The Government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation decided on Wednesday to launch a pilot project to distribute free, quality meals in a series of kindergartens in low-income areas. The two-year programme, which will start at the beginning of the next school year, will have an annual budget of two million euro. It will provide some 5,000 children with free meals, four days a week.
Local organic foods from small marketing channels will be used in preparing balanced meals for the children. A call for applications will be launched in April for schools in economically disadvantaged areas of Wallonia and Brussels.
“Many investigations show that one of the requirements for fighting social inequalities and poverty is access to nutrition,” said the Federation’s Minister of Youth and Equal Rights, Isabelle Simonis. “This measure is fully in line with this perspective. It aims to allow a maximum number of children to have access to at least one healthy, balanced meal per day but also to reduce parents’ expenses and, for those with the lowest incomes, redirect resources thus saved towards other items useful for the children’s education.”