The Mid Day Meal Guidelines envisage that teachers should not be assigned responsibilities that will impede or interfere with teaching learning. Teachers should, however, be involved in ensuring that (i) good quality, wholesome food is served to children, and (ii) the actual serving and eating is undertaken in a spirit of togetherness, under hygienic conditions, and in an orderly manner so that the entire process is completed in 30-40 minutes. It should however, be ensured that the food prepared is tasted by 2-3 adults including at least one teacher before it is served to children. Thus, the teacher is to supervise that the mid day meal is served in an orderly manner within specified time (recess period) and to taste the meal on rotational basis before it is served.
The Guidelines provide that, as far as possible, the responsibility of cooking/supply of cooked midday meal should be assigned to local women’s/mothers’ Self-Help Group or local Youth Club affiliated to the Nehru Yuvak Kendras or a voluntary organization or by personnel engaged directly by the School Management Committee (SMC)/Village Education Committee (VEC)/Parent Teacher Association (PTA)/Gram Panchayat/Municipality.
The Mid Day Meal Scheme Guidelines envisage that NGO / Trust / Centralized Kitchen may be engaged for urban areas, where there is a space constraint for setting up school kitchens in individual schools. There is no proposal for supply of meals through Modern Bakery or IRCTC in the Ministry.
Under Mid Day Meal Scheme, only hot cooked meals are served to the children as per the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
Mid Day Meal Scheme covers 10.80 crore children in 11.58 lakh schools during 2013-14. The Scheme provides for a mechanism to deal with complaints and grievances of the stakeholders. The Ministry of HRD has been issuing instructions from time to time for effective implementation of the Scheme.
This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Lok Sabha question.