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370,000 Needy Children to Get Free Meals Over Winter

Posted December. 12, 2008 04:31,   


Free meals will be offered to 370,000 needy children over winter vacation, government sources said yesterday.

The measure was agreed on at a Cabinet meeting yesterday on national policies chaired by Prime Minister Han Seung-soo.

“We expect the number of hungry children to rise due to the worsening economic situation and have launched a nationwide survey to find the exact demand,” an official at the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“Though we’re still collecting data, the estimate based on six major cities showed that about 370,000 children are likely to get free meals this winter, up 77,000 from last summer vacation.”

The official added, “The rise in the number of applicants is attributable to the government’s efforts to remove the stigma attached to getting free meals and to encourage hungry children to take advantage of the program.”

Prime Minister Han also said, “Careful attention should be paid to children so that they can get free meals without feeling shame or disgrace,” referring to the rude treatment and ensuing stress that welfare recipient children can face when getting free meals at designated restaurants.