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Govʼt to make free lunch for poor children mandatory during summer break

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The Hungarian government is planning the introduction of mandatory free hot lunches for all children from low-income households during the summer break as of next year, Hungarian economic daily Napi Gazdaság reported yesterday. 

Local councils can already tap HUF 3 bln in state funding to provide underprivileged children with hot lunches in the summer. Extending the program could require an additional HUF 1-2 bln, but raise the number of children who receive lunches from 135,000 to almost 500,000, the paper added.

State secretary for social affairs at the Human Resources Ministry Károly Czibere confirmed for the paper that the government is weighing the matter. The legal environment, capacity and resources necessary for the change are already in place, but the government will review in the coming months whether the existing funding framework is sufficient, he added.

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