BETTER SCHOOL MEALS FOR CHILDREN IN INDIA
Healthy and reliable food on your plate. In the Netherlands it is almost self-evident, but in countries like India not in the least. The quality of school meals is in parts of the Asian country still far from adequate.
'Midday Meal Scheme'
With the project 'Midday Meal Scheme' VHL University of Applied Sciences, consultancy agency Larive International and packaging company IPN aim to improve the meals that children receive in schools in India in a sustainable way. They will approach the entire value chain: from the farmer on the land to the food on the plate of the children in school.
Combating poverty and illiteracy
The Indian government offers school meals for children in schools in several states. With this measure they wish to stimulate parents to send their children to school, thus combating illiteracy and poverty. In practice this does not always work well enough; the quality of the meals is insufficient in certain places.
Points of improvement
'The food is not packed, which enhances the risk of the food going bad,' says Laurens Last of IPN. But also the composition of the meals needs to be taken care of, says Rik Eweg of VHL University of Applied Sciences. 'In the present situation, the children do not obtain all the nutrients they need at their age.'
Three students of VHL University of Applied Sciences will set out to do research with colleagues of Baramati Agricultural College on the present day food supplies in schools in the region around Baramati. 'The students will survey the path the food has followed before it ends up on the plates of the children', Eweg says.
In the project, questions like 'how are the ingredients harvested, processed and packed, how does the transportation take place and how is the hygiene in the school kitchens?' are central. Parallel to this survey, IPN will, from its local branch, assist two students in their own research project in the field of the processing and packaging of food.
The project 'Midday Meal Scheme' will be implemented in the region around the city Baramati, in the west of India.