COVID 19 should not affect the Mid-Day Meal Scheme

On March 20, 2020 the Department of School Education and Literacy issued notice that each child studying in elementary classes (I-VIII) in Government and Government Aided Schools, Special Training Centres (STC) and Madrasas & Maqtabs supported under Samgra Shiksha (SS) are provided one hot cooked midday meal containing prescribed energy and protein, on each school day, as mandated under Section 5(1) (b) of National Food Security Act, 2013 and Rule 3 of Mid-Day Meal Rules, 2015.

It is learnt that schools in many States and Union Territories have been closed as a precautionary measure to protect the students from Novel COVID-19 (Corona) virus. Under such extraordinary circumstances, the Central Government has decided to provide Mid-Day Meal to meet the nutritional requirements of the eligible children under Mid-Day Meal Scheme in order to safeguard their immunity.

The rule states that if Mid-day meal is not provided in schools on any school day due to the non-availability of food grains, cooking cost, fuel, absence of cook-cum-helper or any other reason, the state government shall pay the ‘Food Security Allowance’ consisting of

  1. Quantity of the food grains as per entitlement of the child
  2. Cooking cost prevailing in the state to every child

Therefore the state governments and union territories are advised to provide hot cooked Mid-Day Meal or Food Security Allowance whichever is feasible to all eligible children till such time their schools are closed due to Novel COVID-19. It is also pertinent to reiterate that all the precautionary measures to face the situation arising out of Coronavirus as advised by the Central and State Government shall be followed.

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