Tamil Nadu is a pioneering State which introduced the Nutritious Meal program during the year 1982. The objective was to enhance the enrolment of students and retain the attendance in schools and simultaneously to improve the nutritional levels among children.  A Child who is hungry or ill cannot concentrate in his/her studies with full attention. Due to this factor a free hot cooked lunch is being provided to children in Primary and Upper Primary classes up to Tenth Standard in Government, Government aided Schools, Special Training Centres, Madarasas and  Maktabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.


  1. To maximize enrollment and reduce school dropout rates with a view to universalize elementary education. 
  2. To provide nutrition to the under fed and under nourished children. 
  3. To encourage children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend school regularly and to help them in attaining formal education.
  4. To empower women by offering employment opportunities






i) Primary School children in the age group of 5-9 years and Upper Primary School children in the age group of 10-15 years are provided with hot cooked nutritious variety meals inside the school campus itself, for five days a week for a total of 220 days in a year.


ii) The children enrolled under National Child Labour Project Special Schools in 16 Districts viz., Kancheepuram, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Salem, Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruppur, Thiruchirappalli, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Chennai are also provided with hot cooked nutritious variety meals for 312 days in a year.

iii) Foodgrains (rice) @ 100 gm per child per school day for primary children (1st std to 5th std) and @ 150 gm for upper primary (6th std to 10th std) is provided.

iv) Eggs are served to all children from 1st std to 10th std on all 5 working days.  Colouring  scheme for eggs for each day of the week, with impression “TamilNadu Arasu” (Tamilnadu Government) to prevent pilferage and staleness. 

v) Banana weighing 100 gms  is provided  for non egg eating children  @ Rs. 1.25 per banana.

vi) 20 gms of Black Bengal gram / Green gram is  provided to children  taking into consideration the present day  protein, vitamins and calorific needs of   the children.

viii) 20 gms of boiled potatoes on all Fridays   to supplement carbohydrates.

ix) In order to address iodine and iron deficiency among children and  as a part of  health intervention programme, Double Fortified Salt is used for cooking which prevents iodine deficiency in children thereby preventing goitre.

x) During important occasions, Sweet Pongal is served to children  by using Jaggery and Ghee.



The total number of beneficiaries in Primary Schools (1st std to 5th std) are 26,88,345 covering 26,780 Nutritious Meal Centres.

The total number of beneficiaries in Upper Primary schools (6th std to 8th std) are  21,10,620 and in respect of 9th and 10th std are 6,98,066 covering 15,993  Noon Meal Centres.  As regards  the  National  Child Labour Project 8,816 beneficiaries are covered by 274 Noon Meal Centres.  Thus, total number  of  beneficiaries  have  been  55,05,847  in 43,047  Noon  Meal Centres during  the year 2016-17.





Introduction of Variety Meals


            As a special nutritional intervention 13 kinds of variety menu with 4 different kinds of egg masalas were introduced during the year  2013 in one pilot block of each district. After ascertaining the success of this scheme, the variety meals programme has been extended to the rest of the blocks in all Districts from 15.8.2014.






First and Third Week 


Second  and Fourth Week 


Vegetable Biriyani with Pepper Egg

Sambar Sadham (Bisibelabath) with Onion Tomato Masala Egg.


Black Bengal Gram Pulav (bfh©il¡fliy òyÎ) with Tomato Masala Egg.

Mixed Meal Maker with Vegetable Rice and Pepper Egg


Tomato Rice with Pepper Egg

Tamarind Rice with Tomato Masala Egg


Rice, Sambar  and Boiled Egg

Lemon Rice, Sundal and  Tomato Egg


Curry Leaf Rice / Keerai Sadham with Masala Egg and  Chilly Fried Potato.

Rice, Sambar and Boiled Egg with Fried Potato.

Nutritional Norms



Sl. No


GOI Norms

State Govt Provision

Calories             (In Kcl)


(In gms)

Calories    (In Kcl)

Protein           (In gms)








Upper Primary







All Noon Meal Employees were given with training for the preparation of variety meals by 20 expert Chefs from Chennai headed by Chef. Damodaran.  In vernacular language booklets have been printed and distributed to the Noon Meal Employees.



Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation supplies rice, dhal, oil and salt at the doorsteps of the Noon Meal Centers in order to ensure quality and quantity.

Maintaining 45 days buffer stock  at NMC level  to provide meal without any delay


The Noon Meal Organizers are permitted to purchase vegetables and condiments locally using the funds credited as advance grant into their bank account through Electronic Clearance System (ECS).  From the year 2012, an amount of Rs.1.17 per primary school child and Rs. 1.27 per Upper Primary school child is provided to the Noon Meal Organizers towards this purpose.

Government of India provides cooking cost (excluding the labour and administrative charges) @ Rs.4.13 for primary and Rs.6.18 for upper primary children.  However, the State Government provides more than the mandatory share of 40% so as to provide nutritious food to children.


MDM Norms (60:40)

Centre 60%

State 40%

Additional State contribution


Primary (1-5  Std)






Upper Primary

 (6-8 Std)






9th & 10th 

100% contribution by State Government






      The Central Government started providing 100% central assistance for construction of kitchen-cum-stores in Government schools, since the year 2006-07 at a flat rate of Rs.60,000/- per unit.  However, from the year 2009 onwards, the cost of construction of kitchen-cum-stores is determined on the basis of plinth area norms and State schedule of rates prevalent in the State. Now, 20 sq.mt plinth area is admissible for schools having upto 100 children.  For every additional 100 children, additional 4 sq.mt plinth area can be added.   The expenditure arrived out of the schedule of rates are shared in the ratio of 75:25 between the centre and state.





In order to create ‘smoke free atmosphere’ in the Noon Meal Centres,  Modernisation of Noon Meal Centres, have been taken up and LPG connection is provided to the centres exclusively out of State Funds







Noon Meal Centres are provided with sufficient kitchen devices like Aluminium Dabara with lid, Stainless steel karandi, Indolium kadai etc., to facilitate cooking.  Government of India provides funds to the tune of  Rs.5000/- per Noon Meal Centre as one time Central Assistance for the procurement of kitchen devices. Stainless Steel Plates and Tumblers are provided to the Noon Meal Beneficiaries both out of State and Central funds.

To facilitate the cooking process involved in the  variety meals, all the Noon Meal Centres have been provided with mixies

Information Boards

Under contingency plan necessary important phone numbers have been put up in all Noon Meal Centres during the year 2014-15 & 2015-16.

  • In each Noon Meal Centre an Organiser, one cook and one cook assistant are employed for the implementation of the scheme.   The Noon Meal Employees are provided with Special Time Scale of Pay.  Their salary is credited to the respective employees bank account through ECS.
  • In addition they are also provided with Festival Advance.
  • All retired Noon Meal Employees are provided with a monthly pension of Rs. 1500/-.
  • During retirement the organizer is given with Rs. 60,000/- and Cook & Cook Assistant with Rs. 25,000/- as lumpsum payment.  In addition a sum of Rs. 10,000/- is provided as Special Provident Fund.
  • Special test is conducted by Teachers Recruitment Board  for qualified organizers and are appointed as Teachers in Schools.
  • All categories  of NMC staff are enrolled in PF Scheme.  Allotment of account numbers by the Government Data centre is in progress.
  • The legal heir of the Noon Meal employee who dies while in service is provided employment on compassionate grounds.

State Level Steering cum Monitoring committee Meeting



  • Once in six months, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu takes up the review of every scheme in which the implementation of noon meal programme is also monitored. 
  • There is a monitoring cell functioning at Secretariat headed by Secretary to Government and assisted by Deputy Secretary and his team.  The implementation of the scheme is monitored by conducting review meetings once in 15 days by Secretary to Government.
  • Review meeting to watch the progress of expenditure is also being conducted by the Planning Development Department with the officials of the Secretariat and Directorate of Social Welfare.
  • In the Directorate also there is a monitoring cell headed by the Director of Social Welfare  assisted by Joint Director (NMP) and team.  So as at Districts, the scheme is being monitored by the District Collectors.  Each District / Block has been provided with pucca management structure to monitor the programme at different levels.