India

WFP and Odisha Govt launch training app to make school meals safe

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New Delhi/Bhubaneshwar: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Department of School and Mass Education, Government of Odisha, have launched a training app aimed at thousands of Cook-cum-Helpers who play a critical role in preparing and providing hot-cooked meals to millions of school children under India’s Mid-day Meal scheme.

The application developed together by WFP and the Government of Odisha is being piloted in the Kamakhyanagar Block of Dhenkanal and will be scaled across the state of Odisha.

Launching the FoSafMDM app, today at the virtual event, Principal Secretary of School and Mass Education Department, Government of Odisha, Satyabrata Sahu said: “This application and the resources it makes available will empower the numerous Cook-cum-Helpers while contributing to better nutrition for our children. This initiative will be scaled up across the state where hot cooked meals are provided to about 43,70,000 school children through 114,225 CCH.”

“It is commendable that India has one of the world’s largest Mid-day Meals or School Feeding Programme reaching over 100 million students. Nutritional improvement through the Mid-day Meals scheme is inextricably linked with food safety. Unsafe food served in the schools has the potential to create a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, impacting school children partaking these day meals. Training of cook cum helpers is expected to help address these challenges,” said WFP India Representative and Country Director for India, Mr. Bishow Parajuli.

“The use of technology-based training modules will go a long way in creating capacity and ownership of the community in ensuring that proper processes are followed so that children can reap the full benefits of the nutrition these school meals offer,” Mr. Parajuli added.

The FoSafMDM application is available on the Google Play Store and can be used on any android device. For the pilot tablets which are preloaded with the app will be distributed to 158 schools in Kamakhyanagar. The training content can be accessed both online and offline with periodic updates when internet is available.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability, and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

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