INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis pediatrician and mom is fighting to end child hunger – one cafeteria tray at a time.

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a pediatrician at Riley Hospital for Children, a mom-of-three and an inventor.

She founded Ahimsa, a company that invented stainless steel dishware for children after studies found chemicals in plastic can have harmful effects.

In an effort to help eliminate plastic from the environment and keep Hoosier kids safe, Ahimsa just launched its first line of stainless steel cafeteria trays.

The Orchard School on the northwest side of Indianapolis is the first school in the country to offer it to students. 

“After the home, the second most common place the child eats is school,” said Dr. Mantravadi.  “There are more than 30 million students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program and if you multiply that by 180 days, and they’re all eating off of single use plastic or even reusable plastic. That is a lot of waste and a lot of exposure to all of our kids in school.”

Dr. Mantravadi is also focused on ending child hunger. With each purchase of the cafeteria line or the kids set, Ahimsa will donate a portion of the proceeds to ‘No Kid Hungry’ and the ‘Patachou Foundation’.

“A portion of every single sale from our products goes directly to the Patachou Foundation so we can get not just plastic off the table but healthy food on the table,” Dr. Mantravadi said. “I know all too well that for some parents, it doesn’t matter what kind of plate they have if there’s no food to put on it. So that’s really important to me.”