The Delhi government will hire an agency to test mid-day meals served in its schools to ensure that the food meets the prescribed standards of quality and nutritional value, officials said.
The midday meal or PM-POSHAN scheme, under which hot cooked meals are served to children to address their nutritional needs, covers both government and government-aided school students of classes 1-8 and pre-primary classes.
During the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the food security allowance was continued through the distribution of dry ration kits.
"The government will hire an agency that will take random samples from schools as well as the kitchens and godowns. Both the samples of cooked food and raw materials will be tested at regular intervals," an official of the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.
Ensuring Quality Meals To Children
The idea is to ensure that only quality meals are served to students in schools and the prescribed nutritional value is not compromised. As per official data, there are 8.24 lakh beneficiaries in over 1200 state-run schools in the national capital, News18 reported.
However, the Programme Approval Board (PAB), which decides the work plan and budget for the midday meal scheme annually, in its recent meeting, said that more than 4.8 lakh kids were left out of this scheme during the 2021-22 academic session in Delhi due to the shortage of food grains.
The Delhi government, in collaboration with the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) in April, had also started a social audit of the distribution of dry rations under the mid-day meal scheme.