Akshaya Patra USA (AP-USA) Welcomes Manisha Gandhi As a Director of Development – Southeast

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STONEHAM, MA:  Akshaya Patra USA CEO, Emily Rosenbaum stated: “We are excited to welcome on Manisha Gandhi as our newest Director of Development who will be supporting the AP-USA chapters and volunteer leaders in Houston, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Washington, DC.  Manisha’s passion for the program is self-evident and with it she brings a great mixture of skills and experience that will greatly enhance the work of local leaders to grow the Akshaya Patra movement.”

Manisha, who worked on a documentary for Houston Television Network and TV Asia about Akshaya Patra, shared: “I am honored to join Akshaya Patra and be someone who can further grow the movement of “Unlimited food for education,” an undeniably noble goal. This new opportunity is fully aligned with my hopes for making a difference in the lives of millions of children in India each day”.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker commented: “Manisha will be a terrific asset to the organization.  She is someone who is both very well respected and very engaged in service to the community.  I look forward to being able to visit an Akshaya Patra kitchen and see the very impressive work they are doing on such a tremendous scale.”

Akshaya Patra operates the largest NGO-run school meal programs in the world and serves over 1.4 million children daily in over 10,661 schools through 24 locations in ten states in India.  With just $15 from a private donor, Akshaya Patra feeds a child for an entire academic year. The meals serve as an incentive for children to come to school and attend school daily, where they receive the tools they need to succeed in life.

Akshaya Patra, a public-private partnership, delivers school lunches at a fraction of the cost of similar programs in other parts of the world. The hallmark of the Akshaya Patra program is the centralized kitchen facilities that have been designed and engineered by its founders to optimize quality and minimize cost, time, and labor. Appropriate technological considerations have governed all phases of the design and process. Akshaya Patra is a unique pioneering program that leverages technology both in cooking and delivery.

AP-USA was founded in order to help augment the growth of Akshaya Patra, and to provide an outlet for caring individuals and socially conscious corporations and institutions in the US to become part of the Akshaya Patra movement. AP-USA raises funds and awareness for Akshaya Patra in the US and contributes approximately 10% of Akshaya Patra’s annual operating budget of $35 million per year.  One-third of the funds raised in the US are contributed by corporate and individual donors and family foundations. The remaining two-thirds come from grass root campaigns led by volunteer Chapters across the US.

Akshaya Patra USA is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The CGI has provided additional visibility to Akshaya Patra which has helped AP-USA raise fundsPresident Bill Clinton visited the Akshaya Patra kitchen and a government school in Jaipur, India on July 16, 2014, choosing Akshaya Patra as a program he wanted to highlight from among thousands of CGI initiatives in Asia.

In 2014, Akshaya Patra USA launched a new initiative to cultivate the leadership of young people. The Youth Ambassador Program is an elite program that empowers high-school students to act as Ambassadors for Akshaya Patra in their communities.