Free school meals stopped for 2,100 hungry pupils

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Flickr Michael Coghlan
SORRY NO FOOD: It’s June.


THE Ministry of Education provides subsidies for 2,100 children across Alicante Province who cannot pay for their school meals throughout the school year. However, this support runs from October to May only and has been withdrawn for the month of June.
Kids whose parents are in dire financial difficulties are dependent on daily school meals for basic daily nutrition and in fact throughout the school holidays suffer a great deal as there is not enough food at home. In many cases such families resort to asking for help from charities such as Caritas when the schools are closed.
On Monday June 1, crowds of kids waited at the doors of school dining rooms all over the region, along with their parents, hoping for food. From their position at the entrance to the cafeterias they could no doubt appreciate wafts of cooked food from the kitchens. And they were turned away without being fed.
To make matters worse, the children whose parents could afford to pay for the €80 per month lunch menu were served as usual. In some schools, these children represent less than five per cent of the school register. One can only speculate on the amount of surplus thrown away at the end of the school day.
One distressed head teacher said: “Of the 350 kids who eat in the school canteen, only two pay for the menu. The rest, who are subsidised, have become deselected this month and at least a dozen are in the worst imaginable financial circumstances.”


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