Tue, Jun 29, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Worries over absence of lunch program: survey

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

While most school children may be happy about the coming summer vacation, many children from disadvantaged families in remote areas worry about this period, as it means an interruption to the school lunch program, survey results released by the Children’s Welfare League Foundation showed yesterday.

“Compared with most school children, we can see that many school children from disadvantaged families in remote areas are more worried about the coming of the summer vacation because they may lose the only regular meal they can have during a day,” foundation executive director Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a press conference in Taipei.

The survey, conducted between May 21 and May 26, collected 1,056 responses from elementary schools in more developed areas across the country and 1,051 responses from less developed areas.

“Our survey shows that 27 percent of school children in remote areas do not have lunch everyday during vacations, while 17.3 percent of them said they often worry about having nothing to eat during summer or winter vacations,” Wang said.

Survey results showed that at least one quarter of respondents from less developed areas said they often had to take care of their own meals. Almost 24 percent of them bought boxed meals, 23.8 percent said they often cooked for themselves, while 16.3 percent said they would eat only instant noodles, canned food or bread.

“I’m worried about these children not only because of an insufficient amount of food, but also that they are not eating well enough,” Wang said.

To help address the problem, the foundation will be calling for donations to prepare more than 50,000 meals to feed 1,000 elementary school children from disadvantaged families across the country during the summer vacation.

“We can’t help everyone, but at least we can try to help some of them,” Wang said.

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