China allocated $13 bn for school meals since 2011

Beijing, Oct 18 (IANS) The Chinese government has allocated over 80 billion yuan (about $13 billion) since 2011 to improve nutrition among rural students, the education ministry said Thursday.

Money has been spent on subsidies for student meals, construction of school canteens and grants for those from poverty-hit families, reported Xinhua citing the ministry, while adding that the regulations have been implemented to ensure timely allocation, sound management as well as safe and efficient use of the cash.

Vice Minister for Education Lu Xin, during a video conference Thursday, said the construction of school canteens would be stepped up so that rural students could have meals at their schools by next spring,

Currently, many pupils have to eat outside of school due to a lack of kitchen equipment and cooks, Lu said, while urging education officials at all levels to strengthen food safety supervision in schools and punish those involved in crimes and corruption concerning food safety.