third urgent problem that Naandi’s project helps is that of learning levels of children. A child who is hungry cannot be expected to learn in school. By providing a fortified meal, Naandi is ensuring that the children are in a position to understand and learn what is being taught in class. Midday meals from a centralised kitchen succeed in bringing down caste barriers, as neither teachers nor parents worry about who has cooked the food. It is perceived as having come from a factory. In addition, all children get the same (equal) quality and quantity of food – this helps to bring about a sense of equality amongst children, even if they come from different backgrounds.
About You
Organization:
Naandi Foundation
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Leena

Last Name

Joseph

Organization

Naandi Foundation

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Naandi Foundation

Organization Phone

91 40 2355 6491

Organization Address

502, Trendset Towers, Road # 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad – 500 034, Andhra Pradesh

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

1. We provide fortified meals to the government schoolchildren through the midday meal programme which reaches one million schoolchildren in every school working day of the year. 2. We provide food to the states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan , Orissa where malnutrition rates are alarming. We provide food to Kalahandi of Orissa which is famous for its starving deaths in the world hunger maps. There are many parts of tribal Rajasthan where children would have gone hungry, had I not been preparing a midday meal there in their schools. 3. We provide food to the tribal and remote places by climbing hillocks and crossing rivers on foot where accessibility to basic commodities is a far cry.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had?

The first and most tangible impact we have had is the fact that lakhs of children have actually got the midday meal in school. Prior to Naandi’s provision of meals, in many of the locations there was no midday meal being provided to the schoolchildren. For many of the children now, this is the only square meal in the day for them. The Naandi team traverses extremely tough terrains to reach this food to the children. Secondly, this programme has increased attendance in schools. As there is an assured midday meal every day, parents make sure that the children go to school. Once at school, after a good meal, the child is able to learn better.

Thirdly – the fortification of the midday meal is having significant impact on nutrition status of the children. An efficacy trial is being conducted in one of Naandi’s kitchens – this will produce scientific evidence of the change in haemoglobin levels of children who are taking the fortified midday meal.

Actions

The key actions needed for making this project successful are regular provision of the midday meal to children in government schools, provision of fruits and eggs along with the main meal, fortification of the meal, ensuring strict hygiene & cleanliness standards and increasing scale of operations.

The Naandi Team works hard to make sure each of the above actions is taken. Even if payment for purchases etc is delayed by the government/donor, Naandi has never allowed the meal preparation and distribution to get disrupted – even if it means temporarily taking loan. Extremely strict norms of hygiene and cleanliness are adhered to. Standard operating procedures have been laid out in each of the 25 centralised kitchens being run by Naandi.

Results

To reduce hunger amongst government school children
To bring down the rate of malnutrition amongst government school children
Increased enrolment and attendance in schools
Improved learning levels of children in schools

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

My project is successful today, in that it has succeeded in feeding 1 million children every day with a hot, hygienically cooked midday meal in school. Not only that, I am also able to fortify this meal with iron, folic acid and zinc. Over the next 3 years, I plan to expand my coverage to double the present number. I will do this by entering into MoUs with more and more city and district governments for setting up centralised midday meal kitchens.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

If Government of India suspends the National Midday Meal Programme, my project will be prevented from being a success.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$100 ‐ 1000

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Naandi Foundation

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

My organization believes in forging partnerships with governments, businesses as well as NGOs. This belief stems from the conviction that a cross-sector partnership is the one that garners the strengths of all partners, and delivers best results. Partnerships with government give our project the ability to reach out and cover millions of underprivileged people. It also gives us the official sanction of being a credible organization. Partnerships with businesses gives us visibility in the corporate sector, which in turn, increases our chances of getting technical and funding support from corporates.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

(i) More and more city governments approaching Naandi Foundation to set up centralised midday meal kitchens. ii) Government decision to meet cost of fortification of midday meals (iii) Corporates coming forward to meet capital cost of midday meal kitchens in remote, tribal areas.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

It started with a preliminary survey in few schools where Naandi was associated with and we found that 50% of the children in government schools come on an empty stomach. It is impossible for a child to learn anything when she is hungry. So Naandi began a school feeding programme on a small scale in a few schools in Hyderabad, with support from some corporate sponsors. It was while feeding these children in a few schools that I realised how important a good meal was, for these children, and what a rare commodity for them. Not only that, it was making a big difference to attendance percentages as well as learning levels of children. This revelation led me to this innovation. Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea. (400 words or less)

Leena Joseph is a Psychology graduate and has been an active volunteer with orphanages, old age homes, and government schools where ever she has lived. In the past she's been the National Project Convenor, for Ladies Circle and the Vice President for Ambassadors of Goodwill for Aids Patients Everywhere. Leena was awarded the 'Manava Seva Dharma Samayardhani Award' for her Social Entrepreneurship work for the Midday Meal, in 2004. She is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, a fabulous cook and enjoys working with children in any way she can. Today, Leena is the National Director of the Midday Meal Programme of Naandi Foundation.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Leena Joseph is a Psychology graduate and has been an active volunteer with orphanages, old age homes, and government schools where ever she has lived. In the past she's been the National Project Convenor, for Ladies Circle and the Vice President for Ambassadors of Goodwill for Aids Patients Everywhere. Leena was awarded the 'Manava Seva Dharma Samayardhani Award' for her Social Entrepreneurship work for the Midday Meal, in 2004. She is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, a fabulous cook and enjoys working with children in any way she can. Today, Leena is the National Director of the Midday Meal Programme of Naandi Foundation.

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