While the onus of responsibility for the procurement of the food stuff is that of the non-profit, Non Government organization running the entire show of providing the mid-day meal, there are a number of lacunae that could be seen in the procurement system and regular supply of food products. Instead of having a single vendor who could give the select supplies, the current mechanism is to buy the vegetables and other supplies from different vendors every time. The reason offered was that there was an attempt to buy the best supplies and therefore they were taken from who so ever was providing the best.
There is observed a large consumption of heating materials like firewood, and indigenous heating materials besides electricity. Thus, large amounts of non-renewable natural resource are used up. Also there is much pollution of the atmosphere. Both are safety hazards and need to be ameliorated. Cooking is done in the open air during sunny days and during rains it is shifted to the enclosed area. During the cooking process there is every chance that leaves, dust and insects flying about may be entrapped in the food and contaminate it. After cooking the food is kept for cooling in the open from where it is loaded on to the vans and taken to the school.
Disbursement of the food is done in the open and the children bring their plates and bowls for filling up by the attendants who are distributing the food.
It was observed that neither during the preparation of the food nor during the cooking or even during the distribution of the food were any safety precautions taken by the attendants. They did not cover their heads nor use gloves and aprons to safeguard the food from contamination. Many a times the women who cleaned the cooking utensils were observed to be ill and suffering from cold and cough. They could easily pass on their infection through the utensils to the children.