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Special> Video> Latest
UPDATED: October 17, 2013
Free-Lunch Project Ensures Ntritious School Meals

October 16 is World Food Day. This year's theme is sustainable food systems. In China's rural areas, many young people go to work in big cities. Their economic situation is better, but their children's nutrition is neglected. Fortunately, a free-lunch project has been implemented to ensure nutritious lunches in rural schools.

Yin Jiang Village in Zunyi City, southwest China's Guizhou Province, is a typical Chinese village. More than 70 percent of young people have gone to work in the big cities, leaving their children and the elderly behind.

Ten-year-old Zhang Yushuang and her one-year-old sister live with their grandparents. Their parents work in east China's Zhejiang Province. Zhang Yushuang does not like having breakfast and seems neglected by her grandmother.

"She did not have breakfast this morning. She is not hungry. I gave her some money to buy some snacks," Zhang's grandmother He Jinxiu said.

The grandmother also says she has no idea of nutrition and their life is quite simple with no consideration about adjusting their diet. She usually cooks vegetables for Zhang. They buy fruits when Zhang's parents give them more money.

In Zhong Xin school in Jin Ding Township of Zunyi, fresh vegetables and meat are given for students' lunches. Normally, there are two dishes and a soup. And the menu differs from day to day. All the processes, from buying to cooking, are supervised to ensure security. Students enjoy the lunches, including Zhang.

"I like the lunch in school. It tastes home-cooked and it is more nutritious. Because there are both vegetables and meat." Zhang said.

The school head says before free-lunches, the students had problems.

"Many parents have gone to work outside. Some students just buy snacks for lunch. Some have lunch in small restaurant and some do not have lunch at all," Wang Lin, vice principal of Zhonagxin School, said.

Although free-lunches at school help improve students' nutrition in rural areas, experts say it is also important to ensure nutritious meals at home. Parents in rural areas need to change their idea of eating fully to eating healthily. But most of them are poorly educated. There's still a way to go to ensure children's food security and nutrition in China's rural areas.

(CNTV.cn October 16, 2013)


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