Over 250 business, non-profit, government, and philanthropic leaders from around the region attended the event to support the Akshaya Patra USA’s dual mission of addressing childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. A Siliconeer report.

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Akshaya Patra runs one of 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 kitchens in ten states in India. It held its 2014 Food for Education Benefit Event, Dec. 6, at the India Community Center in Milpitas, Calif.

The event raised enough funds to feed nearly 17,000 children across India for an entire school year. 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.

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, chairman of Akshaya Patra USA, speaking at 2014 gala benefit event at India Community Center in Milpitas, Calif., Dec. 6. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, chairman of Akshaya Patra USA, speaking at 2014 gala benefit event at India Community Center in Milpitas, Calif., Dec. 6. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

The event featured award-winning photojournalist and White House photographer Barbara Kinney as a keynote speaker. She regaled the audience with stories of her most iconic photographs of the Clinton White House and Secretary Hilary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign.

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka was guest of honor at Akshaya Patra USA’s gala benefit Dec. 6. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka was guest of honor at Akshaya Patra USA’s gala benefit Dec. 6. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka was the guest of honor at the event. He spoke on the long history of support by Infosys for Akshaya Patra’s school meal program. Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, Akshaya Patra USA Chair, noted that execution excellence, a hallmark of Silicon Valley, is also at the heart of Akshaya Patra’s service and delivery model.

High school-aged Bay Area Akshaya Patra Youth Ambassadors spoke about their commitment to raising funds and awareness for the program. The Youth Ambassador Program is an elite program that empowers high school students to act as Ambassadors for Akshaya Patra in their communities.

Photojournalist Barbara Kinney talks about her recent trip to Akshaya Patra’s kitchens in Jaipur and Lucknow. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

Photojournalist Barbara Kinney talks about her recent trip to Akshaya Patra’s kitchens in Jaipur and Lucknow. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

Emily Rosenbaum, CEO of Akshaya Patra USA said, “There were so many highlights for me. Dr. Vishal Sikka, Infosys CEO, was superb. He carries on the brilliant tradition at Infosys of tremendous support of Akshaya Patra; Infosys leaders are and have been at the center of the organization since inception. Clinton White House photographer Barbara Kinney shared some exceptional photos of the Clintons at some of their most intimate and powerful moments in the White House as well as those touching photos and behind the scenes stories about President Clinton’s visit to our Jaipur Kitchen in July. The Bay Area Youth Ambassadors continue to shine as they raise funds for childrens’ mid-day meals. The compassion of the Bay Area community and synergy with feeding 1.4 million children at over 10,600 government schools is self-evident. We thank each and every guest and supporter!”

Anil Godhwani, co-founder and Board of Trustees member, India Community Center speaks at the Akshaya Patra event at ICC, in Milpitas, Calif., Dec 6. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

Anil Godhwani, co-founder and Board of Trustees member, India Community Center speaks at the Akshaya Patra event at ICC, in Milpitas, Calif., Dec 6. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

Over 250 business, non-profit, government, and philanthropic leaders from around the region attended the event to support the organization’s dual mission of addressing childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India.

A view of the packed auditorium during the Akshaya Patra USA’s Bay Area benefit gala event at India Community Center in Milpitas, Calif., Dec. 6. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

A view of the packed auditorium during the Akshaya Patra USA’s Bay Area benefit gala event at India Community Center in Milpitas, Calif., Dec. 6. (Photo: Akshaya Patra USA)

Interested readers can visit www.foodforeducation.org for more information.