Akshaya Patra

Gujarat, India

School Meals for Education

When children eat healthy school meals, they score higher marks in tests, are less disruptive and can concentrate longer in the classroom. In low income countries, the impact can be even more striking where subsidised meals in schools have been found to increase school attendance by 30 per cent. In a country where malnutrition among children ranks one of the highest in the world, giving children in India a good meal while at school can have major educational and wider health benefits.

It is for this reason that, in 2011, GMSP Foundation sponsored the Akshaya Nidhi Programme to provide mid-day meals for a year for 11 schools in Gujarat, India. While proud of the impact this work has had on 5,304 children and their families, GMSP Foundation also recognises that good nutrition is just one part of the picture. Progress will only be sustainable if nutritional improvements in schools are made in conjunction with investment in teaching and school resources to meet the potential growth in demand from increased attendance and attainment.