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Food and nutrition in times of COVID-19

Author(s): Melissa Mack

In the COVID-19 pandemic, it is incredible to note the efforts put in by one and all to meet the essential requirements. Food, a basic necessity, managed to create the maximum panic as the lockdown was announced. Individuals started rushing to grocery stores, super markets and other such places to indulge in panic buying which to some extent led to the shortage of commonly consumed food items. On the brighter side, this Novel Coronavirus Pandemic, also taught us how to survive with limited commodities or prepare a decent meal out of whatever we have got in our kitchens. It is also ironical how this Novel virus brought entire nation on the same scale, with the affluent class struggling to procure the exotic ingredients and the poor struggling to get one meal a day. While the voluntary organizations/individual volunteers or other support agencies are trying to reach out to such people with food and other essential commodities, but the quantity of food offered is sometimes not sufficient to sustain along with irregularity in distribution due to restricted movement, a rule which should be adhered, to prevent the spread of the infection. Further, in case of registered beneficiaries merely distributing the whole grains, specifically wheat, will be of little use since the local flour miller shops are not operating because of the lockdown. Similarly, the food demand comprises more than rice and wheat and include a variety of essential food products such as edible oil, vegetables etc. where markets need to deliver.In addition to making food availability a challenge, this crisis might aggravate the malnutrition problem particularly under nutrition prevalent among vulnerable groups i.e. young children and women of reproductive age group


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