Govt sets up ‘Group of Food Secretaries’ to chart out community kitchen plan

New Delhi, Nov 25 (Bureau) The government has constituted a ‘Group of Food Secretaries’ from states along with senior officers of central government to chart out framework of the Community Kitchens Scheme aimed at fighting hunger and malnutrition in the country. “We should have empathy towards poor of the country and should ensure collective resolve to run successful and transparent food programmes to ensure proper nutrition to children,” said Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal.

Talking about the Model Community Kitchen Scheme, the Minister said that the scheme will be of the community, run by the community and for the welfare of the community. “It needs to be built on four pillars of quality, hygiene, reliability and spirit of service. It will help us realise the goal that no one sleeps hungry,” he said. The Group of Food Secretaries includes Food Secretaries from 8 states of Kerala, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. The Food Secretary of Madhya Pradesh will be heading the Group. In line with a Supreme Court directive, the Centre on Thursday discussed with State Food Ministers the plan to set up community kitchens to provide food to the needy persons and create a national food grid for those out of public distribution system (PDS) ambit.

Implementation status of One Nation One Ration Card and Aadhaar seeding of ration cards were also on the agenda of today’s meeting. A writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court regarding establishing the concept of community kitchen across the country. The apex Court had directed the Centre to come up with a model community kitchens scheme agreeable to the states and Union Territories (UTs) within three weeks’ time.