Tue, March 13, 2012
China > Mainland

Students in Gansu's Tianzhu offered free lunch

2012-03-13 07:29:08 GMT2012-03-13 15:29:08(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Students queue up to get lunch at the dining hall of the Chakouyi Middle School in Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Gansu Province, March 12, 2012. (Xinhua/Nie Jianjiang)

Students queue up to get their lunch at the classroom of Shimen central primary school in Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Gansu Province, March 12, 2012. (Xinhua/Nie Jianjiang)

A teacher carries students' lunch out of the kitchen with the foreground showing a blackboard written with the menu of the students, at Shimen central primary school in Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Gansu Province, March 12, 2012. (Xinhua/Nie Jianjiang)

He Cunlian, a pupil of Tu ethnic group, takes her lunch at the classroom of Shimen central primary school in Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Gansu Province, March 12, 2012. (Xinhua/Nie Jianjiang)

Yang Yan (1st R), a techer, helps distribute food for students at lunch time at the classroom of Shimen central primary school in Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Gansu Province, March 12, 2012. (Xinhua/Nie Jianjiang)

A total of 14,132 students from 137 elementary and secondary schools in Tianzhu have been offered free lunch every day since this spring as part of a new government initiative to improve nutrition for rural students.

The 16-billion-yuan (2.53 billion U.S. dollars) program was initiated in autumn 2011 and covers 680 poverty-stricken cities and counties in northwest China, allowing 26 million students to receive free meals for the duration of their compulsory education, which lasts from primary school to junior middle school in China.

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