Establishing and Supporting Annapurna Central Kitchens

The Annapurna Central Kitchens were jointly established by the Tata Trusts and the Tribal Development Department (TDD) of Maharashtra in September 2015. The aim has been to provide hygienic, wholesome and nutritious meals, four times a day, to children belonging to scheduled tribe communities. These children live in ashramshalas or residential schools set up by the TDD. The overarching objective of the programme is to improve nutritional outcomes in children, and the quality of meals, which includes ensuring conformity with prescribed daily requirement of nutrients.

Two central kitchens are operational on a pilot basis at Kambalgaon (Palghar) and Mundhegaon (Nashik), as part of the Annapurna Central Kitchens programme. The programme is administered as a special governmental scheme of the Tribal Development Department. It is designed in such a manner that while the department owns the programme, the Tata Trusts provide techno-managerial support. In addition, hygiene standards are maintained during meal preparation, and there is strict adherence to quality assurance parameters and industry best practices.

The biggest success of the programme has been the change in anthropometric indicators in children (anaemia, underweight prevalence, etc.) in the pilot districts. The indicators were evaluated through comprehensive base-line and mid-line studies. An analysis of the nutritional content of the meals has shown marked improvement in the quality of meals and the children, who are the beneficiaries of the programme have provided excellent feedback on the varied menu and improved quality of food.

Programme statistics overview:
  • Children impacted - 22,000
  • Schools reached - 54
  • Budget per child:  Rs 2,237
  • Average distance between the central kitchens and school: 45 km
  • Saving: 10% of budget allocation

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