Nagpur – Beginning with this school year, Nagpur city schools will receive early afternoon suppers from a centralized kitchen. According to official reports, a tender has already been floated for the same, and a new vendor is expected to be confirmed within two weeks.
“These are some things that will be done for the first time ever,” said Gautam Gedam, in charge of the midday meals scheme. Previously, we had a centralized kitchen vendor, but it was not for the entire city. The vendor’s three-year contract has expired, so a replacement tender has been issued. The difference this time is that all city schools will be served by a centralized kitchen.”
He went on to say that “70,000 students received meals through a centralized kitchen during the previous school term.” This centralized scheme will now cover 1.5 lakh students in the city.
Midday meal servings
For students in STD I-VIII, midday meals are served in government-run and government-aided schools. Previously, the meals department was handled by schools or self-help groups (SHGs). While SHGs certainly had manpower, schools allotted funds and finances to contract a cook and helper.
What exactly will the centralised kitchens have?
Centralised kitchens will prepare food in a single location and serve a wider geographical area. They will be able to cater to large groups of students with improved infrastructure, funds, and professional management. And, yes, many authorities believe that this will ensure consistency in the quality of food served.
Disputes over midday meals
There had previously been many cases of food poisoning in children. Fortunately, it was never serious in Nagpur district.
The vendor will handle meal preparation and transportation, while schools will serve it to students according to their schedule.