Meals at Schools in India and the USA

Through the Lens of the Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Adity Saxena Amity University, Uttar Pradesh
  • Ezaz Ahmed, SHRM-SCP Columbia College, South Carolina
Keywords: covid-19, pandemic, mid-day meal programme, primary schools, distribution channel, national school lunch programme, public-private partnership


For the year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more challenging for India and other countries such as the United States to provide meals to students mainly because of their schools having to be shut down frequently and unpredictably due to the number of daily infections and the severity of the situation as a whole. Established to address the lack of food security and safety for starving families, India's government-led Mid-day Meal Programme (MDMP) is the world's largest school meal service programme, followed in second place by its US counterpart, the National School Lunch Programme (NSLP).  The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has issued directives to state governments to look into the supply of food grains or deposit funds into the bank accounts of the students’ parents to ensure continued supply of food, especially in the event of lockdowns.  However, many states in India have not been able to fully implement the MDMP; in contrast, the Federal government in the United States has ensured that school meals reached children in need during lockdowns. This article presents a comparative analysis of the meal service programmes being administered in both countries and how India could adopt the methods being used in the US. The authors also put forward other possible solutions as to how policymakers and practitioners in India can enhance food security for families in need.

Author Biographies

Adity Saxena, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh

Dr. Adity Saxena is an Associate Professor at Amity School of Communication, under Amity University Uttar Pradesh, India. She is a certified design thinker and has more than 18 years of experience in communication research, design education, visual research, and design practice. Her expertise includes work in many international projects, and her essential skills are storytelling, visualization, and mind mapping. She has helped organizations and businesses with creative solutions for strategies, products, and branding through her design. She is associated with community service projects voluntarily.

Ezaz Ahmed, SHRM-SCP, Columbia College, South Carolina

Dr. Ezaz Ahmed is the Dean of the Division of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology at Columbia College, South Carolina, USA. Dr. Ezaz Ahmed brings a robust body of knowledge in Human Resources, and Business disciplines as an academic and researcher. Besides his Ph.D. in Human Resources, Dr. Ahmed has an MBA in International Business, Bachelor in Economics, and earned his Certificates in Online Teaching from the University of Oxford and Business Analytics from the Harvard Business School Online. Dr. Ahmed is a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), USA.

Dr. Ahmed has successfully led high-level teams in critiquing curriculum, developing academic strategies, and coordinating accreditation processes. He has been chosen to chair and member of numerous prestigious academic advisory panels, discipline streams in higher education and professional institutions. He is also the recipient of the Central Queensland University's Students' Voice Awards for On-Campus and Distance Educator of the year for three years. Dr. Ahmed has been involved in international, national, and industry-based research projects and grants. Dr. Ahmed’s research has been published and presented in international journals and conferences. He has been a member of the inaugural Research Advisory Panel of the Australian HR Institute (AHRI), and chair of the Organisational Behavior stream in the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM).

How to Cite
Saxena, A., & Ahmed, E. (2020). Meals at Schools in India and the USA. The Journal of Development Communication, 31(2), 14-23. Retrieved from