Fico: Free Lunches for Pupils to Become Reality as of January 1, 2019

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Smer-SD (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 4 (TASR) – Free lunches for all pupils of primary schools and last grades of nursery schools should become a reality as of January 1, 2019, Smer-SD leader Robert Fico told a news conference in Bratislava on Tuesday.

This social measure supported by Smer-SD party will apply to about 516,000 children – pupils of primary schools and last grades of nursery schools. “Children’s participation in lunches in school canteens is very poor chiefly among students of the fifth to ninth grades of primary schools, amounting to 50-60 percent,” stated Fico.
Each child should thus get €1.20 per day from the state for a meal. It would be about €120 per child in a single school year. “The measure will cost the state about €117 million in total,” said Fico.
If free lunches are successful next year, the party will consider extending this measure to apply to secondary school students as well.
According to Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (Smer-SD), 381,000 pupils used the services of school canteens last year.
“I welcome this measure, as I believe it will be effective,” said Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter (Smer-SD). “We’ll provide €1.20 per pupil to school founders, namely municipalities and churches. Our duty ends with this,” stated Richter.