The Czech Education Ministry will cover the school lunches for elementary school children from low-income families, for which it has earmarked 30 million crowns, it announced on its website Saturday.

Prague, Dec 4 (CTK) – The Czech Education Ministry will cover the school lunches for elementary school children from low-income families, for which it has earmarked 30 million crowns, it announced on its website Saturday.
In the days to come, the ministry plans to launch a subsidised programme for NGOs that would ensure the lunches for the children whose parents cannot pay them for financial reasons.
The ministry wants the school catering to be available to all children, but the number of the families that lack money to pay for school lunches has been rising.
“Although we subsidise school lunches, some families cannot even afford to pay the remaining sum. As a result, their children have to do without the warm school lunch. They often attend the afternoon lessons hungry, which benefits neither their concentration nor their socialisation within the school collective,” Education Minister Katerina Valachova (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.
The lunches could be covered for children not only in the state-run schools but also private and church ones that do not collect tuition fees.
In future, the state also wants to cover the lunches for kindergarten children in the last year before they enter the elementary school.
This would require an annual 700 million crowns.
The Education Ministry wrote it wants to launch a debate on further improvements in the school environment.
($1=25.326 crowns)