PALAU EYES SCHOOL LUNCH SUBSIDY

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By Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR (Palau Horizon, Aug. 22) - President Tommy Remengesau is considering subsidizing the school lunch program based on the parents’ income brackets.

The president said he has asked the Ministry of Education to conduct a survey, to determine who are the parents who can afford to pay for the lunch program and those children who need the subsidy.

Through this survey, the government can reduce cost, Remengesau said.

The school lunch program from August to October this year has been canceled as the food service budget of the ministry has all been obligated, leaving no money available for the last two months of this fiscal year and at least the first two weeks of October.

Parents are asked to provide their children’s lunches for three months.

But some states, the president said, have raised money to cover the program’s expenses.

Airai, Remengesau said, has raised US$4,000 for the state’s students.

Remengesau said the food service program used to be federally funded, but its budget has been dwindling in the past years until Palau has to earmark funding for it.

The program needs at least US$650,000 in order to operate throughout the year, but it is only receiving US$565,000.

The president said the program will again be restored in the fiscal year 2006 budget.

Remengesau said the government wants to fund programs that would improve the quality of education.

August 23, 2005

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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