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25 mln yuan donated to free lunch project: report


15:19, April 03, 2013

SHANGHAI, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Free Lunch for Children on Tuesday released its 2012 financial report in Shanghai, which shows the charity initiative collected 25.44 million yuan (4 million U.S. dollars) in public donations last year.

The mission of the Free Lunch for Children project, initiated by some 500 journalists and domestic media organizations on April 2, 2011, is to provide free lunches to impoverished school children in poverty-stricken regions of China.

According to the report, the project collected 25.44 million yuan in public donations last year, which amounted to 8.48 million lunches. More than 36,000 students at 205 schools in 17 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have benefited from this project.

China has made efforts to improve the nutritional content of school lunches for rural students in recent years.

In October 2011, the State Council implemented a program to improve the nutrition of students in the compulsory education system. Twenty-six million students from 680 counties across the country are expected to benefit from the 16-billion-yuan a year program financed by the central government.

Meanwhile, Free Lunch for Children plans to install cameras in the canteens of over 200 schools to supervise the preparation of the school lunches and ensure that there is ample food for students.

In addition to free lunches, Deng Fei, the initiator of the project, is also launching other public welfare programs, including those involving medical insurance and material donations for rural children.

"We hope those programs can form an 'ecosystem' so we can provide overall aid for children in undeveloped regions," Deng said.

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