In Watford, northwest of London, an Indian child poverty charity that takes care of millions of poor children in India by feeding them, has joined the drive to end holiday hunger in England and distributed its first meals from a new kitchen.
Hot vegetarian meals prepared for under £2 each utilizing a model created to take care of the hungry in the Indian cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad were dispatched to a school in north London on Tuesday in the midst of developing stress on the government to withdraw its decision to drop free school meals this half-term.
Mixed vegetable pasta and warm cauliflower cheese meals prepared by chefs working for the Akshaya Patra charity, which makes 1.8 million suppers for schools every day in India, were collected by Kate Bass, the headteacher of Mora primary school in Cricklewood, from a purpose fabricated kitchen intended to prepare 9,000 suppers per day.
The charity is intending to set up comparative kitchens in Leicester and east London and hopes to continue delivering free meals to schools in the Christmas holidays.
“It might appear strange to a few people that this model is imported from India. But we are taking a tested model from a country that has dealt with this issue with speed and at scale,” said Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, Chief Executive of Akshaya Patra
The charity additionally means to offer meals to schools for under £2 a portion – with half paid by the state and half by its providers.
Campaigners for the activity said the extension of an activity created to end youngster food destitution in India in the UK was an indication of how genuine the issue had become.
“One can scarcely believe the new methods communities are having to deploy to protect children from hunger and this is another example,” said Andrew Forsey, the national executive of Feeding Britain, which is lobbying the government for a steady increase in universal credit payments and to establish universal holiday activities and a food programme.
“The way this nation has replied is completely amazing, but [many small operations] isn’t the solution. Hunger in the UK has been an issue for much longer than this. The solution is to bring in the innovation and technology that India is already using. They have a nutrition issue, we have a nutrition issue, but they are doing this already,” said Sonal Sachdev Patel, Chief Executive of the GMSP Foundation, the donor which financed the £500,000 kitchen.