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Centre and State food ministers to plan for community kitchens

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 24, 2021

The Centre and State food ministers will also discuss the creation of a “food grid”

The Centre on Thursday will discuss with State Food Ministers to start a community kitchen for the poor and creation of a “food grid” after the Supreme Court’s suggestion to chalk out a uniform scheme across the country.

Ministers discuss community kitchen and other issues

Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal will chair the meeting to discuss the issue of community kitchen and other issues, an official statement said. ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, Aadhaar-seeding of ration cards and biometric authentication of transactions in fair price shops are also likely to be discussed.

Also read: Implement 'one nation, one ration card scheme' by July 31: Apex court to States

Considering the urgency of the issue, Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey last week discussed with Chief Secretaries and Food Secretaries of States on the model community kitchen scheme. There are some States like Tamil Nadu and Odisha which have set up community kitchens and provide cooked meals at very low prices.

Questioning Centre’s commitment to run community kitchens

The Supreme Court on November 16 had questioned the Centre’s commitment to run community kitchens to stave off hunger across the country, saying the first job of a welfare State was to ensure that people did not starve to death. Hearing a writ petition filed jointly by activists Anun Dhawan, Ishann Dhawan and Kunjana Singh that prayed for setting up community kitchens and establishment of a national food grid, the apex court asked the government to hold a meeting and frame the policy in three weeks.

The petition quoting the Food and Agriculture Report 2018, has stated that India houses 195.9 million of the 821 million undernourished people of the world, accounting for approximately 24 per cent of the world’s hungry.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the Poshan Abhiyaan on Wednesday with secretaries of related ministries. He said that Poshan Abhiyan should be implemented in mission mode in each State. He also talked about participation of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and other local organisations in promoting awareness on children’s health and nutrition at grassroot level, which will help in improving the reach and uptake of the Abhiyaan, aimed at curbing malnutrition.

Published on November 24, 2021

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