Publication Date
Authored by
Priyanka Singh, Afsaruzzaman Noor
Advisor(s): Tim Russell
Topic(s) Covered:
  • Fulfillment
  • Humanitarian
  • Optimization

The Mid-day Meal program is an initiative taken by the Government of India to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide. It involves many agencies and NGOs. Akshaya Patra is the most popular and largest NGO among them which in India is currently serving meals to 1.6 million children every day. It uses centralized kitchens to prepare meals and then deliver them to schools within a four hours of delivery window. Currently, it is facing the challenge of fulfilling the growing demand of meals within short delivery windows while keeping the transportation costs and the fixed costs of the kitchens low.

Keeping in mind that food is a highly perishable item and has a very short delivery window (fourhours), we designed a kitchen network to solve Akshaya Patra’s problem by using an optimization method called Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP). We also tested various scenarios suchas network design considering kitchens’ capacity constraint, design with cross docking, and the use of insulated containers. Our model suggests a network design approach using cross docking and insulated containers. The proposed model has lowest cost and can be replicated in other states also.