Mon, Jul 02, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Kids face summer hunger

SCHOOL’S OUT:A survey conducted by a children’s welfare organization said underprivileged families may not be able to feed their kids without school lunches

Staff writer, with CNA

Many disadvantaged children in the country may be left with insufficient food at home during the summer break when the school lunch service is suspended, according to the results of a recent survey.

The Child Welfare League Foundation survey found that 39 percent of children in impoverished families will not have meals prepared for them during the summer.

About 46 percent will not be able to have breakfast daily, while nearly 30 percent will not be able to have lunch every day during the break, the poll found.

In addition, 30 percent of the children polled said their meals at home will be less appetizing than the lunches provided at school, the foundation said.

About 83 percent of disadvantaged children will have to help with household chores during summer, while 32 percent will be required to look after younger siblings or sick family members, the poll found.

Approximately 67 percent of disadvantaged children have no one in the family to help them with school assignments if they encounter problems, according to the data.

Moreover, compared with affluent families that can afford summer camps and overseas trips, only 26.6 percent of disadvantaged children have ever gone on a family vacation, the survey showed.

Less than 20 percent of impoverished children have bought books or magazines during summer breaks and only 13.3 percent have ever visited a museum, the survey said.

The poll was conducted from March 3 to March 23 among 3,623 fifth and sixth-graders who receive assistance from the foundation.

Meanwhile, the foundation last week unveiled a project aimed at raising NT$10 million to provide meals for at least 1,500 underprivileged children during the summer vacation.

The foundation said it also plans to subsidize 70 schools that organize summer camps for such children.

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