Food Will be Given to Needy ChildrenThe Ministry of Education announced on March 3 that students who skip lunch due to financial difficulties will be given free lunches. The Ministry of Education sent official documents to local departments around Korea.
Some within the ministry are now asking the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Government and Local Autonomy for assistance. The organizers of the free lunch program hurriedly started on the details, only after the plan was made public.
It was decided in a February 29 cabinet meeting to give out free lunches through the school year, effective March 4. With only a day to spare before the deadline, the ministry began laying out plans to implement the program.
Confusion in local and provincial ministry offices is running high. An official at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said,"The documents that were sent to us lack any information on how to aid the hungry children."
Cafeterias that are now giving free lunches are saying that they haven't received any money from ministry offices."
On January 19, President Kim Dae-jung said that it was a sad thing that Korea had children that couldn't eat lunch. He ordered the ministry to come up with a plan.
Despite the president's orders, it is unclear who is responsible for implementing this program.
There are 164,000 students who are expected to receive free lunches.