Non-profit body Akshaya Patra has raised more than USD2 million during a gala this week which will be used to provide free mid-day meals to needy students in India, the organisation has said.
The 2022 Gratitude Gala in Newark, organised by the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA's Tri-state Volunteer Chapter, was attended by over 400 business, non-profit and philanthropic community leaders and professionals, it said in a statement.
"We are very grateful to the tri-state community for their incredible generosity. The funds raised will help Akshaya Patra continue its mission of unlimited food for education," CEO of Akshaya Patra India Shridhar Venkat said.
The gala featured a panel discussion by author and businesswoman Mitzi Perdue, prominent businessman and entrepreneur Ash Ashutosh, and Milind Pant, CEO of Amway Global, as per the statement.
The panel discussed the impact of education on various aspects of life and businesses, and the need for thoughtful philanthropy and the role of Akshaya Patra in that space, it added.
Dr Rachana Kulkarni, board member of Akshaya Patra USA and chair for the Akshaya Patra Tri-State Chapter, said the organisation's mission that "No child in India should be deprived of education because of hunger" is a powerful weapon for underprivileged children.With the mid-day meal program, kids and their parents don't have to choose between food and education as both are guaranteed, she was quoted as saying in the statement.