A growing poverty rate in Washington, D.C. prompted school administrators to begin offering an early supper to many of their students.
A year ago, President Obama said that, for many of the nation's public school students, their school lunch is "their most nutritious meal—sometimes their only meal—of the day." Now, 10,000 kids in the nation's capital are getting an early dinner, in addition to their lunch and breakfast, at school.
According to The Washington Post, a spike in poverty rates over the last three years inspired the nearly $6 million program, which is offering a third meal at 99 of D.C.'s 123 schools.
Officials describe the dinner initiative as having three goals: hedging against childhood hunger, reducing alarming rates of obesity and drawing more students to after-school programs, where extra academic help is available. It is also part of a broader effort, mandated by recent D.C. Council legislation, to upgrade the quality and nutritional value of school food with fresh, locally grown ingredients.\n
The blog DCist chose a school at random to take a peek at what the kids would be eating for supper. Offerings include Caribbean chicken, soy-ginger noodles, and a simple pizza—with every meal accompanied by a serving of fruit.
Thirteen other states provide the sub-$3 meals to their students, as well. The federal government reimburses them through its Child & Adult Care Food Program.