With some 66 million primary school-age children around the world who regularly attend classes hungry, every meal counts.

That statistic — as staggering as it looks on paper– is just one of the reasons why volunteers from Broadcom’s Project LOTUS community group recently joined efforts with Stop Hunger Now in India.

Project Lotus, Stop Hunger Now

Broadcom’s Project LOTUS volunteers package meals for schoolchildren in India.

Broadcom employees packed more than 45,000 meals at the formal launch of Stop Hunger Now in India last week and Broadcom Bangalore’s Project LOTUS team personally distributed more than 2,000 meals at four LOTUS-sponsored schools.

“Project LOTUS began as a grassroots initiative by Broadcom employees because we wanted to improve education for underprivileged children studying in Bangalore’s public schools,” said Rajiv Kapur, senior director of business development, sales, at Broadcom. “Nothing is more rewarding than now going into these schools knowing that a healthy meal will increase their chances of succeeding.”

Project LOTUS, which stands for Linking Organization To Underprivileged Schools, began in 2002 with only a few employee volunteers. Today more than 30 employees regularly give their time and talent on weekends, holidays and evenings to tutoring, mentoring and raising critical funding. Money collected is used to provide children in grades K-12 with support for basic school expenses for clothes, books, school fees and transportation, scholarships and technical equipment.

During the Stop Hunger Now packing event, LOTUS volunteers took the opportunity to sign up 50 Support-A-Child commitments from Broadcom employees. “We need many more volunteers to make sure every child in our LOTUS-sponsored schools has a real chance to succeed,” said Amrutha Sreekantapuram, LOTUS volunteer and Broadcom Community Hero. “Events like this provide a great opportunity for outreach to our Broadcom colleagues.”

Kapur and Paula Golden, Broadcom Foundation president  and executive director and director, community affairs, at Broadcom were on-hand with Karen Noe from Stop Hunger Now to give out meal packets. The packets were made with locally acquired dal, vegetables and rice, commemorating the first phase of the important new partnership with Stop Hunger Now.

Employees who take part in Project LOTUS Support-A-Child program are committing to provide more than 50 students with basic school expenses including books, school fees and transportation.

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“Project LOTUS sets the gold standard for community volunteerism within Broadcom’s global family,” Golden said. “It comes as no surprise that the LOTUS members win the coveted Broadcom Community Hero Award year after year.”

Other Project LOTUS programs include improving school infrastructure through collecting funds and items such as furniture, used computers, sporting equipment and cleaning supplies. Another program features volunteers leading Back to School classes that teach English language and basic computer skills. Project LOTUS also leads several fundraising events during Joy of Giving Week, India’s national week celebrating philanthropy and helps to support relief efforts during natural disasters.