Midday meals quality and quantity prepared in the government schools are not the same every day. It depends on the cost of vegetables, grains and the ingredients used to prepare the meal.
“I am studying in this school for the past three years. The food we are served consists of less vegetables and it is less tasty, ” Yashvanth M, a student from a government school, Gollahalli, said.
As per the mid-day meal scheme, Rs. 1.37 is given per student from class 1 to 5 and Rs. 2.50 is given per student from class 6 to 10. This money is used to buy vegetables and other ingredients to prepare the meal.
“Amount given for the mid-day meal is fixed. We can’t change it according to the price fluctuations. It is fixed by the government.” said C. J. Mallappa, Assistant director of Mid-day meals.
One thousand and three hundred and eighteen schools out of 54561 government schools cook mid-day meals in their school itself. 7,8099 students have these mid-day meals. Remaining 53, 243 schools get pre-cooked meals from Isckon, Akshaya Patre, and Adamya chethana.
Sambhar and rice is served five days a week and puliyoogare and lemon rice is served on Saturdays as Mid-day meals. The students are also given a glass of milk once a week.
“When vegetable cost is more, we have to buy less vegetables and manage with that,” Sarojamma, Mid-day meal cook, said..
“Lack of nutrition’s in the meal affects the rate of growth of children. The growth of bones and physical strength is also affected in children because of poor nutrients in the meal” Dr. Mahantesh B, a nutritionist, said.
Price fluctuations of vegetables and ingredients used to prepare meals impact the quality and quantity of mid-day meals in the school.