Irregularity in midday meal program

Community schools distributing junk food

Published On: December 29, 2019 08:17 AM NPT By: Yogesh Rawal

TIKAPUR, Dec 29: Some community schools in Lamki Chuha Municipality of Kailali district have been distributing junk food to their students for lunch, it has been learnt.

Despite distributing junk food, the schools have been found submitting cash receipts for fruits and nutritious food to the municipality to release payment under the midday meal program. According to a source, schools have been submitting receipts of apples, oranges, milk, among others to get payment from the municipality.

The government had introduced ‘midday meal program’ to reduce the number of dropouts at schools. Under the program, the government had announced to distribute nutritious food to the students – up to fifth standard – in community schools.

But, some schools in Kailali have been found to be distributing junk food such as biscuits, noodles, chips, among others to their students. Meanwhile, some schools are also found distributing date-expired junk food.

Health workers say junk food doesn’t have nutritional value, and poor-quality diet is linked to health problems in children.

The program was launched by the government to discourage the consumption of junk food. 

As per the working procedure of the program, locally-available nutritious food should be distributed to students for lunch.

As per the working procedure, schools should distribute foods rich in carbohydrate, protein and minerals to their students.

A student at Janahit Aadharbhut School said that the school has never distributed nutritious food for lunch. “The students get biscuits, beaten rice, among others for lunch,” the student said.

Meanwhile, students at Gyanodaya Aadarbhut School have complained that they didn’t get lunch from the school. According to Rana Singh Rawal, principle of the school, it was unable to distribute lunch as the municipality didn’t release the budget for mid-day meal.

For the current fiscal year, Lamki Chuha Municipality has allocated a total of Rs 38.1 million for the midday meal program launched by the government. The municipality had also allocated almost the same amount of money in the last fiscal year.

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