Greece has turned to the European Union for funds to help feed hungry elementary school students, many of whom are going without lunch during the country’s crushing economic crisis.
The government said it can’t afford to feed them and will use 60 million euros ($80.2 million) in EU cash to give 250,000 primary school children a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a carton of milk.
A team of public policy experts from the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) called for a state program offering school meals, noting that pupils could be fed for as little as 3 euros ($4) per child per day.
According to the proposal, providing meals to some 750,000 pupils at primary schools would cost around 400 million euros, ($534 million) or 0.22 percent of gross domestic product per year.
Extending the program to secondary schools, and another 650,000 pupils, would cost 750 million euros ($1 billion) or 0.4 percent of GDP. The cost would be lower if subsidized by the pupils’ parents in line with their income, according to the AUEB team who proposed first targeting schools with a greater proportion of poor children. Some students were being fed by teachers, NPR reported.